MULTIMEDIA PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR 2012 » Scottish Student Journalism Awards
EDINBURGH’S STUDENT NEWSPAPER
WEDNESDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2012
Free speech — at what cost?
• Israeli diplomat silenced by protest IN NEWS / • Paper under fire over BNP interview • Galloway’s defamation row continues
• Profile: Ambassador Daniel Taub IN COMMENT / • Students for Justice in Palestine • Debate: No platform for old men?
IN COMMENT / 15 Freedom under supervision Reconsidering Kosovo’s long, hard-fought path to statehood and its ‘supervised’ rebirth
Student loan chaos
Government scramble to respond to second year of crippling SAAS backlog
IN NEWS /
Straight outta Falkirk Hotly-tipped Scots novelist and playwright Alan Bissett sits down with The Journal
IN BOOKS /
IN NEWS / 3-13
• Wrangling over international representation at Heriot-Watt • Peter Higgs on the boson • SNP in turmoil over NATO • Girl attacked in Colinton
2 / CONTENTS
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THIS WEEK INSIDE THE JOURNAL...
The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
Edinburgh Online Fashion Week Napier undergraduate Gary Anderson launches five days of accessible fashion
An Alternative Jay American singer-songwriter Jay Brannan reveals his love-hate relationship with music
Fresh Perspective Resident international columnist ponders the formidable onset of a very British winter
Fall descends on the sleepy setting of Edinburgh’s Meadows
For advertising information End of the road for cycling? As cycling attempts to emerge from the darkness, The Journal examines the fallout
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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
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STUDENT NEWS / 3
Review launched into SAAS loans chaos Student Awards Agency for Scotland responds to criticism from MSPs and NUS Scotland over second year of backlog Aoife Moore & Gareth Llewellyn
announced an independent review on Monday into the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) handling of student funding applications. Commissioned by SAAS, the review comes amid a storm of criticism as thousands of students have still not been awarded or paid their loans. Education secretary, Mike Russell, said: “I understand the concerns raised by students about the time taken to process late and complex funding applications. “This is a critical issue for those concerned and I am therefore pleased that David Wallace will lead an independent review. I believe his experience and expertise from the Student Loans Company (SLC) mean he is ideally placed for this task. “Progress has been made over the last week, while changes to student support for next year will simplify the process for many. However, it is important that any further improvements are identified, especially for the late and complex applications which offer particular challenges. “I can reassure students and their parents that SAAS will continue to work as quickly as possible to deal with all remaining applications for this year, while the review gives a head start on learning and applying lessons for next year.” David Wallace, deputy chief executive of the SLC, will review the processes for dealing with late and complex student funding applications. The review aims to find potential improvements as SAAS considers applications and reprocesses those with changes in circumstance or new information. On 1 November, more than 6,000 higher education funding applications from Scottish students had not been processed, jeopardising their education and wellbeing. SAAS attempted to defend its position saying that the delays were from applications sent after its 30 June guarantee date with many coming in September and October. NUS Scotland president, Robin Parker, had earlier joined calls from opposition parties for an investigation into why students are still awaiting payments in November, saying: “We welcome the Government’s decision to review the delays that have hit processing loans and bursaries at SAAS this year. “We’ve said for some time now that the Government needs to focus on clearing this year’s backlog and then look into what’s happened, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. “Many of these students are depending on the financial support SAAS provide. They’ve given up jobs, or ben-
efits, to go to study. Without it, there’s therefore a real danger that despite these students getting a place, they can’t take it up, or are forced to drop out. This would be a terrible waste of talent, and of public money. Almost 46,000 of the 151,281 applications were made after the cut-off point with staff unable to process applications quickly enough, leaving students unable to pay bills and travel to college or university. SAAS claims that all 105,405 students who applied before July have had their applications processed, but there may still be backlogs in the SLC issuing payments. The Scottish Government have said 95 per cent of the applications received this academic year have already been processed. Students have taken to social media platforms to vent their anger at the Scottish Government and staff at SAAS with some students told to resubmit forms because of minor errors. One student on Twitter said: “Got my form sent away AGAIN for SAAS tomorrow and maybe get it sorted at least for next month.” Labour MSP Neil Findlay branded the situation “rather shambolic.” Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, he said: “It is very disturbing that so far into the university term such a significant number of students still have no money to live on.” Liam McArthur, education spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said: “It is inexcusable that thousands of students do not yet have the loans and bursaries they need to pay for food and rent.” On 1 November, Russell responded to the debacle by asking SAAS to “pull out all the stops and ensure the remaining four per cent of late applications are dealt with urgently.” Russell’s request saw SAAS stay open until 8pm last week with weekend shifts also in operation to try to clear the backlog, claiming more than 1,000 applications were being processed every day. McArthur has since submitted a written question “To ask the Scottish Government how many claims for student funding from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland still to be processed as at 1 November 2012 were received (a) before 30 June 2012 and (b) between 30 June and 1 September 2012.” SAAS’ failure to process applications on time has led to a number of students to explore discretionary fund and crisis loan options with some students forced to leave their course.
CASE STUDIES / How SAAS delays affect students
“Everyday I’m Russeling” COMMENT
Are hardship funds abused? Claire McKay
For three years I drank only Frosty
Jack’s; I went to Marks & Spencer only on a Sunday evening when everything had been discounted and I fell prey to countless other student clichés. That was until I discovered Glasgow University’s best kept secret: the Higher Education Institution (HEI) discretionary fund, also known as the hardship fund. For those who have yet to be enlightened, this is a non-repayable grant, courtesy of your university. All you have to do is fill out a few forms (and provide every shred of personal information which testifies that you are enduring financial difficulties) and you are onto a winner. Surely a few eyebrows must have been raised when my bank statement went under the microscope? £355 in Topshop; £50 in Greggs; £120 on Amazon, reducing my once handsome balance to a frightening £-1200. Okay, so ‘student’ doesn’t usually equate to ‘economist’ (even for the economics students) but this was blatant frivolity. When I received a letter in the post a number of weeks later bearing the University of Glasgow stamp I prepared myself for the ‘sorry you’re not a winner’ line, but instead I was informed that I had been awarded precisely £592. And so the vicious spending cycle began again! Only bigger and better! Now, as a graduate, I find the concept of being
handed a gift of £592 to be inconceivable. If that miracle ever were to occur my younger self would surely look on in disgust as I took that money straight to the bank to be devoured by my overdraft. The truth is, there are students who need the HEI discretionary fund. For some it may be the difference between being able to pay rent for the next couple of months and being sent back to mum and dad’s house. However, for many it’s merely a ticket for the ‘banter bus’ to Avoriaz for the uni ski trip, or “necessary beer dollar” as one applicant boasted on Facebook. Certain friends feel very strongly about this misuse of university generosity and despite being eligible candidates, refuse to apply. One postgraduate student told The Journal: “Most people that apply don’t have a job and have never even tried to get a job - it should be a last resort, a lot of them are just expectant and blow it on one big purchase, therefore landing them back to where they started.” At the end of the day, times are hard for students. Fees are constantly rising, SAAS and student loans will one day have to be repaid and competition is fierce for menial part-time jobs. Sometimes it’s difficult not to feel a little short-changed by the institution of education. The HEI discretionary fund is a bit of a hidden gem, a little bit of help with no strings attached. And for those who do spend it all in one shop, they can look forward to months of baked beans after one week of caviar...as I found out the hard way.
Leigh Douglas was a first year student studying Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen who had to drop out due to funding being held up by SAAS. “I have had to leave my course at university because funding is nonexistent; I was still waiting for money and was struggling without money and the uncertainty. “Trying to get answers about what is going on was impossible, I am now back at square one and having to put off university for another year. “Not even my MP could get answers even after taking it to the Chief Executive of SAAS. “The service from SAAS has been abysmal this year, Although I understand the pressure of trying to get a record number of Scottish students processed in time, there is no excuse for leaving students in the dark. “There needs to be an investigation about what has happened and what lessons can be learned for next year. But I am certainly unhappy at the moment as you can imagine.” Dean Fyffe, an HNC social sciences student at Angus College has been experiencing problems getting his application for funding processed through SAAS. “SAAS hasn’t paid me yet and I am facing homelessness due to my inability to pay board money to my parents, I have been forced to apply for part time night time jobs when I already can’t work on my days off due to care responsibilities. “I submitted all my income details and everything I needed for my SAAS application before I started my course, when I didn’t receive my funding on time I phoned them about it and they promised it would be in my bank account for the next week. “The money never came, and alas I ended up having to phone them back for a few weeks, I kept getting knocked back until they said ‘next month’ around September. “Now in November I got a call saying that due to one of my parents filling in the word ‘zero’ instead of the number ‘0’ my application had been disregarded entirely and now I need to send in a replacement form which could see my funding put back to December at least. “Meanwhile I’ve had to put myself in a lot of debt in my current house hold with having no money at all, had to look for a job and had to apply for several emergency funding options from the college just to be able to afford to get to college and feed myself.”
Postgraduate Open Day
11am-4pm: Friday, 9 November 2012 To register for the event go to: www.glasgow.ac.uk/pgopenday The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401
For further details about postgraduate study opportunities go to: ww.glasgow.ac.uk/postgraduate
4 / NATIONAL POLITICS
The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
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SNP rift opens over conference NATO decision Two back-bench MSPs leave the SNP after conference votes to support an independent Scotland joining NATO Jonathan Langley Staff writer
MSPs John Finnie and Jean Urqu-
hart have resigned from the governing Scottish National Party (SNP) in the wake of the party’s U-turn on membership of NATO in the case of independence. The SNP has long opposed NATO membership on the grounds that the defence alliance retains nuclear weapons capability, but delegates passed a resolution reversing that position at the SNP conference in Perth on Friday 19 October, with 426 votes to 332. Arthur West, chair of Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) told The Journal: “Scottish CND were disappointed that the SNP changed their policy on NATO, however, it was clear during the conference debate that the grassroots
of the SNP are strongly opposed to nuclear weapons. “Scottish CND welcome Alex Salmond’s announcement, just before the conference, that there should be a written constitution for an independent Scotland and that the constitution should include a clear prohibition of nuclear weapons.” However, the party reaffirmed its commitment to removing nuclear weapons from Scotland in the wording of the resolution put forward by Angus Robertson MP and Angus MacNeil MP which stated: “On independence Scotland will inherit its treaty obligations with NATO. “An SNP government will maintain NATO membership subject to an agreement that Scotland will not host nuclear weapons and NATO continues to respect the right of members to only take part in UN sanctioned
operations.” The party leadership supported the resolution, with First Minister Alex Salmond arguing that NATO membership is compatible with opposition to nuclear weapons, citing the presence of other countries in the alliance without nuclear weapon stocks. However, eight MSPs including Mr Finnie and Ms Urquhart supported an amendment to the resolution asking the conference to maintain the party’s anti-NATO stance, which was narrowly rejected by 394 votes to 365— emblematic of the tension within the party over the issue. Mr Finnie and Ms Urquhart have stated that they will continue to sit in parliament as independents, leaving the SNP with 65 seats out of a total of 129, meaning the party now has an overall majority of only one.
Stop Climate Chaos Coalition
Fresh renewable Scottish Liberal Democrats energy skills drive back home rule proposals Government to back new education initiatives Benjamin Lebus Staff writer
Indications from an official Scottish Parliament meeting report suggest that the Scottish Government is planning a fresh drive towards renewable energy sector skills through higher education. This comes following the SNP’s promise that an independent Scotland would be a global base for renewable technologies. In response to this topic being raised, Angela Constance, the minister for youth employment, said that: “Creating opportunities for colleges and universities to meet the emerging needs of Scotland’s renewable energy industry and its workforce is a high priority.” Ms Constance went on to say that: “The plan has the full support of industry and the energy advisory board.” This is an encouraging sign for the renewable energy sector and those students hoping to break into that market. This issue has been raised at a time of general concern for the condition of the environment, following the devastation that has resulted from Hurri-
cane Sandy. Concerns were raised, though, by Rhoda Grant, in relation to the cap the government has recently placed on the number of students who can study engineering. Constance revealed, though, that additional funding of£1.9 million had been utilized to create 300 additional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related places. Furthermore, Ms Constance revealed that this funding: “will increase over the next three years” and that there will be an: “additional investment of £2 million in flexible training opportunities”; also an encouraging revelation for the renewable energy sector. In recent weeks it has been suggested that a renewed drive towards renewable energy sector skills is of the utmost importance. Following the release of the meeting report it seems that the government is aiming to ensure that Scotland becomes a major base for renewable technologies, which it has been claimed could have a positive effect both in the development of alternative energy sources and in the employability of students leaving higher education. byronv2 on Flickr
New initiative blows away public
Conference vote endorses former UK party Menzies Campbell’s plan Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Campbell ming-ling with party delegates Jonathan Langley Staff writer
Party delegates at the Scottish
Liberal Democrats’ conference in Dunfermline have voted to support a motion advocating the transfer of further fiscal and political powers to the Scottish parliament, in a ballot on Saturday 27 October. The ‘Home Rule and Community Rule Commission’, chaired by former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell, outlined their proposals in a report entitled ‘Federalism: the best future for Scotland’. The report argues that home rule powers for Scotland would work best within a restructured, federal UK. David Green, president of Liberal Youth Scotland, welcomed the pro-
posals: “The majority of people wish to see a stronger Scotland which works with the United Kingdom maximising benefits and sharing risks. “That means listening to the needs of people by taking power from the centre and empowering local decision making. Federalism and Home Rule will deliver just that.” The report will be proposed at the UK party’s Federal Conference, where the party will be asked to include the plans in the Liberal Democrat manifesto for the 2015 General Election, assuming Scottish voters reject independence in the forthcoming referendum in 2014. The report was launched on Wednesday 17 October, just two days after the Edinburgh Agreement on the independence referendum for Scot-
land was signed by representatives of the UK government and the Scottish government. It proposes an alternative to independence in which a future Scottish parliament would be given responsibility for generating the majority of its own revenues and controlling subsequent domestic expenditure, while local councils would be allocated greater financial autonomy in an effort to strengthen local democracy. Were the commission’s recommendations to be implemented, the Act of Union between Scotland and England would be replaced by a declaration of federal union. Responsibility for defence, foreign affairs and welfare would remain with a federal UK parliament at Westminster, but the Scottish government would be responsible for most domestic issues.
The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
East Lothian boy honoured at Pride of Britain awards Seven year-old Jack Henderson awarded prize for raising money for local children’s hospital Christina Müller
A seven-year-old boy from East
derman and is in association with Lidl, The Daily Mirror, ITV1 and the Princes Trust. Frequented by many famous faces, Jack met a number of celebrities including Jon Bon Jovi, Kenny Dalglish, and even gave a wave to Professor Stephen Hawking. Looked after all night by Rolf Harris, Jack managed to find time to commission his portrait which was auctioned off for £6,000, adding more funds to his ever growing cause. Lidl also added a further £10,000, which means that to date, the budding artist has raised over £40,000 in aid of his little brother. The Henderson family have now moved to North San Francisco, where Jack is settling in to school life once more at the Neil Cummins Elementary School. As his charity appeal is over, Jack is said to be getting back to his “normal level of colouring in”, however the family still receive infrequent donations on Jack’s ‘JustGiving’ page.
Lothian has been honoured at this year’s ‘Pride of Britain’ awards for his creative contributions to The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. Jack Henderson, originally from Prestonpans East Lothian, began to use his artistic abilities to raise money for the children’s hospital by selling his drawings online in aid of his younger brother, who visits the hospital regularly due to severe bronchiolitis. His initial aim was to raise a modest £100. Now over a year later Jack has a thriving website, and has raised almost £30,000 for his special cause and was this week hailed at the annual ITV award show for his tremendous achievement. On his website Jackdrawsanything, Jack said “it was very busy but it was still very good. I had a good time, thank you.” Founded in 1999, the annual awards To look at Jack’s drawings or to honour the UK’s hidden hero’s. The make a donation, visit www.jack006692 160x265 Edinburgh Student 17/10/2012 13:19 Page 1 ceremony is hosted by Carol Vor-ad V3__ drawsanything.com.
Police appeal for witnesses after girl attacked in Colinton Man attempted to strangle 16-year-old as she walked home from party Stanley Liew
Lydia Willgress Local News editor
A 16-year-old girl has been attacked by a man who attempted to strangle her while she was walking home from a party on Sunday 28 October in the early hours of the morning. The girl had become aware of someone following her on Colinton Road before she was forced to the ground by the suspect. The man then wrapped his hands around her neck and tried to strangle her. The teen managed to overcome him enough to escape with a bruised neck and minor facial injuries. Detective Constable Marion Fraser, a spokesperson for the police, said: “The victim is only 16 and although she’s being supported by a strong network of family and friends, it’s obviously taken a toll. “The inquiry is at an early stage, so we are keeping an open mind about the motive. The man did not say anything to the victim.” It has been revealed that the man remained silent throughout the attack. The suspect was described as being approximately 5ft 6in tall, with a slim but muscular build. His age was given as between 17 and 21 years old. On the night, he was thought to be wearing a faded blue zip-up
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Colinton Road the scene of the attack hooded jacket and black tracksuit bottoms. Lothian and Borders Police spokeswoman Ms Fraser added: “Colinton Road is a busy thoroughfare and there would have been people going home at that time of night. The attack lasted for about one minute and the victim was screaming and shouting, which someone may
have heard.” Colinton Road is situated in Craiglockhart. The incident happened close to Napier University and not far from the popular student areas Morningside and Bruntsfield. Any witnesses have been encouraged to contact Lothian and Borders Police with any information regarding the attack.
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The Energy to Succeed
The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
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STUDENT NEWS / 7
HWUSU wrangle over international representation
Heriot-Watt union seeking radical changes to representation for Dubai and Malaysia students Greg Bianchi News editor
Heriot-Watt University Student Union (HWUSU) have
announced that they are to look into the possibility of allowing students at overseas campuses in Dubai and Malaysia to vote in union elections, while also allowing the Malaysia and Dubai presidents to sit on their executive committee in an observational capacity. In a statement to The Journal, Mike Ross, president of HWUSU, said: “In the not-too-distant future Heriot-Watt will have more students studying at overseas campuses than at its main campus in the UK. “If we do not take action to effectively join up student representation across all of our campuses then this will result in a weak student voice within the university at its highest levels.” This will be a novel plan as Heriot-Watt seeks to include a number of students on study abroad schemes and also students linked with the university at overseas campuses.
In a set of briefing notes seen by The Journal HWUSU discussed at length the possibility of international representation for students. In the notes HWUSU anticipates that in the next five to eight years there will be more students based at Heriot-Watt international campuses than at UK-based campuses and at the present moment: “students at the Dubai campus are represented in a very informal manner…within the university as a whole.” As a result of these consultations the union has decided to take a number of actions; the student president from Dubai will be encouraged to take part in a live video call to the executive committee in order to “allow the Dubai president to request agenda items and present papers for the Executive to discuss”. Additional actions will be taken by the committee in order to further discuss the implementation of a student union in Malaysia and also to examine further the possibility of international voting across the Heriot-Watt campuses in time for the 2014-15 sabbatical officer elections.
Government social mobility tsar in call for admissions equality in HE Former Labour minister seeks ‘classless system’ Hannah Chandler
Former Labour health secretary and independent reviewer of social mobility and child poverty Alan Milburn has called upon the government to reassess its approach to social mobility for university admissions, insisting a ‘classless system’ cannot be reached until the issue is addressed. In an independent review into social mobility in universities, Mr Milburn claims university financial support packages have been proven to have little effect on admissions from students from low income families; money should instead be focused on schools’ outreach. Universities such as University College London and The University of East Anglia already operate out-
reach programs, with Liverpool University even using ‘Professor Fluffy’, a cuddly toy who entertains youngsters with his tales of university learning. Mr Milburn is not alone on this issue; figures have revealed that in Britain four private schools and one state sixth form college outnumber the combined success rates of Oxbridge applicants from over 2,000 similar state institutions. Milburn’s proposal surmised that the Sutton Trust summer schools’ research that university admissions seem to be focused on a private school approach, hindering lowincome students to a greater extent. Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable has defended the government’s record on social mobility, arguing that it is in fact a “two way street”, which can see
Oh na na Watt’s my name
Heriot-Watt name chancellor Mining magnate Robert Buchan named to succeed Baroness Greenfield Heriot-Watt University
Greg Bianchi News editor
Heriot-Watt University has
named its new chancellor following the decision by Baroness Susan Greenfield to step down from her role. Mining magnate Dr Robert M. Buchan, a Heriot-Watt alumnus who studied mining and engineering, will succeed Baroness Greenfield. Heriot-Watt University Student Union president Mike Ross told The Journal: “Having been involved in the selection process I am hopeful that the new chancellor for the university will take more action to engage with Heriot-Watt students around the world. The role of chancellor is an important one and more Heriot-Watt students should have a clue who their chancellor is.” Following completion of his studies at Heriot-Watt Dr Buchan went on to study engineering and later went on to found the Kinross Gold mining company which became the third largest primary gold producer in North America. He left Kinross Gold in 2005 to then help found Katanga Copper which spe-
cialises in mining and copper deposits. Dr Buchan resigned from Katanga Copper in 2007 and is now the chief executive of Allied Nevada, another mining organisation. In a statement on the HeriotWatt University website Dr Buchan expressed his delight at being offered the post of chancellor stating: “It is an honour to be asked, and a privilege to accept, the position of chancellor of this university. While I have had some
people pushed out of their comfort zone and being forced to drop out of university. Professor Eric Thomas, president of Universities UK, agreed with Mr Milburn that contextual data must be used in the admissions process but added: “This does not, however, have to involve admitting applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds with lower entry grades.” While Mr Milburn has admitted that universities were likely to comment on the tension between equality and excellence, declaring that the latter must not be forgotten for the benefit of the former, he has contested the validity of this stance. Research has shown students with certain A-level grades from state schools perform better at university than those students who achieved the same grades from
private institutions. Mr Milburn has argued for governmental support and intervention through working with institutions such as UCAS, the Student Loans Company and the National Careers Service, as well as approaching support for low income students as a long term process which should not be limited to the admissions period. It warns that although the rise in fees have not necessarily changed admissions from disadvantaged students, the North East, the region with the highest proportion of low income teenagers, saw a fall of 11.7 per cent in all admissions for 2012/13, and that this needs to be contextualised within the whole issue. Mr Milburn, until 2010 the MP for Darlington, served as Tony Blair’s health secretary in from 1999 to 2003.
Dr Buchan with HW principal Steve Chapman success in business, nothing has given me more pleasure than this appointment. I look forward to spending time with students and staff, and hope that in some way I can add to the experience of being at Heriot-Watt.” Currently based in Canada, Dr Buchan will take on his role as chancellor at the end of this month and will remain as chancellor of the university for an initial period of five years. Downing Street
Just a bit of Brown-nosing
8 / PHOTO ESSAY
The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
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Activists block Israeli ambassador’s talk The Journal’s photographers capture tense scenes at Edinburgh University, as protesters derail Israeli diplomat’s lecture Chris Rubey
Tensions were running high between academics, student societies and campus activists at the University of Edinburgh last week, after pro-Palestinian campaigners successfully prevented Israeli ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub from delivering a planned lecture to a select audience of students and staff. The 25 October talk, jointly organised by societies and the university’s politics department, was brought to a halt moments after it began, after protesters from Edinburgh Students for Justice in Palestine gained access to the event, despite unusually tight security at the venue in the Old Medical School. Dozens more staged a protest outside. SJP campaigners argue that Ambassador Taub’s presence at the university risked ‘normalising’ the Israeli government’s controversial policy towards region’s Palestinian population, which they claim amounts to “ethnic cleansing.” Professor Mark Aspinwall, head of the politics department, has publicly condemned the protesters in an email to students. SJP have since demanded that he apologise for the remarks. Photography by Chris Rubey and Malgosia Stelmaszyk.
Students for Justice in Palestine demonstrate vociferously Malgosia Stelmaszyk
SJP leader Liam O’Hare (left) and EUSA observer, VP Max Crema (centre)
The protests attracted all age groups
Israeli ambassador protest: as it happened The Israeli Ambassador’s talk was heavily policed
For full reporting and analysis of last week’s protest against Ambassador Taub’s visit, log on to the website.
Debate: is speech free? In light of the Taub row, Nick Griffin’s latest controversy and NUS’ faceoff with George Galloway, The Journal explores the limits of free speech.
Profile: Amb. Daniel Taub Callum Leslie meets the controversial diplomat
COMMENT & FEATURES
Leeds S Griffin tudent sp eaks t STUDENT NEWS / 9 , leade o Nick r of th eB NUS condemn student paper over NP Griffin
The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012Despi
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uld iti s An english student newspaper wh itte give th go to wher h justice tea r, platfor ole reason has found itself at the centre of a fresh decision to publish and will not be e you’re m to s Their em “a bit of the y live a m have a l l s or t p e a k i s b e c g i v e n a row over ‘no platform’ after publishing backing down,” she told The Journal. nd i a d d re s d r a m s of d i a” ? availab n s o ci au s e w s was an interview with the leader of the far“Without a platform on which to other ety. Why ca fferent peo e I just p le on the Inte already wid n p e ’t r o e ly n o s right British National Party. display his lunacy, Griffin is as legitiy t e p ou tole ple t anyw le? I am g we did ed it to m ay, rate iv a Leeds Student, the student newspa- mate as the next elected MEP. As for Again know wh ke it clear t so cause B en a platfor h , e m to s ritain per of the University of Leeds, have been the NUS, the idea of fighting fascism p dresse if you wa re they liv at ea is still e n s just ab k beroundly criticised by liberation activ- through censorship is completely on the , bear in min t to talk a d. out a liberal d d t h at no t h ou s a ists, including the NUS’ black students’ illogical.” left co on e m n d p s la ined w of ou d re s s e officer, for the 26 October publication of The president of the NUS, Liam r he s ternet were publi members’ a n their interview with Nick Griffin. Burns, has attempted to steer a path she d o thanks dn W t o Julia ikileak In the interview, Griffin described between the two views. In a blog post n Assa the Ins. nge an finding the sight of two men kissing he said that, while proud of the NUS’s: d If it’s “creepy”, as well as claiming that the “long-standing policy of offering no n ot a n b e en s i s s u e, u BNP’s declining support will see a platform to fascists,” he will not be I can t ch a reactio why has th e re ell you n? resurgence: “once the Labour are signing the open letter condemning YourParty f I r ’v o e had m m gay p back in power.” p away, olitical supthe publication of the interview, believo e r o e t p his, be suppo le tha p ti why d s “in order to stay true to [the] o it b e cimmediThe publication faced ingorthat of het cause they’r n hostility o rt ause t you think t slipping r ver e e r s o ic s deaopen h h e k ate condemnation in an letter values of democracy, equality and colgo b e m ai i a an d s p l i ng w n par s is? Is lo el lions, A oiling ing into th nd tired itthe h immlectivism…we way th by n t c i to the Leeds Student authored must trust our member d a e e t h l ir s r e e M a w Br c atmos a s su r i g r at i EP, re party their torate t i(NUS) phere. lubs o in e to pport students’ sigdemS o a re National Union of Students n e d f on s , ou r last w own ? ed by n unions a isftake y ou s a rom y H e e T t e k h h i demo c e a e s h a y a r d t ceKiely as elecBlack Students’ Officer Aaron and ocratic decisions ratherwthan seeking i ng t ou e fe d yi to r your p ith the lea ng he’s diss r nitely now realis ut a fa tainly has hand them down expres ratic countr going up w ith s hat gay peo t published on the NUS bwebsite. a from on high.” e a h d t d r h a e r t s y p t a d an r sh ip tr ai g h to the y hav mo st bigger t h at hap n tion t p e op le won’t e views that ; I’m there effeargued a c This letter, which ahas been coun-fac Snow in a blog poste aonfuthe ture? . Do es be pen. We ha is never go defi- Plenty of ga ir clubs? to x l ot h e r e p r ing cla list vote is p tor is that t, e ques dav y peo ss . ing you. In of s ss. Wh activ- rimGuardian tersigned by many other that it is insulting to e fact, w And I do people arily w thwebsite ago, h t through a er y signific to clu o many stra ple are now in postudent e n t he B t N h o a c o w e P ig le e or Edin- Labstudents k- imply that they need proists, including the president our pa rto pound undreds of ouple of we nt stit bs, particu hts going t fed up hom had a polic n I took ov rate want t r, wof rty is e er, the larly o their s y to re o prot king class ptecting os exu burgh University Students’ extreme views, and that in eg y ha , so he now thousands ks wa uenc y in eople wfrom e st ag a ment Association knows Manch my con- a polic y ality. Now w criminalise nt t h e s faile of inst ththe paper hohas every right to publish the do s o (EUSA) James McAsh, the p o d h e e e Laboudemanded e f . is s o r g t n I P ‘d e ig ple by v o overn’m st r a ag a ow eo r. on h r, a looffensive tingmaterial. for Mr in Yorkshire ver y sorr y t- on inst heteros t to discrim They in ple can do w ’t ask, don have to immediate removal stoof: mac“this t he private ’t te exuals . Bron ly po hateve w ho v inate h votin f them cou against s t , li . , o io r fo a t but for interview that gives te d n o ician nd I’m they w ll.’ nal Pa g Tto r usa. Iplatform would never counters that this is not only or ya, so ld Snow t t’ in r a ant s t t g h y B a iv e r M B o p it e th y v ne. So ve rs e d ro r fascist.” ote of free speech, but one of we are EP, now hav ish Na- I believe them that rig itain who So why did once t blem that wa equestion t h p a e e h il hpublishe ack inthat y s n p t l o k o e d f ’t this party may be unsavoury to Leeds Student editors We are a paper with a proud It goes on to bclaim in legitimacy, claiming that Leeds’ stu, a r b in p u e b aus eedom r g e rele sho c pow r L abour p e i n t n e r s h i p s ? opp o s e c i v uld ha ecwe retirem ent thing - g him to the ot of least, adents . associa whether rty aredid not vote for the NUS’s “no say the like history of reporting controveri ing it, the paper “risks givingelegitimacy d T l g d v i h o v e e o a n i a d t t t t p e ns ’s to d nd t a k he le ion. uals’ p s e at b T h at o w it h Reitf or not, they have ion eh rivate and gal resial ack todisagree sufficient Many will with Leeds and to a fascist organisation, and boosts platform for fascists” policy, while they cognstories lives ainterviews, list. someo and give t is “or erring to ga yourse suggests y i C t i iv ndbelieve in the o h il n y n d local support to return elected Student for publishing this interall students who the BNP’s attempts tolfjoin the political did vote on the editorship of the paper: o e . e i p p u n a f e e ’r a o r o ls r t e r p n y e f le, you ership tions? ailure p on ou b acin ing to freedom s of press, the freedom r turemembers s so re eople in the r“While into political office. view. mainstream when we have a say on who gets to You h However, the principle No we should be isolatEU ele g pulsiv find these said throu wards marr are a way of is wIt avour c r iage foand the s e e c- executive member of the student o r g .” is important that all parties behind decision to print this to think ing them.” dif I wouldn’t be an e n s h a h I g ’m a re d a t the Ku w h r ever y lid- freedom e i g t m L a h f e r e nt b s ay t h et m ines th to speak ackdo their people to yjustify . Wha their platspeech. Kfreedom one lux Kla of e exchallenged at, the union at Leeds University, we don’t get are is the This mind should Editor-in-chief f o o t e ettle o Snow t r r li o . Statesm kLucy in m p k I la a s e t n c h ang titutio nd as a with compla in. Ga me? under and w f fish.the y’rtoe choose an to a e n y in - in publishe r views, including the BNP. paper is proud that we live in a support this paper defended the publish our national NUS officers or e r m o y la e p T s e f wrdecision o d u e e s h f m u o m lt d t we e o e f o ite the r p o ie r a o f b c le N r r f e e s o r ‘w y t e r o d ia v h h earsgoes w policies.” k edihiteand ge , ave every-er theing thisatinterview. BNthe , ch said their cdemocratic that we cietyThe BNP interview, vowing th against s laim n ship posociety, Griffinthat P opaper’s f ot to b lic y. How only ’ they feel, hasn’t unde at the rest they’ll be next few yea ildren will ff, and f, dofongiving ’t write don’t Leeds Student is owned by LUSU, Wcan c a r time in thing most students believes in, openly challenge and debate torial staff have no ointention e r b e a n s s r t ll w n r d , lo o o a b lo h o y u h c N a w e ich are ou d g ht u p i st ? ok at it as ha d cause ick H an c e s , we e k p n’tThe t is wopinion is a lo and to m how defend hwe isinan extract from the in to NUS demands. olitics. themanner a a wholeheartedly m above why c but stood is a full-time sabbatical allall ay, me and ideas. three hof ng aitse editor an’t yo s to be tole ake al- wll bad of cou arried. Th homes agains s m m h A f te r goofan a b a r e Griffins’ right to be heard. We Nick Griffin is an elected editorial published by the Leeds in “I am confident we made the right officer the union. e o e plat rse, bu r a nt . u peo y r a v t me s ’r y e p o e d he lo r a nu m e f o r n it f t ot So w ple sim ies ha 17 mo an d t o or m s rear Studentt alongside meMEP, an d a rou s d st. He mbers fand ppilago not to police what hatstule here g chil it’s a weake the Griffin interwith years nt p t of hare t y loin e fe c t i o the sta in who mthree Sinn r d re n , eteros rate the fact ly get what t actic and a b had a strate hs WouLeeds, t n s an is d F ld t o u t ic dents read; we know that stua BNP candidate was view. To read the full e e h n r h in x y t g s d e a ’t hat a e ou ask ual pe y As li t is interview, e re d p show. d w w a nt t t e wou newspapers ef, followin o h e r Y o p w e o e o le g m p e p u a le dentseare intelligent enough to Europeanf go to the paper’s website at www. rds elected tto g wh also ld be hat qthe to t h e uestio . ing ind the sigh rsecute you - we the referred to bankr had said, tha iteParliament. resWhilst s on to th cr - minds.“H maket up the nviews of leedsstudent.org upt e d ? o their own shortly t Brits on ly, it was a f it, it wasn’t the p eepy. That’s f two men but EU la olohoax”, w e Holocaus n indig kissly poli just a f t as roblem . ye a w f or b hy wa a c s th e u r id c ? y m n s, whic t s Y M a ny h still for many m ous w onster, but ou may thin. What’s m ed to believ s me to say at? w i ll d lo e, wasn’t ind an w i s a g re pr incip racist. any B ould be in a ok at what y k I’m a of this interview, the ‘Leeds d wha why I chan hat I e w it le n Islam t I beli ge d m ritain. our fat hat we b ehind t he h L eed s St Student’ states that the “paper y e e ic AarontKiely v e now. republi u d e nt James for puthat we live in a demomann live in a dem decision to is c of Gre e n proud e r of o p b h r o li in a cratic shing lgh t t his s o ciet cratic t h ithat we can We areNappalled byn the deciick Gr pinio s f reedo and y, and issociety, if f in is and ide as. m of s i nte r v i e w. t ls o‘Leeds h a t H p openly challenge and debate all sionaof Student’ – an a elec te we c an e e ch . d to t h n elec ted M This p owe ve r, t he op enlyand s avoustudent e Euroof Leeds EP, an manner of opinion ap er is official r y to s society chaideas.” d p ll p r o u d t o re t u r n e e e t a h a y n Pa ree yeBNP stands for thengelime an d lec University Unionth–e to le aspublish ars ag d e t, w he rliament. The b ate a ll lenged to ju ted membe o in L Thougof the t her w ination and an interview with Nick Griffin, rs into e e ds, a stif y t h t he democracy e like We w heir poli vie ws theBNLeeds or n ot allit freedoms leader of the fascist British of t his P candidate lice w holehe ar ted vie ws, inclu tical of f ice. , t he y that h It is im ly defe p ar t y was a ding t t s avesupport. t Student claimshto National Party (BNP), on their u den ma p or t a n he nd ow suf f icie t t h at nt lo c y b e un- i n minds. W ts re ad and Gr if f ins’ r ig BNP. We should always remember website. all par a l s up n e b h t e a t e li r t r e o e v ties ar v a i p b e e p ap e r or t e h e ar w s s s that the millions of people who t We demand that the Editor . e chalu A d an d t h ll stud d. This with a e nt s a re inte e f re e d e nt s w prou d p a p died at the hands of the Nazis’ of ‘Leeds Student’ remove e r ll ho b e om t o h is ig is e n t or y nt e ot h lie sp e a k slaughter – in the gas chambers this offensive interview that t heir m ve in t he f of repor ting noug h to m ere to p ore e d om ak c o nt r o inds w and the concentration camps – gives a platform to a fascist versia e up t heir ill sup of pre l p s storie s o , r t t h did not die because their debatimmediately. t h e pr inting e f re e dom t s and o of t his ing skills or arguments were not In the interview itself Nick inter v t hin k ie w. powerful enough. Griffin defends the fact that he
We fin d sight o the f men k two issing creepy
Student newspaper published its second interview with Griffin in six years
Don’t w the BN riteThe rationale P off, do n write ’t Nick G riffin
Leeds Student explain their decision to publish
Codemand The NUS call for retraction mme nt
has shared a platform with the Ku Klux Klan – a white supremacist organisation responsible for attacks on and lynching of Black people in the US. The BNP is a fascist organisation which stands for an “all white Britain”, a goal which can only be achieved by violence, the annihilation of entire groups of people and the ending of democracy. Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist BNP is a convicted Holocaust denier. In justifying the publication
They died because once fascism had abused the democratic system to get its grip on power it soon closed down any freedoms to prevent any resistance. That is why we must never give a platform to fascists anywhere in the student movement. In publishing this interview the ‘Leeds Student’ risks giving legitimacy to a fascist organisation, and boosts the BNP’s attempts to join the political mainstream when we should be isolating them.
As The Journal went to press, sources suggested that the National Union of Students would imminently respond to George Galloway’s claim that a recent NEC motion which branded him a “rape denier” was defamatory. For more on this story, visit the website.
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ACADEMIC NEWS// 11
Higgs up and atom at Edinburgh lecture Groundbreaking Edinburgh physicist discusses the recent discovery of the vaunted boson and how it has changed his life
packed George Square Lecture Theatre last week where he spoke about his theories and work on the recently discovered Higgs particle which some have termed the ‘God particle’. The event, hosted by the Edinburgh University Young Scientific Researchers Association (EUYRSA), was part of a series of lectures organised by the association. On the panel along with Prof Higgs were a number of academics including Dr Alan Walker, Dr Victoria Martin and PhD student Francisca Garay, all of whom have worked for The European Organization of Nuclear Research (CERN) on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva. Prof Higgs explained the basics of his theory regarding the Higgs boson and engaged in a question-and-answer session with the audience. When asked how much the discovery of the Higgs particle had changed his life Prof Higgs stated that “the problems started in 2011” when the results from CERN began to suggest that the Higgs boson could indeed be a reality but stated that he was “prepared for things to happen” following the confirmation of the discovery of the boson. This was followed by a short presentation by Alan Walker showing the various examples of ‘Higgsteria’ which included a variety of products and the naming of a horse as ‘Higgs Boson’. When asked about the connotations of the Higgs boson being termed ‘the God particle’ Prof Higgs stated
Experts forecast postgraduate crisis Benjamin Lebus Staff writer
A report into the state of the post-
graduate market in Britain has stressed the urgent need for reform in this sector so as to avoid the “potential time-bomb” that Alan Milburn, an MP until 2010 and a frequent commentator on social mobility, has predicted. Some analysts are suggesting a crisis in the postgraduate education market and point to issues including the recent rise in undergraduate tuition fees and the inconsistency in A-Level grades. A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “We recognize that there are some concerns in the sector about postgraduate provision.” The longer-term concern that has arisen from this report is that UK universities are failing to provide the highly skilled labour that is needed in the current economy. It is only recently, though, that the postgraduate market has been brought into the spotlight. In a report released on Monday 29 October the Higher Education Commission, an independent collection of business and education leaders and experts, have expressed
concern over falling application levels for postgraduate positions. This trend is thought to be a result of limited financial support from the government to compensate for the rise in fees. The current postgraduate system is neglecting UK citizens in favour of the higher-paying overseas students. The commission has highlighted that this is turning the UK into the “education outsourcing capital of the world”. There has been a growth of 200 per cent in overseas postgraduates since 1999; a dramatic contrast to the relatively meagre rise of 18 per cent for UK students. Graham Spittle, who is chief technology officer at IBM and chaired the publishing of the report, said that: “We can’t compete with countries like China and India on numbers, but we can compete, and win, on ideas and innovation. “The postgraduate sector needs to be brought in from the cold and hardwired into the UK’s strategy for economic growth.” What is clear from this report is that reform is needed in this sector of the education market; whether this should come through additional financial aid or the lowering of postgraduate fees remains to be seen.
Higgs claimed that he rejected the terming of ‘the God particle’ on Thursday
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Ground-breaking physicist Professor Peter Higgs addressed a
that he objected to this terming of the discovery. In addition to the speech and question-and-answer session by Prof Higgs, Dr Walker outlined the basis of the theory which led to the theory of the Higgs boson. In addition to this Dr Martin, a former student of Prof Higgs, spoke about her role at the LHC in CERN and identifying the Higgs boson during extensive testing. The event also featured Francisca Garay, a Chilean PhD student who is studying at the university and has also worked for CERN. Prof Higgs was a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and by his own admission spent the majority of time at the university despite “the odd sabbatical” for further study. In a news conference with the university following the announcement of the discovery, Higgs wasn’t sure if the particle would be discovered in his lifetime, but a long development of the technology enabled the discovery. As a result the university has planned to build a centre in honour of Prof Higgs to encourage further research into theoretical physics supported by £750,000 of funding. This is hoped to attract the greatest scientific minds to Edinburgh to find what Professor Richard Kenway, Vice-Principal at the university termed “the next Peter Higgs”. The EUYRSA is hosting a series of lectures and any students can join. The aims of the association are to encourage students to propose potential studies and the most exciting studies are granted research funds in order to facilitate further research by undergraduates into projects that interest them.
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ACADEMIC NEWS// 13
UHI launches online Scottish scientists set to improve Gaelic study resource accuracy of carbon dating process Toolkit to encourage uni staff to learn Gaelic itmpa on Flickr
A team of researchers, including sci-
UHI Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye Language Plan, a requirement by the Scottish Government for all public sector organisations. Staff at the university are encouraged to learn Gaelic as part of their professional and personal development. The toolkit comprises of audio files, animations, puzzles and word lists to aid staff learning to read, write and speak the language in an interactive and modern way. Brian Boag, a member of staff at UHI, said on the university’s website: “As a fairly new learner, I find the toolkit concept to be really helpful, accessible and enjoyable - it certainly keeps me engaged.” The toolkit creates and encourages interest in the Gaelic language and demonstrates the importance placed on Gaelic in Scottish culture and heritage.
QMU student clinches national essay prize Agata Korecka wins award for essay on public broadcasting in the world of social media Steven Dinnie Staff writer
Queen Margaret University
film and media student Agata Korecka has won first prize in the UK Student Essay Competition run by Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV). Ms Korecka, a third year student from Poland, will be awarded a cash prize at the ‘Brave New World’ conference in London in November. She will also undertake two weeks of work experience in a leading television or radio production company as part of the prize. Ms Korecka told The Journal: “I would not have succeeded without the staff at QMU who helped me develop an interest in media. “I am still baffled by the result and consider myself very lucky to have been given an opportunity to study in Scotland.” Channel 4 is supporting the competition this year by providing cash prizes. Sophie Jones, head of corporate relations at Channel 4 said “It’s
wonderful that the… essay competition provides an opportunity for students to think about issues of relevance to the media.” Jim Bee, lecturer in Media at Queen Margaret University explained the relevance of the essay “We are currently living in a changing media world and we were impressed that Agata was brave enough to tackle such a weighty topic in her essay.” The title of Agata’s essay was ‘What challenges do social media pose for Public Service Broadcasting? How should Public Service Broadcasters address those challenges?’. In her essay, she tackled the issue of the future for public service broadcasting in the age of social media. The competition is in its seventh year and is run by Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV), which represents consumer and citizen interests in broadcasting, and forms a connection between the audience and the industry on a range of broadcasting issues. The prize for the work will be awarded at the annual conference in London on 26 November.
entists from the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, have successfully used samples taken from Lake Suigetsu in Japan to dramatically increase the accuracy of carbon dating, a technique used to identify the age of ancient artefacts. Analysis of cores taken from Lake Suigetsu has revealed some of the best data yet on how the amount of carbon14 in the atmosphere varies with time, allowing carbon-dating techniques to be calibrated more precisely. Professor Christopher Ramsey of Oxford University, part of the research team, is confident that the new data: “will help us to understand better both human behaviour and the processes of climate change in the last ice age.” Carbon-14, a rare, faintly radioactive isotope of carbon, mixes with the far more common carbon-12 in a particular ratio. Living organisms ingest both types of carbon in this ratio until they die. The carbon-14 slowly decays, so by measuring the ratio of remaining carbon-14 against carbon-12 in a dead organism it is possible to calculate how long it has been dead for. But to do this, you must know what the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 was in the first
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The University of the High-
lands and Islands and Scottish Government quango Bòrd na Gàidhlig have launched a new online toolkit to encourage and fund organisations promoting the use of Scottish Gaelic in the workplace and at home. Bòrd na Gàidhlig is a government body established in 2003 and based in Inverness set up to advocate the use of Scottish Gaelic. The development of the online toolkit is part of the board’s strategic Gaelic Language Plan . Joanne Stephen, Gaelic officer at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), told The Journal: “I’d seen the toolkit produced for Scottish Natural Heritage staff, and realised it would be a great way to tell staff a bit more about Gaelic and our commitment to it, and to help them begin to learn a little of the language. “It’s dynamic, interactive and divided into small sections so that people can spend as much time as they want on a particular section, revisit areas for reference and just learn at their own pace. It contains lots of sound files too, which I think is really, really important to those not learning in a face-to-face situation. “Ultimately, we hope that staff will feel more confident in using the language in the office and at home, and that they feel able to go on to further language training.” UHI demonstrated their commitment to Gaelic as the first higher education institution to produce a Gaelic
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Researchers from Edinburgh and Glasgow involved in pioneering project
Secret to carbon dating kept under loch and quay place. This is challenging because the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 present in the atmosphere varies over time. To overcome this problem, researchers measure the ratio in samples of an already-known age to find out what the initial ratio was at given times. Unfortunately, many of the most reliable samples are only useful back to around 12,500 years ago whereas carbon dating could potentially be used to date samples up to 50,000-years-old. For the remaining time, the initial ratio had to be calculated using less accurate methods.
The plant fragments from the Lake Suigetsu cores provide a new and more accurate source to establish how the initial ratio varied past 12,500 years ago. The lakebed contains alternating layers of algae and sediment as well as preserved plant fragments. The age of the plant fragments can be worked out by counting the layers, much like counting tree rings. The initial ratio of carbon-14 present in the atmosphere at the time the plant fragment was deposited in the lake can then be calculated from the carbon-14 remaining in the fragment.
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14 / EDITORIAL
The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
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EDINBURGH’S STUDENT NEWSPAPER
Puzzle 1 (Very hard, difficulty rating 0.82)
Student Awards Agency for Scotland
A vested interest in student loans The irony of a new system, osten-
sibly implemented in the name of efficiency, actually making matters far less straightforward would be comical if there wasn’t so much on the line. The desperate scramble by the Scottish Government to address the farcical situation of thousands of students left without funding months after the start of term reminds one of an adage involving gates and bolting horses. It is the most vulnerable students, who rely on significant financial aid from SAAS, who have been most shamefully let down. Thousands have been left relying on bank overdrafts and private loans to get by, because for many the ‘bank of mum and dad’ is simply not an option. The failure of the Scottish Government to provide an infrastructure which properly and reliably supports these students beggars belief. But what truly astounds is the sense of history repeating itself. This isn’t
the first time SAAS has dramatically failed to fulfil its purpose to a satisfactory standard. Last year saw a similar mess, and we were told that procedures would be put in place to prevent such a breakdown happening again. The agency must have known that it was likely to see an increase in applicant numbers this year; if its executives didn’t, they have clearly been deaf to the prevailing political conversation in the education sector over the last eighteen months. SAAS should have adjusted its processes to meet that demand without a complete breakdown—and that adjustment should not take the form of closing for one day a week to deal with the backlog, or forcing its staff to work through weekends, all under heavy political pressure. This isn’t the first issues that the public and private bodies responsible for administering student loans have had, and it is sure not to be the last. In 2009, Student Finance England under-
went a complete restructuring after a government inquiry deemed it not fit for purpose; plagued by understaffing, lost documentation, equipment failures and persistent difficulties with its online applications system. SAAS seems to be running afoul of many of the same problems, and now its institutional incompetence is taking itstoll on students, in an unforgiving economic climate. SAAS were, as The Journal went to press, making progress in clearing the backlog, but the political fallout is only just beginning, with a full review of this year’s chaos promised by education secretary Michael Russell. But we are dubious of the appointment of a senior manager in the Student Loans Company—the private company which pays out student loans—to oversee the review. The danger is a quick whitewash which fixes absolutely nothing. We are not demanding scalps; only a loans system that works for students.
Freedom of speech
Free speech must not be held cheap we are fortunate in the UK to be able to treat as a given our right to freedom of speech; that barring extreme circumstances, our freedom of expression is a right generally treated as inalienable. But is that true security, or a comforting mirage? There is much discussion in these pages today of free speech—and of the complexities and caveats to which civil society and the law make that right subject. The National Union of Students find themselves on the wrong end of Britain’s byzantine and anachronistic libel laws, as George Galloway’s wrath bears down—in defence of his reputation. An Israeli diplomat visiting the University of Edinburgh is prevented from speaking by protests—orchestrated by campaigners acting in solidarity with those his government renders voiceless. And a student newspaper in Leeds is at the eye of a firestorm of criticism and threats border-
ing on censorship—because they published an interview with a politician who has little or no respect for the rights of large sections of British society. There is nothing simple or clear-cut about any of these cases. Some are silly— this editorial page has previously been clear in its view of George Galloway’s bizarre legal pursuit of NUS. But some are deadly serious—the Leeds Student, whose interview with British National Party leader Nick Griffin has seen them roundly criticised by the Leeds University Students’ Union and liberation officers of the NUS. Whether we agree or disagree with why they chose to publish the interview, or how it was presented, is irrelevant; all are free to their personal opinions on those points, and that is a debate worth having. The Journal does, however, defend wholeheartedly their fundamental right to do it. We have heard murmurs of hamfisted
The GOP make a bid for the Scottish student vote...
efforts by LUSU, which owns the Student, to strongarm the paper: that is unacceptable. The freedom of the press is sacrosanct in our democracy, but it is rarely threatened there. On campus, where many unions own newspapers, it is more often in jeopardy. Student politicians interfering in the affairs of campus publications—a trend sadly on the increase—is utterly inappropriate, no matter the technicalities of the paper’s legal ownership. Editorial autonomy is the price you pay for a publication worth reading. Such a busy news week does offer a rare chance to reflect on the nature of some of the rights we view as crucial to our society. We should debate these issues—as two of The Journal’s top editors do in these pages today—not simply vie to control the rhetorical high ground. And before we ever think to deny another their rights, we must consider whether we would be happy to see that right taken from us.
by Jen Owen
Generated by http://www.opensky.ca/~jdhildeb/software/sudokugen/ on Fri Nov 2 20:53:50 2012 GMT. Enjoy!
LGBT rights in Scotland Cardinal Keith O’Brien has oft expressed his animus against homosexuals who offend against the instructions he claims to receive from his imaginary friend. Whilst he should be free to believe and say what he likes, other people’s mileage varies and many think he’s a sanctimonious fool who should be pitied rather than respected.
sure he would have no dispute: “Christian”.
Stonewall may see fit to label him as “Bigot of the Year”. Whilst my label is more succinct, it is one with which I am
Such gay (and, to some, offensive) badinage is part and parcel of everyday debate and nobody should be immune. Especially the Cardinal! - John Hein, editor & publisher, Scotsgay magazine, via email. Galloway-NUS defamation fight Galloway should just admit he is wrong and move on. He has nothing to prove through any legal action. - ‘Omniogignes’, via web.
Incensed, interested or confused? Write to us at email@example.com
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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
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COMMENT The Journal considers the present state of postindependence Kosovo
A ‘supervised’ rebirth?
Jon Vrushi Comment editor
Addresses and postal codes don’t
quite work, as of yet, in Kosovo. Instead it is customary to write addresses and give directions using landmarks and points of orientation. One particular landmark that I almost always heard when getting directions to places near the city centre is the Newborn obelisk. This sculpture was unveiled during the celebrations of the declaration of independence on 17 February 2008. It is an imposing sculpture with hefty concrete letters, over 2 metres tall each. This obelisk represents the resilience of the people of Kosovo, whilst its imposing nature seems to represent the irreversibility of Kosovo’s independence. Since the day the Newborn was unveiled, 93 out of 193 members of the UN, including 22 EU member states and the US, have recognised Kosovo’s independence. Part of the deal with the new country’s Western backers was that its authorities would submit to the supervision of an International Civilian Office (ICO). Only last month, amid nationalist cries for the end of the so-called ‘supervised independence’, the ICO closed its doors. The institution has contributed a great deal to the state’s consolidation in Kosovo. A plan drawn by Martii Ahtisaari, the ex-Finnish president and Nobel prize laureate, was implemented and achievements include the setting up of new municipalities which give Serbs in southern and central Kosovo some control over their own affairs. However, the shortcomings of the ICO are rather difficult to overlook. Levels of corruption are still very high, with an incredibly intricate culture of bribery, sofa politics, and intrusion from foreign embassies. The latter is particularly problematic as it sets the wrong tone for the consolidation of the Kosovo state. It is often ironically said the most powerful person in Kosovar politics is neither the PM nor the president; it is the American ambassador. The institutional frameworks give excessive leverage to international officials. However, more than the institutional framework, the main problems stem from the culture of heavy intervention in Kosovar affairs and a game of playing God. The former US ambassador, Christopher Dell, is infamously known for sending text messages in the premises of the Kosovar Parliament during the process of the election of the President, allegedly directly. During my last visit to Pristina in October 2012 I came across the rumour that Dell texted the president-elect, congratulating him before the speaker of the parliament announced the voting results. When asked to explain the existence of that text message, Dell avoided answering the main question and stated that the text was a private communication and that the newspapers, which
TIMELINE / Kosovo’s long, hard road to statehood
Dr Ibrahim Rugova elected president of the selfproclaimed Republic of Kosovo.
Mar 1998 Start of six month conflict between Serbian police and Kosovar Liberation Army (KLA). Violent crackdown of civilians followed by mass exodus.
Jon Worth published it, should be liable for breach of privacy and their journalists could be jailed for up to one year. The decision of the ICO to terminate its mandate is indicative of the trust the international community has bestowed upon Kosovo’s government. Officially the ICO’s doors have been closed, but does that ensure that the likes of Dell will not, unofficially, run the country from their smartphones? In terms of finding a working settlement between Kosovo and Serbia, the international community’s contribution has been indispensable. Last weekend, the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton reiterated her country’s position that the territorial integrity of Kosovo is not up for discussion. Mrs Clinton was accompanied by chief of EU Foreign Affairs, Baroness Ashton, who brokered the first talk between the two leaders last month. Baroness Ashton said that she and the two prime ministers would, “meet again soon...to improve the lives of people and help solve problems and, in so doing, bring Serbia and Kosovo closer.” The next meeting is scheduled on 7 November, and all eyes are now on Brussels. Normalising relations will be a gradual process but the cooperation of both sides is necessary. A lot of progress has occurred since the declaration of independence. The two countries have thus far reached agreements on freedom of movement, trade, university diplomas, regional representation and the integrated border crossing point management. Also, finally, Serbia has dropped objections to Kosovo’s participation in international meetings. However, these achievements must have looked trifling for the witnesses, when 20 members of the Serb gendarmerie illegally entered Kosovar territory. The gendarmes, in five jeeps and an ambulance, kidnapped a Kosovar citizen, Slavoljub Joviq, from a hospital in north
Mitrovica in daylight, just hours before Hillary Clinton set foot in Pristina for her state visit. Mitrovica represents the focal point of ethnic divide in the region. River Iber (Serb:Ibar) divides the ethnic Serb north and ethnic Albanian south. Parallel structures of government, backed by Serbian authorities, run the local schools, hospitals and other aspects of life in the northern part of this ‘Belfast of the Balkans’. Fears that the Serb minority living in this area will be prosecuted is the main concern of Serbian authorities, or at least the official position. The Kosovar government has promised to respect the rights of the Serbian minorities in Mitrovica, just like it is doing in other Serbian pockets in the south and central Kosovo. However, parallel structures and continuous violence instigated by the presence of military forces makes it a very difficult task for the Kosovar government to bring stability and reconcile the different ethnicities on opposite sides of the river. The Kosovar prime minister, Mr Thaci, told the New York Times that, “The presence of illegal structures financed by Serbia makes our work very difficult there.” Kosovo’s commitment to respect the minorities is reflected in its flag, which features a yellow map of Kosovo and 6 stars on top of it — each representing a constituent ethnicity of the population. I have had the unique opportunity of being involved with the European Youth Parliament in Kosovo. Over the last two years or so, I have assisted them in gaining full membership of the EYP. The charter of the EYP dictates that for a new country to join, they need the endorsement of three out of five of the existing members. The potentially contentious meeting, where the recognition of the Kosovar branch was on top of the agenda, was held in Berlin in May this year. I remember being very anxious to hear the outcome as I was unwinding after a long exams
season. As the meeting finished, the head of EYP Kosvo, Saranda Hajdari, telephoned me and said, “We made it, no one voted against our recognition, not even Serbia”. This is what gives us all hope that one day the generations to come will be able to reconcile and leave behind the blood-and-gore-filled history, the legends of sacred monasteries and battle sites and other desperate nation-building myths. The EU membership card has served as a caveat against the non-constructive approach that Serbia has taken up-todate. Prime minister Ivica Da?i? clearly stated that Serbia will never recognise the independence of Kosovo, but that is not what anyone is expecting Serbia to do at the moment. This will be a gradual process, facilitated by convergence into the European Union. At a dinner party, Stefan Füle, didn’t make his most circumspect statement when he said that he looks forward to the celebrations of Kosovo’s EU membership. While that is a somewhat far-fetched declaration, and possibly wine-fuelled given the setting of a dinner party, it should not come as a surprise if the Commission on Enlargement recommends the EU to start the Stabilisation and Association pact with Kosovo. Currently Kosovo is receiving aid and funding, under the Instrument of Pre-Accession (IPA). As for Serbia, it finally received candidate member status in June at an EU summit in Brussels. The European Commission has not asked for Serbia to recognise Kosovo’s independence, however a working relationship between the two entities must be found before any further accession procedures take place. The future of the Western Balkans is in the EU, without borders, without barriers, without parallel overlapping institutions and with a greater solidarity towards the European project, rather than with narrow, archaic patriotic interests. Or at least, one hopes so.
NATO airstrikes as result of ethnic Albanian’s persecution.
Jun 1999 UN takes over the administration of Kosovo.
Feb 2008 Kosovo declares unilateral independence from Serbia. Serbia considers it illegal. Europe’s major powers and the United States recognise independence.
International Court of Justice rules the declaration of independence not incompatible with international law.
Serbia allows Kosovo to use its name in international meetings with an explanatory footnote.
Serbian and Kosovar PMs meet for the first time since the declaration of independence in 2008.
16 / COMMENT
The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: NO PLATFORM FOR OLD MEN?
BNP’s exceptionalism warrants No Platform Fascism’s faults do not shine undistorted through the media prism, and our culture of overreaction obscures its unique threat
Sean Gibson Editor-in-chief
People are easily offended these
days. Given the effects of mass media, where at once we are presented with all of life’s extremities as well as the means by which to cast in our tuppence-worth, this is hardly a surprise. A person has the right to be offended, of course, but that right is static – it does not legitimise anything further. There are greater bones of contention that warrant attention and discussion, yet the sanctimony which greets major and minor issues alike serves only to hinder the identification of genuine threats to the structures of society. The recent appearances of Messers Galloway, Griffin and Taub in the local and national press demonstrate clearly the validity of this assertion. In the case of the Leeds Student interview with Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party (BNP), there has been a far too extensive deployment of emotive language in the critics’ condemnations and demands for retraction. Proclamations of disgust are constructive of nothing – they are the fruits of self-indulgence. More than that, they steer us in the direction of that same superficial level of attention-seeking which Nick Griffin and the Leeds Student’s editorial team occupy. These emotional projections personalise the issue and obscure the grave truth; the advocacy of fascism is fundamentally wrong. Leeds Student and its defenders have countered criticism by stressing, quite rightly, that the right to freedom of speech supersedes people’s sensibilities. However, it is
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the dimension of hateful dogma which carries fascism (here embodied by the BNP) beyond the plane on which such an ideal can be applied. The medium of conversation and the relationship between interviewer and subject can nullify the broader context of the situation. It is all very well espousing freedom of speech, but in those moments of interview there are myriad distortions which can contaminate the purity which Leeds Student evidently expect will shine through. Notions of challenging racist opinions with ‘truths’ and ‘facts’ within the democratic framework can thus be seen as laughably distant from the constructed world of the interview, in which the skills of each protagonist dictate play. Specifically, to take but one example, how can anyone be sure of the number of people that will see in Nick Griffin’s answers the clear sidestepping of awkward questions – the deflection of all his own faults through parallels with those currently in government? Lucy Snow, editor of Leeds Student, has said that sheltering students from extreme views would be an insult to their intelligence. This implies, though, that students’ intelligence should lead inevitably to the dismissal of such views as objectionable – an assumption which underestimates both students’ dynamism and their capacity for broad interpretation. There is also an inherent underestimation of fascism and its adherents within Snow’s statement. We may well presumptuously and arrogantly dismiss these ‘unenlightened’ promoters of racist dogma from up on our glorious democratic pedestal, but in so
doing we leave ourselves vulnerable to their manipulation. This is politics for goodness’ sake – what depths of demagoguery cannot be plumbed? Yes, it is important not to drive these forces underground; to keep them in check, everyone must be vigilant to their movements. Such personal public platforms are non-essential to this, however, and indeed represent an unwarranted luxury. By law, quite rightly, all opinions are equal and permissible for expression. But that puts the burden of responsibility upon society to identify and remove those views which threaten its own foundations. This is why George Galloway, Member of Parliament for the Respect Party, should not be no-platformed; as contemptible an individual as he may be, he is little more than a roving antagonistic bungler – an oddity whose views lack the magnitude of threat carried by those of the BNP. A no-platform stance should be an extreme measure, employed sparingly and as the reserve of such threatening forces. Inclusion of this-or-that objectionable figure in such a bracket risks a dangerous dilution of the alarm with which we should all perceive fascism. The BNP and fascism within our country are issues which we have the power to affect and control. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though, is outwith our sphere of influence. Clearly the conflict cannot be done justice in such a short aside; however, from the perspective of the pro-Palestinian lobby, crushing the Israeli presence in this country will not greatly aid the Palestinians at ground zero; merely it will deprive us of a conduit through
which we can engage and learn. A noplatform stance in this case will not help quash the problem, rather it will remove us from a position where we might contribute to a solution. On the one hand, we must end the interminable bleating that renders each new moot point indistinguishable from the last. Too many seek to shut down an issue without sufficiently challenging themselves to rise and defeat it. That is undoubtedly a dangerous road, narrowing of our perspective and diminishing of our poten-
tial for growth. On the other hand, a great number of naïve people need to wake up, realise the vulnerability of the warm, cosy democratic bubble which they so revere, and appreciate that fascists are not so beneath them, intellectually, as they might like to think. Fascism is not some quaint concept consigned to a high-school history course, it is a real and present threat. Society cannot give platforms to such acidic forces – there is nothing to be gained but misguided self-congratulation.
No Platform policy is flawed beyond belief Trust is the key to fighting facism, trust in future generations and the tools they have to engage in competent debate
Jamie Timson Deputy editor
Griffin and Israeli ambassador
Daniel Taub. An interesting, if slightly egocentric, dream dinner party. However, not one you could have on a NUS affiliated University campus. The National Union of Students’ (NUS) “No Platform” policy is flawed. It treats students as vulnerable naïve children and allows the NUS to become the moral arbiter of all the Universities affiliated with it. By deciding which views students can and can’t listen to, the NUS is in danger of treading the same lines of free speech oppression that those it so clearly denounces espouse. In a hypothetical but not too estranged world, imagine a fascist state that believes in all the views the BNP and other extremist organisations advocate. A fascist state where the majority believes that homosexuality should be outlawed and that immigration should be forbidden, the
borders closed. Now imagine if within that state anyone who disagreed with these views, who perhaps preached tolerance and multiculturalism, were refused the opportunity to debate them. That’s oppression and one in which, many claim would be the case were the BNP in power. Just because we - the “educated and enlightened” believe ourselves right, doesn’t mean other opinions shouldn’t be heard or indeed forcibly repressed. It is in John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty” that the greatest argument for the dispensing of the ‘No Platform’ policy occurs. It is only in conflict with opposing views, Mill argued, that we fully understand and refine what we ourselves believe. After all it is only through argument and debate that we keep our principles - those ideas and concepts we hold dearest - dynamic and evolving. It is not the job of those arguing with Nick Griffin and others on the ‘No Platform’ list, to change their views; Griffin will forever be entrenched in his right wing ideology. However, it does have a purpose
in educating those who are unsure, or those who are feeling disenchanted with ‘traditional’ politics and political figures. Society can never ensure that everyone who listens to a debate involving Nick Griffin will come out seeing him for the repugnant individual he is. However, he is an elected member of the European Parliament and as such should be challenged on his views, not ignored. After all the ‘No Platform’ policy hasn’t stopped people voting for him. We have to trust our society, we cannot have democracy by half, yes Nick Griffin isn’t as stupid as he looks but that doesn’t mean we’ll all suddenly fall under his spell of fascism. We need to learn from the past, society in 21st century Britain should be fully aware of the dangers posed by economic depression and the rise of European far-right parties such as Golden Dawn in Greece. Trust is the key, trust that teachers and educators and those in power, will show 1930’s Germany for what it was, and the Nazi’s for what they were.
Trust that parents will bring up their children to observe tolerance - there is no valid argument to suggest that Britain as a nation has become less tolerant since the 1930’s – and trust ultimately in future generations starting with university students. Trust that they will listen to Nick Griffin’s argument that “the sight of two men kissing (is) creepy” and immediately list the range of arguments that show this viewpoint as part of the odious homophobic ideology that it is. It is disingenuous to claim that support for fascism comes without reason, the people who join the English Defence League have their reason for doing so. They have opinions as members of society, which may be based on falsehoods or direct fallacies, but these should be exposed as exactly that, lies and untruths. As Britain moves through the 21st century, as every aspect of society evolves, so too must future generations be allowed to evolve to make their own decisions about every facet of society. Giving a platform to someone does not imply
any sense of agreement or endorsement of his or her views. The law still remains on incitement of racial hatred as well as intimidation and physical violence, and these platforms do not make them immune or unaccountable for their words in the eyes of the law. Those deemed to have ‘unacceptable’ opinions need to have those opinions heard so they can be discredited if we see fit. In the day and age of the Internet and instant worldwide communication, we cannot pretend the arguments of the extremists will not exist in the consciousness of university students even if they never come into direct contact with them on campus. If we see universities as the place to educate students about the world ahead of them, censorship is not the answer. It is time the adults of tomorrow were treated like adults, today. Give them the tools to challenge and engage with opinions of all agendas, be it the BNP, the EDL or even the Monster Raving Looney Party.
The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
PROFILE // 17
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Negotiating the right to live Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub, talks to The Journal as his visit to Edinburgh is disrupted by protesters claiming that the diplomat represents a regime which ignores Palestinian human rights Chris Rubey
Callum Leslie Student Politics editor
“I think it’s terribly sad,” says Daniel Taub, sitting in an ornate room at the University of Edinburgh a few minutes before he is due to address a select audience of students and academics. “The fact is that a university is a space for exchanging ideas. If people have something they want to say, ideas they want to share — we have an open discussion, they should come in and share them with us.” This isn’t a regular guest lecture, however: Taub is the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, and his arrival in Edinburgh for talks with first minister Alex Salmond was met with predictable outrage from Scotland’s vocal pro-Palestinian lobby, who quickly demanded that his invitation to speak at the university be withdrawn. Outside, dozens of protesters from campus activist group Students for Justice in Palestine and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign are being held back by police, and Taub seems frustrated. “As far as our region is concerned, an important academic institution like Edinburgh University should be exporting a lesson of tolerance and listening to our region, not the opposite,” he says, eager to emphasise his openness to dialogue. “Anybody who has issues or concerns they would like to raise will have time to discuss it,” he adds. Taub grew up in south-east London, studying at Oxford and University College London, and in June 2011 was asked to take over the diplomatic mission to the Court of St James after his predecessor, Ron Prosor, was appointed Israel’s envoy to the United Nations. Taub is regarded as one of the Israeli foreign ministry’s foremost authorities in the often-conflicting fields of counterterrorism and humanitarian policy; an experienced negotiator, he previously served as the ministry’s number-two legal adviser. It is these credentials
which were to inform his speech today, he says — he was “involved in Israel’s peace negotiations with its neighbours over the past 20 years, particularly with the Palestinians and the Syrians, so I thought it would be interesting to maybe share some of my experiences from inside the negotiation room.” But while he is a career diplomat, his role as one of Israel’s counterterrorism czars has made him personally controversial, because terrorism policy in Israel is inextricably bound up in their troubled and bloody relations with the region’s Palestinian population. Taub has been dogged by claims that he defends the use of white phosphorous, the notorious incendiary weapon which came to international notoriety following its
THE ASPINWALL INTERVENTION
Read the full open letter from Professor Mark Aspinwall, head of the university’s politics and international relations department, which has prompted a tense detente between student activists and academic leaders.
use in the Vietnam war. He says that he has “no idea what they’re talking about. I can’t think what reference they’re talking about.” I quote to him a 2009 interview he gave to a Swiss newspaper, in which he said that white phosphorous “was not used as a weapon,” but that Israeli reports recommend “other operational modes be used in the future.” It’s a quote frequently cited by his critics, and was referenced in the letter sent by SJP demanding that his lecture today be cancelled. “The only reference I can remember having made to white phosphorous,” he replies, “is in relation to its use as a method of lighting during combat, and the point that I made is that it is in the use of the militaries of many western countries. “But I know Israel, in the course of its use, discovered it was combustible, so adopted particularly stringent regulations when it discovered this, but beyond that I don’t remember having made any reference.” As Israel’s ambassador in the UK — and thus, the human embodiment of the Israeli state — Taub is an obvious target for the ire of Palestinian solidarity campaigners, who have for many years maintained that Israeli policy towards the Palestinian community is inhumane, illegal under international law; that it amounts to ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘apartheid’. The question of Palestinian statehood — on which there is no consensus to be found within Palestine’s competing factions; between Israel and the Palestinian Authority; or in the international sphere — is a political obstacle fraught with ideological, ethnic and humanitarian implications. And on this, Taub toes the line set by the present centre-right Netanyahu administration: “The current Israeli government has talked openly about our hope that there will be a viable state of Palestine living side-by-side with a secure state of Israel. That’s an
“The current Israeli government has talked openly about our hope that there will be a viable state of Palestine living side-by-side with a secure state of Israel. That’s an important statement in favour of the two-state solution..” important statement in favour of the two-state solution.” But, he says, progress is unlikely without similar commitment from the Palestinian leadership to “the right of a Jewish state to live side-byside with the state of Palestine... that would be a big step forward.” Pressed again on why he thinks that he and his government attract such vitriolic opposition wherever they go, Taub deflects, coolly. “My concern is that for people who can’t articulate a positive vision for what they would like to see in the future, campaigning against something and raising their voice in a negative way is a way of avoiding some of those tough questions. “People who really want to support moderation and support progress towards the future, they have to ask themselves more difficult questions and construct a more positive vision.”
RESPONSE Sarah Mohtaseb, SJP
ON 24 OCTOBER, Palestinians peacefully protesting at a supermarket frequented by those from the nearby settlement of Sha’ar Benyamin were violently arrested; respected journalist Bassem Tamimi had five ribs broken.. Also on this day, it was announced that three Palestinians in Gaza had been killed, days after the revelation of an Israeli policy permitting 2,279 calories into Gaza for each resident in order to bring them just over the point of starvation. On the same day, the University of Edinburgh hosted Daniel Taub to speak to a select few societies. His chosen topic: negotiating peace. Palestinians have been systematically humiliated and degraded to the point of dehumanization. These examples are not isolated cases: 1,417 Palestinians were massacred in Gaza, including 352 children, during Operation Cast Lead. Taub claims the lives of these civilians as Hamas’ use of ‘human shields’, condones the massacre, and refutes the use of white phosphorus during this time as illegal. Yet it is apparent that the politics department and various societies have deemed the voice of this official representing a state that has for 64 years enacted a policy of ethnic cleansing and absolute degradation to be somehow superior to those hundreds of thousands who have been made voiceless. It is for this reason that the idea that the protesters were breaching the sacred notion of ‘freedom of speech’ is ludicrous. This man represents a violent regime that breaches any number of fundamental human rights alongside that of the freedom of speech of Palestinians. The protesters who disrupted Taub were in solidarity with those without a voice: his presence sought to legitimise Israel’s actions through the semblance of dialogue. This idea that Daniel Taub would engage in debate is embarrassingly naïve for the kind of educational institution that the university supposedly represents: the ambassador is employed by Israel to express the beliefs and policies of the state, no matter the number of contentious questions he may be asked. This spectacle of dialogue was not the sole premise for shutting down the lecture. As a Palestinian, even if I had been given the chance, I would not engage in ‘dialogue’ with the ambassador for the simple reason that I reject this ‘normalisation’, the attempt to create ‘two sides’ when only one has dispossessed, occupied, and ethnically cleansed the other. I will not accept the erasure of decades of massacres, colonial incarceration, torture, house demolitions, and oppressive policies limiting freedom movement and the right of return. I will no longer stand for the degradation of my people, and I have an obligation to raise my voice while those still in Palestine are silenced. Supporting the call for boycott from Palestinian civil society, an act that echoes the resistance to apartheid South Africa, encompasses the rejection of state figures such as Daniel Taub. Despite the backlash from certain sections of the university, including Professor Mark Aspinwall who inappropriately publicly labelled our actions as ‘extremist’, confrontation in this form was necessary. Those unsettled by our vocal opposition should perhaps question their own acceptance of him and aim to understand the unsettling reality of apartheid. History will be the judge of those who today stand up for universal princples of human rights and justice. It will also be the judge of those who remain ‘neutral’ and attempt to defend the status quo.
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City Centre Simpson Loan, 2950, 3, CG P, 0844 635 9308 Simpson Loan, 2495, 3, P, 0844 635 9308 North Castle Street, 1800, 3, 3D G Z, 0844 635 9300 Elm Row, 1500, 4, 4D, 0844 635 2152 George Iv Bridge, 1400, 4, , 0844 635 9352 Ramsay Garden, 1400, 3, CG Z, 0844 635 9308 Simpson Loan, 1200, 1, 1D G CG, 0844 635 9300 Hillside Crescent, 1050, 3, 3D G Z, 0844 635 9679 Saxe Coburg Street, 950, 3, , 0844 635 9308 Jeffrey Street, 900, 2, 2D 1B G O, 0844 635 9478 Dublin Colonies, 850, 1, Z, 0844 635 9352 James Court, 800, 2, 2S G Z, 0844 635 9390 Hillside Street, 700, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9594 Roseburn Maltings, 700, 2, , 0844 635 9308 Grove Street, 675, 1, 1D G CG Z, 0844 635 9320 North Werber Place, 650, 1, 1D G P, 0844 635 9300 Morrison Street, 495, 1, 1D CG Z, 0844 635 9334
Colinton West Mill Bank, 850, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 4820 Woodhall Road, 560, 1, 1D E, 0844 635 9318
Colinton Mains Colinton Mains Loan, 675, 2, G PG P, 0844 635 9679
Comely Bank Learmonth Terrace, 850, 1, 1D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Comely Bank Street, 775, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9320 Learmonth Place, 625, 1, G CG, 0844 635 2418
Dalry Caledonian Place, 725, 2, 2D E CG O, 0844 635 9468 Springwell Place, 725, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9679 Dorset Place, 700, 2, 2D, 0844 635 3700 Dalry Road, 675, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9362 Murieston Road, 525, 1, E CG, 0844 635 2418 Orwell Terrace, 525, 1, , 0844 635 9338 Caledonian Place, 500, 1, 1D, 0844 635 9560 Dalry Road, 500, 1, 1D G CG Z, 0844 635 1424 Downfield Place, 495, 1, , 0844 635 9338
Dean Village Bells Mills, 1500, 3, P, 0844 635 9308 Bells Mills, 1500, 3, P, 0844 635 9308 Bells Mills, 1250, 2, P, 0844 635 9308
Drum Brae Drum Brae Walk, 675, 2, G CG, 0844 635 9679 Craigmount Court, 650, 3, 2D E P, 0844 635 4820
Duddingston New Belfield, 575, 2, G P, 0844 635 2418 Northfield Drive, 575, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9424
East Craigs North Bughtlin Gate, 525, 1, 1D G PG O, 0844 635 9488 Fauldburn, 440, 1, CG O, 0844 635 3780 Fauldburn, 395, 1, W CG, 0844 635 9384
Easter Road Easter Road, 725, 1, , 0844 635 9456 Albion Terrace, 525, 1, 1D E CG O, 0844 635 4820 Albion Road, 499, 1, 1D E O, 0844 635 9679 Edina Place, 495, 1, CG O, 0844 635 9352 Albert Street, 475, 1, 1D E O, 0844 635 9456 Easter Road, 425, 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 9340
Ferry Road East Pilton Farm Crescent, 695, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 8696 Easter Warriston, 650, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 9488 West Winnelstrae, 550, 1, 1D G CG P, 0844 635 9422
Fettes Rocheid Park, 895, 2, 2D G PG P, 0844 635 9302 North Werber Park, 690, 2, G PG O, 0844 635 9602 East Pilton Farm Crescent, 675, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 8696 North Werber Park, 660, 2, 2D E CG P, 0844 635 2287 East Pilton Farm Crescent, 650, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 8696 East Pilton Farm Crescent, 650, 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 2018
Fountainbridge Fountainbridge, 2500, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 4820 Gardners Crescent, 950, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 4820 Dundee Terrace, 825, 2, , 0844 635 9338 Mcewan Square, 695, 1, , 0844 635 9338 Dorset Place, 625, 2, 1D 1T W P, 0844 635 9318 East Fountainbridge, 595, 1, 1D G, 0844 635 3780 Bryson Road, 525, 1, CG Z, 0844 635 9679 Rosemount Buildings, 525, 1, 1D E CG P, 0844 635 9578 Horne Terrace, 450, 1, 1D E, 0844 635 9318
Gilmerton Mount Alvernia, 700, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 6450 Gilmerton Place, 595, 2, 1S 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9384 Dinmont Drive, 575, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 1312 Gilmerton Dykes Road, 560, 2, 1S 1D W P, 0844 635 9478 Squires Gate, Gilmerton Dykes Road, 550, 2, 1S 1D, 0844 635 9332
Gorgie Westfield Road, 650, 2, , 0844 635 9338 Gorgie Road, 640, 2, CG O, 0844 635 9308 Gorgie Road, 625, 2, 2D G, 0844 635 4820 Murieston Road, 525, 1, E Z, 0844 635 8696
Wardlaw Place, 525, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 3780 Wardlaw Terrace, 525, 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 9320 Wardlaw Terrace, 525, 1, G CG O, 0844 635 2418 Gorgie Road, 520, 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 1312 Wardlaw Place, 515, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9679 Smithfield Street, 500, 1, 1D CG O, 0844 635 1312 Stewart Terrace, 500, 1, 1D CG O, 0844 635 4820 Wardlaw Terrace, 495, 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 3337 Wheatfield Place, 485, 1, CG O, 0844 635 9352 Wheatfield Street, 475, 1, , 0844 635 9338 Smithfield Street, 450, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 2287
A USERS GUIDE TO CITYLETS LISTINGS Meadows
Area Agent phone number
Buccleuch Street, 750, 2, 2D W CG Z, 0870 062 9434
Bedrooms Monthly Rent Location
Granton Hesperus Crossway, 895, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 9460 Royston Mains Avenue, 650, 3, 3D G CG, 0844 635 9679 Waterfront Avenue, 650, 2, G CG P, 0844 635 2418 Waterfront Park, 595, 1, , 0844 635 9338
Grassmarket Castle Wynd South, 750, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9468 Websters Land, 475, 1, E, 0844 635 9560
Haymarket Morrison Circus, 1100, 3, 3D E CG P, 0844 635 9322 Upper Grove Place, 695, 2, , 0844 635 9338 Grove Street, 650, 2, , 0844 635 9338 Upper Grove Place, 585, 1, 1D G Z, 0844 635 9424 Caledonian Place, 485, 2, , 0844 635 9338 West Maitland Street, 470, 1, 1D G CG Z, 0844 635 2287
Hillside Hillside Street, 1050, 3, , 0844 635 9338 Allanfield, 635, 2, 2D W P, 0844 635 9320
Holyrood Spring Gardens, 1725, 4, 4D G P, 0844 635 4820 Gentles Entry, 925, 2, 2D P, 0844 635 4820 Holyrood Road, 850, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 9464 Gentle’s Entry, 745, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9302 Royal Park Place, 625, 1, 1D G CG P, 0844 635 4820
Inverleith Inverleith Place, 1400, 3, 1S 2D G CG P, 0844 635 4820 Eildon Street, 850, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Inverleith Place, 775, 2, 2D G, 0844 635 4820 Royston Terrace, 750, 2, CG Z, 0844 635 9352
Leith Pitt Street, 1125, 4, 4D, 0844 635 3700 Maritime Street, 1050, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 9300 Western Harbour Brkwater, 950, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 4820 Timberbush, 900, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 4820 Ocean Way, 875, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 9238 Tinto Place, 850, 3, , 0844 635 9338 Portland Gardens, 850, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 4820 Portland Row, 725, 2, P, 0844 635 9308 Maritime Lane, 700, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 6872 Sandport Street, 700, 1, 2D G O, 0844 635 1312 Sandpiper Road, 665, 2, CG, 0844 635 9308 Fox Street, 650, 2, 2D, 0844 635 3700 Salamander Court, 650, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 3780 Sandport, 650, 2, 2D E P, 0844 635 4820 East Cromwell Street, 625, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9456 Western Harbour Midway, 625, 2, , 0844 635 0623 Commercial Street, 620, 1, , 0844 635 9338 Lindsay Road, 600, 2, , 0844 635 0623 Sheriff Park, 550, 2, 1S 1D P, 0844 635 6872 Dickson Street, 550, 1, E CG O, 0844 635 6872 John Place, 550, 1, E O, 0844 635 2418 The Shore, 550, 1, G P, 0844 635 2418 Albert Street, 500, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9558 Buchanan Street, 500, 1, 1D E O, 0844 635 9318 Halmyre Street, 495, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9312
Giles Street, 475, 1, 1D E CG O, 0844 635 3780
Leith Links Salamander Court, 680, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9679 Duke Place, 675, 2, 2T G O, 0844 635 2152 Salamander Court, 600, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 2287
Leith Walk Huntingdon Place, 1450, 4, 1S 3D, 0844 635 4820 Kirk Street, 1150, 5, 5D G O, 0844 635 1424 Mcdonald Road, 695, 2, 2D G, 0844 635 9320 Iona Street, 675, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 6872 New Orchardfield, 649, 2, 1S 1D G Z, 0844 635 1127 Mcdonald Road, 625, 2, , 0844 635 9338 New Orchardfield, 580, 2, 2D E P, 0844 635 9578 Murano Place, 550, 1, 1D E, 0844 635 3330 Duke Street, 515, 1, 1D E CG O, 0844 635 3337 Albert Street, 475, 1, 1D 1B G O, 0844 635 9322
Liberton Learmonth Terrace, 1500, 2, G, 0844 635 4820 Craigour Crescent, 675, 3, 3D G PG O, 0844 635 9424 Burnhead Grove, 625, 3, 1S 2D G CG O, 0844 635 3337 Gilmerton Road, 625, 2, G CG P, 0844 635 2418 Glendinning Crescent, 625, 2, G PG O, 0844 635 2418 Carnbee Crescent, 550, 2, 1S 1D E CG P, 0844 635 6604 Bellenden Gardens, 495, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9558
Marchmont Marchmont Road, 950, 2, , 0844 635 9338 Spottiswoode Street, 925, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Marchmont Road, 900, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9560
Meadowbank Queen’s Park Court, 720, 3, 3D CG P, 0844 635 9448 Meadowbank Crescent, 715, 2, 1S 1D G CG O, 0844 635 3337 Queens Park Court, 695, 2, , 0844 635 9338 Piershill Place, 650, 2, 2T G O, 0844 635 9434 Dalgety Road, 595, 2, 1S 1D E CG O, 0844 635 9679 Dalgety Road, 525, 1, 1D CG O, 0844 635 3780 Dalgety Street, 500, 1, 1D G, 0844 635 9384
Meadows Simpson Loan, 4500, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 4820 Simpson Loan, 4000, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 4820 Simpson Loan, 2495, 3, 1S 2D G P, 0844 635 4820 Simpson Loan, 1800, 2, 2D G CG, 0844 635 6450 Simpson Loan, 1500, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 4820 Lauriston Gardens, 760, 2, 1D 1T G O, 0844 635 4820
Morningside Jordan Lane, 650, 1, 1D W Z, 0844 635 4820 Comiston Gardens, 595, 1, G CG, 0844 635 2418
Balcarres Street, 525, 1, 1D 1B G O, 0844 635 9316
Murrayfield Campbell Avenue, 1700, 3, 3D G PG P, 0844 635 4820 Kinellan Road, 1400, 3, 3D G CG P, 0844 635 9594 Upper Coltbridge Terrace, 1395, 4, 1S 2D 1T G CG O, 0844 635 6450 Murrayfield Avenue, 900, 3, 3D G O, 0844 635 9320
Musselburgh Parsonage, 550, 2, 1S 1D E P, 0844 635 9320 Bush Street, 475, 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 4820 High Street, 475, 1, 1D O, 0844 635 6450
New Town St Vincent Place, 2750, 4, , 0844 635 9308 Eyre Place, 2250, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 4820 St Vincent Place, 2000, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 4820 St Vincent Place, 2000, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 4820 Heriot Row, 1695, 3, PG P, 0844 635 9308 Cumberland Street, 1680, 4, 1S 3D, 0844 635 6872 Cumberland Street, 1680, 3, 1S G, 0844 635 6872 Great Stuart Street, 1650, 2, 2D G, 0844 635 6450 India Street, 1600, 3, CG Z, 0844 635 9308 Albany Street, 1500, 3, PG P, 0844 635 9308 Dublin Street, 1500, 3, 3D G Z, 0844 635 6872 Royal Circus, 1425, 2, CG Z, 0844 635 9308 Broughton Place Lane, 1400, 3, 1S 2D G PG P, 0844 635 4820 Northumberland Street South East Lane, 1300, 2, 2D G PG, 0844 635 6450 East London Street, 1200, 3, 1S 2D G, 0844 635 6872 Eyre Crescent, 1200, 3, Z, 0844 635 9308 Gloucester Place, 1100, 2, CG Z, 0844 635 9308 Huntingdon Place, 1000, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 6872 Abercromby Place, 1000, 1, 1D G P, 0844 635 4820 Calton Hill, 900, 3, 1S 2D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Fettes Row, 850, 2, 2D, 0844 635 4820 Gloucester Square, 850, 2, 2D G, 0844 635 2287 Hanover Street, 845, 1, 1D G, 0844 635 6450 Henderson Place, 825, 1, 1D G CG P, 0844 635 1127 Scotland Street, 825, 1, 1D 1B G Z, 0844 635 4820 Huntingdon Place, 800, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 4820 Cumberland Street, 800, 1, 1D W PG Z, 0844 635 4820 India Street, 800, 1, Z, 0844 635 9308 Gayfield Square, 795, 2, CG Z, 0844 635 9352 Cumberland Street, 750, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9448 Henderson Place, 750, 1, 1D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Albany Street Lane, 650, 1, W, 0844 635 9300 Eyre Place, 600, 1, 1D E, 0844 635 4820
Newhaven Western Harbour Midway, 695, 2, 2D E P, 0844 635 9679 Newhaven Road, 675, 3, 1S 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 4820 Newhaven Road, 650, 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 4820 Hawthornvale, 495, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9312
Bedrooms: Heating: Garden: Parking: Furniture:
Newington Nicolson Street, 1875, 5, 5D G Z, 0844 635 9592 St Albans Road, 1650, 4, G PG P, 0844 635 2418 Dalkeith Road, 1360, 4, 4D, 0844 635 3700 Mayfield Road, 1200, 5, 4D G CG, 0844 635 9316 Dalkeith Road, 1200, 4, 1S 3D G CG O, 0844 635 9578 Findhorn Place, 800, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9245 South Gray Street, 795, 2, 1B G P, 0844 635 2418 Causewayside, 750, 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 9602 St Leonards Crag, 700, 2, 2D W P, 0844 635 4820 Dalkeith Road, 695, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9679 Montague Street, 560, 1, Z, 0844 635 9308 Nicolson Street, 550, 1, E, 0844 635 2418 Causewayside, 540, 1, P, 0844 635 9352 Parkside Street, 525, 1, 1D G, 0844 635 9424 Sciennes House Place, 500, 1, 1D, 0844 635 9245
Old Town Ramsay Garden, 3250, 4, 1S 3D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Simpson Loan, 2500, 3, 2S 1D G P, 0844 635 4820 Jeffrey Street, 750, 2, 2D 1B Z, 0844 635 9384 High Street, 650, 2, 1S 1D W Z, 0844 635 9320 Robertsons Close, Cowgate, 600, 1, 1D G PG Z, 0844 635 9578 Webster’s Land, 550, 1, 1D, 0844 635 4820
Orchard Brae Orchard Brae Avenue, 750, 2, 2D W P, 0844 635 9464 Orchard Brae Avenue, 695, 2, 1S 1D G P, 0844 635 9320
Pilton Colonsay Close, 675, 2, G P, 0844 635 2418 Pilton Avenue, 650, 2, 2D G PG O, 0844 635 9302 Crewe Place, 600, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9488 Ferry Road Drive, 535, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9434 Crewe Road West, 475, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 2287
Polwarth Harden Place, 950, 3, 3D G Z, 0844 635 9592 Dundee Terrace, 825, 3, CG Z, 0844 635 9352 Harrison Place, 750, 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 4820 Watson Crescent, 750, 2, G P, 0844 635 2418 Watson Crescent, 750, 2, G P, 0844 635 2418 Watson Crescent, 725, 2, G P, 0844 635 2418 Harrison Road, 675, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9478 Bryson Road, 650, 2, 2D W CG P, 0844 635 9245 Watson Crescent, 650, 1, G P, 0844 635 2418 Temple Park Crescent, 625, 2, G CG, 0844 635 2418 Watson Crescent, 595, 2, G CG, 0844 635 2418 Temple Park Crescent, 595, 1, 1D G Z, 0844 635 8696 Bryson Road, 550, 1, 1D G Z, 0844 635 3768 Yeaman Place, 550, 1, G CG, 0844 635 2418 Bryson Road, 525, 1, , 0844 635 9338
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
Watson Crescent, 525, 1, G CG O, 0844 635 6872 Dundee Street, 495, 1, 1D G Z, 0844 635 9560 Polwarth Terrace, 495, 1, , 0844 635 9338
Portobello Hope Lane North, 600, 2, 2D G CG, 0844 635 9424 Kings Road, 580, 2, 2D E O, 0844 635 6450 Kings Road, 575, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 1312
Restalrig Restalrig Road South, 795, 3, 3D G O, 0844 635 9460 Restalrig Road South, 650, 2, PG P, 0844 635 9352 Piershill Square West, 625, 2, , 0844 635 0623 Loaning Road, 595, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9558 Loganlea Terrace, 580, 2, 2D G PG O, 0844 635 9488
Roseburn Russell Gardens, 725, 1, 1D G, 0844 635 4820 Roseburn Street, 525, 1, CG Z, 0844 635 9352 Roseburn Street, 495, 1, E CG O, 0844 635 2418
Sciennes Gladstone Terrace, 795, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9322 Sciennes Hill Place, 650, 2, 1S 1D, 0844 635 4820
Shandon Almondbank Terrace, 665, 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 3768 Hollybank Terrace, 650, 1, 1D G PG O, 0844 635 3768 West Bryson Road, 525, 1, 1D W CG Z, 0844 635 9424
Slateford Slateford Gait, 800, 2, 2D PG P, 0844 635 1312 Slateford Road, 800, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 3920 Moat Street, 665, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9560 Hutchison Cottages, 650, 2, , 0844 635 6260 The Maltings, 595, 1, CG P, 0844 635 9352 Slateford Road, 585, 2, O, 0844 635 9352 Moat Street, 550, 1, , 0844 635 9338
South Gyle South Gyle Mains, 675, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9594 Gogarloch Syke, 650, 2, 1S 1D W CG P, 0844 635 4820 South Gyle Road, 595, 1, 1D G CG P, 0844 635 8696 South Gyle Road, 575, 1, PG, 0844 635 9352 South Gyle Mains, 550, 1, 1D G P, 0844 635 4820 South Gyle Mains, 475, 1, , 0844 635 9338
South Queensferry Hopetoun Road, 750, 2, G, 0844 635 2418 Villa Road, 675, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9679 Atheling Grove, 650, 1, , 0844 635 0043 Hillwood Place, 595, 2, 1S 1D O, 0844 635 9594 Echline Rigg, 525, 1, E CG P, 0844 635 2418
Stenhouse Stenhouse Drive, 650, 2, 2D E CG O, 0844 635 6450 Stenhouse Drive, 650, 2, 2D E CG O, 0844 635 6450 Stevenson Drive, 650, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9679 Stenhouse Gardens, 625, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 9362
Stockbridge Saxe Coburg Street, 1400, 3, 3D G Z, 0844 635 9424 Clarence Street, 1195, 3, 3D G CG Z, 0844 635 9464 Bedford Street, 1140, 3, 3D G Z, 0844 635 9322 Marys Place, 1100, 3, 3D G O, 0844 635 6874 Comely Bank Grove, 800, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9390 Comely Bank Street, 800, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 4820 Saxe Coburg Street, 750, 1, 1D G PG Z, 0844 635 4820 Orchard Brae Avenue, 725, 2, 2D P, 0844 635 4820 St Bernards Crescent, 700, 2, 2D E Z, 0844 635 4820 Raeburn Place, 695, 1, 1D, 0844 635 3700 Cheyne Street, 500, 1, Z, 0844 635 9558
The Shore Portland Gardens, 950, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 9679 Ocean Drive, 750, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9384 Constitution Street, 725, 2, 2D E O, 0844 635 9679 Giles Street, 700, 2, , 0844 635 6450 Ocean Way, 700, 2, G CG P, 0844 635 2154 Sheriff Bank, 595, 2, 2D E P, 0844 635 9390 Sandport Street, 550, 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 9594
Tollcross Simpson Loan, 2495, 3, G CG, 0844 635 2418 Lothian Road, 1550, 4, Z, 0844 635 9308 East Fountainbridge, 825, 2, G CG, 0844 635 2418 Grindlay Street, 750, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Glen Street, 675, 2, , 0844 635 9338 Lothian Street, 595, 1, , 0844 635 9320
Trinity Trinity Crescent, 725, 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 9679 Craighall Crescent, 675, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 3780 Darnell Road, 650, 2, 2D E O, 0844 635 9488 Newhaven Road, 575, 2, 1S 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9334 Chancelot Terrace, 575, 1, 1D G, 0844 635 9320 South Trinity Road, 490, 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 9478
West End Grosvenor Crescent, 1950, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9390 Grosvenor Crescent, 1950, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9390 Rothesay Mews, 1250, 2, PG P, 0844 635 9308 Eglinton Crescent, 1200, 3, Z, 0844 635 9308 Chester Street, 1200, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9320 Belford Road, 1095, 2, 2D, 0844 635 6450 Drumsheugh Gardens, 995, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9320 Palmerston Place, 975, 2, G CG P, 0844 635 2418
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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
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COMMENT / 19 Dawn Marie Jones
Edinburgh Online Fashion Week fails to compete on the international stage for a fastidious five days running Laurie Goodman Arts & Entertainment editor
You awake. A cold, artificial light
blankets an empty, starch-white room. This environment has no ostensible scent, and no temperature. Additionally, you have no control over your own movement. You must gaze silently, without breaking the impalpable, transparent film wall between yourself and your surroundings: this is strictly a two-dimensional experience. Is this purgatory? Have you sinned and after death - fallen into perpetual banality? In reality, you have unfortunately encountered an Edinburgh Online Fashion Week (EOFW) show. The invention of Napier undergraduate Gary Anderson and airing from 22-26 October, the project broadcast 15 catwalks from Scottish designers, boutiques and department stores. The product? Five days (yes, days) of platitudinous online fashion, filmed in Edinburgh’s Quartermile One. Anderson explained the main premise of the event: “Our objectives were to make fashion available to a larger audience than a typical fashion show as well as highlight the
strong fashion industry we have here in Scotland. Those objectives were met and the team consider our event a success.” Firstly, let us first examine the concept of ‘highlighting the strong fashion industry in Scotland’. If the aim of EOFW was to illustrate the talent of Scotland’s hidden fashion industry, then this is a poor attempt at advertising: the production is shaky, in particular a catwalk purely showing shoes follows pair after pair of disembodied Dali-esque feet down the runway in a nauseating fashion. To add to this, all 15 shows were produced on the same set, which shares unfortunate similarities with a dentist’s waiting room. As a result, EOFW’s shows lacked the idiosyncrasy and the theatre of couture displays. It’s that old story: the big four beasts of fashion reign with a Bottega Veneta hand-woven leather whip over their cowering inferiors - in this case, Edinburgh - and EOFW is here to save the day. This is not to say that the experiences of small countries can’t make a significant contribution to a rich, variegated world of fashion. Rather, in assigning itself the title of a ‘fashion week’ - and placing itself in
PERSPECTIVE by Johanna Smit
Our international student columnist finally succumbs to the British obsession with the weather...
IT’S ALL GETTING A BIT HAZY Everybody warned us of the
cold, grey, rainy weather in Scotland, yet somehow nobody warned me of the fog that cloaks our city of late. Week six into university has exposed me to a diverse range of weather conditions, many of which contradict each other and would never occur in my hometown a few continents away. Whoever would have thought the sun could shine and yet two sweaters, a scarf and coat are not enough to protect from the incessant cold. Or likewise that the light drizzle, here called rain, really does soak through every coat and bag, no matter how ‘waterproof ’ the fabric. However, the most novel weather condition that has both pleasantly surprised, and slightly scares me, would have to be that of fog.
Fellow international students originating from ‘season-less’ countries may argue that the potential snowfall is most exciting but the cloudy fog is what fascinates me most, especially around this time of Halloween. In a gothic sense it magically transforms Edinburgh into the Scottish setting of Macbeth, causing one to imagine the possibility of prophesizing witches around every corner. In a less Shakespearian sense it also causes the buildings in their baronial and gothic architecture to come to life and realize the settings of historic events, which is a very unique feature of the city. In spite of my captivation by the fog, it is perfectly understandable that some of us foreigners are scared by its presence, causing us to really believe the end of the world is near thanks to the cloudy warning of the Apocalypse through ‘a thick cloud of water droplets suspended in the atmosphere that restricts visibility’. Nevertheless all foreign students may as well get used to the everchanging weather now; practice layering clothes, buy thermal underwear, always carry an umbrella…. Or just stay inside- we’re only here for four years! . Johanna Smit is a first-year student at the University of Edinburgh.
chronological proximity to the global fashion weeks - EOFW is requesting a comparison with its biannual brothers and sisters in New York, Paris, Milan and London: instead of elevating the project, EOFW is diminished by its title. And what for the first premise of the event, ‘to make fashion accessible to a global audience’? It is true that tickets to couture shows come at sky-high prices, when it’s even possible to obtain access in the first place. EOFW is romanticisation of the internet’s ability to democratise information for the broader public at its finest, which would all be very poignant if it were in any way representational of today’s fashion industry. For example showstudio.com (founded by Nick Knight) provided global viewers with live streaming (and panel commentary) throughout September’s spring/summer 2013 season, including Vivienne Westwood, Burberry Prorsum and Giles. Additionally, London Fashion Week published their own livestream of all their shows, and elsewhere even Chanel and Prada had their shows online. However, EOFW is not a movement to turn a previously elitist, prefabri-
cated fashion week into an accessible free-for-all: this is a project devised purely to be online. 250 individuals attended one, invite-only show at the end of the week, while broadcast catwalks were disturbingly lacking in any audience whatsoever. To top it all off, the whole thing was filmed ‘in secret’ in September.
The only ameliorating factor in this maelstrom of superfluity is its potential to provide a platform for graduate designers otherwise lacking in resources. In all other respects, Edinburgh Online Fashion Week was a project masquerading as innovative, democratic, fashion when most areas of the industry jumped ship long ago.
This train calling at all stations via Doncaster, Darlington and dystopia Every week a lucky few students are transported to hell and back Edinburgh Anonymous It’s not often this reprobate of student journalism agrees with George Osbourne. Indeed, outside the Osbourne household I’m not sure he hears the word “agree” without its perennial prefix of “don’t”. Anyway, digression strikes. The chiselled chancellor however did have a point when he showed his tremendous disdain for common forms of transport, during the ticketgate scandal. These forms of transport are the hallmark of student living, particularly for the unprecedented numbers of you that originate from outside of Scotland – or as the Scots jovially describe the English “sassanachs”. I don’t think there’s a student in the capital that hasn’t got a transport nightmare story to relay, it’s a game of Top Trumps that always arises in student flats. “Oh really you were delayed for 4 hours? Well there was this one time the whole train ended up back to front and I found this box of snakes…” But there is another special group of people, survivors is a more appropriate term. A group of students who have seen the dark underside of the transport beast. A group that have gone through more games of “would you rather” than EUSA’s had pointless referenda. They have all at some point made a fatal mistake, a mistake that etches itself on
the brain for generations, a mistake so heinous that it needs to be exhumed on this very page. The survivors have all uttered the words “Let’s get the overnight Megabus it’ll be fine” and they have rued that moment ever since. You see the issue is a pertinent one for students, as this behaviour is expected of them. Many an adult will say “oh yes I did that journey when I was your age” but then they will refrain from uttering the end of that sentence. The only possible logical end to that sentence there could be: “oh yes I did that journey when I was your age, god it was the worst night of my life”. It isn’t just the cramped conditions that makes Ryanair seem like Virgin Atlantic, nor is it just the mockingly devious heating system that runs from tropically hot to arctic cold whenever you feel like you’ve just adjusted to the right temperature. Its not even the lack of any sense of a service being provided for the money you part with for the journey, after all it would appear Megabus’ ideal customers are the insomniac or nocturnal community. The final straw is the grim and downright depressing attitude that consumes the bus and its passengers as it makes its weary night-time journey. Any musings on the scenery of the surrounding area are quickly cut down to size – “that’s not a factory it’s a nuclear power station just south of Sheffield” was a shout heard from a Megabus veteran or just a nuclear power enthusiast. Any sense of camaraderie with fellow passengers is
immediately lost when the doors open and the breakdown of society begins in the scramble to get a window seat. Ridley Scott need never have written Blade runner to show the world a postapocalyptic vision, he could have just documented an overnight Megabus journey and ended with the words “it wasn’t fine…”
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Lessons from Mr Bissett The Journal meets former teacher turned Scots literary superstarin-waiting Alan Bissett
John Hewitt Jones Literary editor
Alan Bissett bounds up to the National Library of Scotland, sparkly purple scarf around his neck, bright blue suitcase in hand. His easy-going amicability seems a long way from the character of Moira, the feisty workingclass protagonist of his most well known piece for stage The Moira Monologues. “I wish I’d dressed more like a student”, he jokes, as he poses for a photo. He explains with enthusiasm that he has just come from doing a talk at a school in Leith and is about to head off on tour. This week sees the final performances of his most recent play The Red Hourglass in Glasgow, which premiered this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe to widespread critical acclaim. The hour-long show, a series of erotic arachnid monologues, is performed entirely by the author who takes on the parts of both male and female spiders. It’s fairly unusual for a writer to have such a hand in acting out his work, and Bissett posits that much of this desire to act as well as write comes from his teaching experience: “Teaching is an elaborate acting job. You have maybe thirty kids in front of you…you have to learn how to play them; you have to make them laugh, discipline them, inspire them, and the only way you can do that is by being a performer. I think that’s how I ended up doing it.” Having studied English and Education at the University of Stirling, Bissett undertook a short spell as a secondary school teacher before returning to university to study for a PhD. “I enjoyed it,” he explains, “but realised I would never be a writer if I stayed a secondary school
teacher.” Bissett published his first novel, Boyracers, at the age of 25. With a wry smile he recounts that the same week it was published he failed his PhD viva exam: “I went back to university…but writing novels was just much more fun.” Boyracers was well received, propelling Bissett to the forefront of the Scottish literary scene. Since then he has written three further novels, numerous plays, as well as scripting and narrating The Shutdown, a film documentary about his upbringing by the Grangemouth oil refinery and the incident that occurred there in 1987 in which his father was injured. Class is a central theme of Bissett’s writing, drawing on his own experience growing up in a working class family in Falkirk. Does he think that part of a writer’s job is to give voice to people who otherwise might not be heard? “That’s absolutely the case. The working classes in Britain are essentially marginalised; their voices are marginalised, patronised, sneered at. Workingclass women are one of the most marginalised voices in the UK. That’s where The Moira Monologues came from, and I think that’s why it connected with audiences.” A firm sense of place is key to the author’s work, and he expresses the connection that he feels with his home town: “I was dying to get away from Falkirk when I was seventeen… but the further away I got from Falkirk, eventually you look back and you realise what you’ve lost.” He is especially fond of the people: “It’s a place where people are trying to go about their lives as best they can, often against tremendous economic pressures…there’s a lot of dignity in that.”
“Scottish writers are keeping the idea of Scottish identity alive, because Scotland, as far as I’m concerned, is politically marginalised, colonised... Scotland is and always has been viewed as a colony by the South.” Bissett is determined that authors have a central role to play in maintaining the visibility of Scotland’s cultural roots, particularly at a time when the question of independence is at the top of the agenda: “Scottish writers are keeping the idea of Scottish identity alive, because Scotland, as far as I’m concerned, is politically marginalised, colonised… Scotland is and always has been viewed as a colony by the South.” So how does the notion of a uniquely Scottish writer square with the idea that literature is a communal art form? Isn’t it somewhat contradictory? His reply is unequivocal: “No. Something can be of its culture
and of its nation, but still communicate beyond it. You make certain connections between certain cultures by being specific…Scottish literature goes beyond the tartan and heather clichés that pass for a culture. You start to see the country in 3D; its psychological depth. When I read an Alasdair Gray novel, I start to feel my own country; it takes the reader beyond the kitsch, to the full, real people that we refuse to see.” Bissett has previously struck out against the propensity for commentators to use Irvine Welsh as a yardstick for all writing in Scots vernacular, but he cites the author of Trainspotting as an important literary influence, alongside the likes of Alasdair Gray and James Kelman: “Trainspotting was like The Sex Pistols’ first album for the previous generation…it was raw and it was vital…it was like a bomb going off.” Outside Scots literature, the author expresses admiration for authors who have an uncompromising honesty to the style, including Orwell, Steinbeck and Fitzgerald; “writers who you recognise are fearless. Not just doing it because it will sell.” Can we talk about politics? “Do it. Yeah.” Bissett has played an active role as part of the Yes campaign, arguing that Scotland would be better off as a separate nation. How does he see the debate shaping up? “The mainstream media is not with the Scottish independence campaign, so we’ve actually got to get creative and get out there and actually speak to people.” “Over the summer you had the jubilee, you had the Olympics − the Union Jack was everywhere; there was this massive propaganda campaign…what I’m trying to say to people is that a man running very fast is not the entire future of the Scottish economy.”
Despite being fierce in his criticism of Scottish labour, Bissett expresses concern that people often regard the pro-independence campaign as ‘antiEnglish’. He explains: “Nobody wants to be rid of the English working classes; we want to be rid of the English ruling classes.” When it comes to discussions about politics, he is keen that people sit up and listen: “Students have to start getting political again…we were told communism was the enemy and that if we just trusted free market capitalism the world would be a better place…communism has gone and the world is more unstable than it’s ever been, and there’s only one place you can put the blame and that is free market capitalism. We are all getting shafted by very very rich people who don’t care about us, and we have to wake up to that. Even if you vote ‘no’ to Scottish independence, you still have to keep your eyes open to what the problem is. The occupy movement is right.” So what projects does the future hold? Bissett has scripted an adaptation of The Moira Monologues for the BBC, and is optimistic about getting a film of Boyracers made — the screenplay is already written. Another book is brewing, but he explains “there’s no point in writing another novel about contemporary Scotland before 2014…I’ll have to assess the lie of the land afterwards and try and come up with a narrative that deals with it, whatever the vote is.” In the meantime, there’s lots more writing for the stage to be getting on with. The Red Hourglass is playing at The Arches, Glasgow Tuesday 13 - Wednesday 14 November.
The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
Edinburgh’s Filmhouse brings them Russian to the cinema Festival sheds light on protests against the Kremlin with revolutionary film
Film Alexandre Johnstone Film editor
European cinema is alive in Edin-
burgh: this month, thanks to imaginative programming from the Filmhouse and various other official bodies, Edinburgh will host several European festivals — including the French Film Festival and PlayPoland — in another year of eclectic and ever-increasing selection of films from the Old Continent. Last week saw the revival — in the Introduction to European Cinema series — of October, a rare example of work from director Sergei Eisenstein’s early Soviet period. The piece was commissioned in 1927 for the tenth anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, during Stalin’s ascent to power. It was an impressive aesthetic statement: October showcases Eisenstein’s technique of ‘intellectual montage’, in which single frames are juxtaposed in a succession of stop-motion-esque montages. Meanwhile, the viewer’s mind is imprinted with images of great intensity — the 1905 demonstrations and Lenin’s arrival at the Finland station are two examples of brief but unforget-
table scenes. The film was preceded by an informative talk by Dr Claire Boyle of the University of Edinburgh. Modern Russian cinema will be particularly well represented too: in November, Edinburgh will host a number of events within the framework of the sixth UK Russian Film Festival. This is the first year of what one hopes will be a long and fruitful collaboration between Academia Rossica, the University of Edinburgh’s Princess Dashkova Centre and the Filmhouse. The four events on offer have been judiciously chosen to coincide with the anniversary of last year’s mass demonstrations against the Kremlin: Unknown Putin (2000) and Winter, Go Away! (2012) – both showing at the Princess Dashkova Centre, and followed by a discussion with Dr Luke March of the University of Edinburgh and the journalist Andrei Plakhov, will present two very different facets of political power and protest in contemporary Russia. The Russian thread will continue throughout November with a retrospective of Andrei Konchalovsky’s films at the Filmhouse; amateurs of the Russian director — who co-wrote several of Tarkovsky’s films, including his masterpiece Andrei Rublev — will especially look out for the screening of
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“Never have sex near unicorns” Rowling discusses new novel at Haddington event
books Vivek Santayana Staff writer
Maria’s Lovers at the Filmhouse on 18 November, followed by a Q&A session with Konchalovsky himself. And, last but not least, Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Elena, premiered at the 2011 Cannes Festival, will make a brief appearance on Edinburgh screens from 16 to 20 November at the Filmhouse. This film, which follows the familial and social struggles of a middle-aged woman in Moscow, has been described by critics as ‘Dostoyevskian’, and comes highly recommended.
J.K. Rowling spoke about her new novel The Casual Vacancy at the Lennoxlove Book Festival in Haddington last week; her only appearance at an event in Scotland. The talk sold out within minutes of booking opening, leading the festival to organise a ticketed live stream online. Rowling often comes across quite awkwardly in interviews, but on this occasion the author seemed fairly relaxed talking to the chair, Muriel Gray, despite reiterating several times that she was not trying to prove herself to anybody in writing this book. In a Q&A session with the audience towards the end of the talk, she divulged that one of her rules for writing plotlines: “Never have sex near unicorns...there’s just something tacky about it.” This, apparently, is the reason why Harry Potter only ever goes as far as kissing. Most of the discussion focused heavily on vindicating The
Casual Vacancy and defending Rowling’s dramatic departure in style and subject matter from the Harry Potter series. Rather spurious literary comparisons were made by the chairperson between Rowling’s novel and cornerstones of the literary canon such as Middlemarch and Madame Bovary. The claim was made that The Casual Vacancy “received rave reviews from everybody who mattered”, despite the critical reception of the book in fact being rather lukewarm. Much was also made of Rowling’s courage in breaking the mould, and Gray appeared to have a go at other famous authors for being unadventurous and self-censoring in an attempt to pander to a readership; according to the chair, Ian McEwan is one of the key culprits. These egregious comparisons served to make the event seem much less like a forum for literary discussion and more a promotional event for the novel. The atmosphere at the event was one of adoration rather than critical appreciation. Most of the audience just seemed pleased to have this wo r l d - f a m o u s author on a stage in their town.
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Jay Brannan: “I’ve quit the entertainment industry like ten times, and I’ve always sort of stayed in it.” John Kane
The singer-songwriter and actor speaks exclusively to The Journal about inspiration, touring and the music industry
“Like the little mermaid on
crack” is how singer-songwriter Jay Brannan once described his own music. While hilarious, this doesn’t quite cover the intense range of emotions he has explored since the release of his debut album in 2008 - his sound has never been stronger, or more polished than on his latest album Rob Me Blind. Glasgow’s Oran Mor is the penultimate stop on Brannan’s Europe tour and the intimate venue perfectly complements Brannan’s new material and his strippedback, acoustic performances. In a dressing room in the depths of the venue, Brannan threatens retirement. “I have one more show in Germany and then I’m ready to sleep for 2 months! Who knows what’s after that?” Brannan jokes. Travelling around Europe, the USA, Israel and Australia is enough to exhaust anyone, but on top of that, Brannan does all of his work on tour himself. “I do a lot of the booking, I travel alone, I do all the administrative stuff. I don’t have a manager. I have an agent in North America but outside of that I book my own shows. So I’m doing the jobs of 10 people. But, then, I’m in charge of my own career, which is great. I’ve got to do exactly what I want because of that.” All the hard work has definitely paid off. Rob Me Blind is undoubtedly Brannan’s most accomplished album: as lyrically clever as his debut, his latest material achieves more, as a result of experimentation with different instruments. The charm of Brannan’s one-man-with-a-guitar act remains, especially in his live shows, but the drums, cello and violin on his newer material create a more evolved and complete sound. Brannan explains, “I sort of wanted to experiment with different sounds this time. I’m definitely a minimalist and everything I’ve done up until this point has been really stripped down. I don’t think this album is particularly elaborate or anything, I just didn’t want to make the same thing over”. Brannan has clearly succeeded; tracks like ‘La La La’, with its layered guitars and drums, would never have appeared on his earlier releases. The added instrumentation doesn’t detract from Brannan’s emotionally charged and introspective lyrics. “I started writing as a way to vent my frustrations, and my fears, and my loneliness, and all those things that race around in your head when you’re alone.” Rather than burying this emotion, Brannan’s new musical approach highlights it. The slightly new approach on
Rob Me Blind is partly down to producer David Kahne, who has previously worked with The Bangles, Paul McCartney and Lana Del Rey. Brannan exclaims, “I think David is brilliant, he’s so good at creating memorable moments in music without making it over the top or cheesy. I learnt so much just by watching him do the arrangements.” However brilliant the production of the album is, Brannan really shines during his live performances. Stripped back to just a guitar, Brannan’s voice fills Oran Mor and his engaging chat adds to the intimate feel of his performance. Brannan’s a capella cover of Alanis Morissette’s song ‘Your House’ echoes hauntingly around the converted church and is definitely a highlight of the gig. Although his music has earned him an international following, it was his role in indie film Shortbus, with its famous unsimulated sex scenes, which propelled Brannan to fame. “It played such a big role in allowing me to start doing music and travelling. The first time I ever came to Europe was for the Cannes Film Festival, for the premiere of Shortbus. I had two sold out shows in London and one sold out show in Paris before I’d ever even played in either city before.” Despite his success in both the music and acting worlds, Brannan still feels on the outskirts of the entertainment industry. “To me, the best way to ruin your art is to go into business with it. Not ruin it, but to make it less enjoyable.” So is he really going to retire? “I’ve quit the entertainment industry, like, ten times and I’ve always sort of stayed in it. I don’t feel like I could ever really truly escape. So it must be what I’m supposed to be doing, for now.” Brannan’s new album, Rob Me Blind, is out now via Nettwerk Music Group.
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“I sort of wanted to experiment with different sounds this time. I’m definitely a minimalist and everything... I don’t think this album is particularly elaborate, I just didn’t want to make the same thing.”
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Edinburgh Online Fashion Week 2012
Napier student’s immaculately dressed conception unveiled
Photography by Dawn Marie Jones
The Journal reviews three graduate designers from the final day of EOFW
This September, Edinburgh’s Quartermile One played host to the city’s first ever online fashion week. Over the course of several weeks, 15 catwalk shows were recorded in prep-
Jennifer Morris Collection brings specialist technology from London College of Fashion to Edinburgh’s catwalks Anna Warren Staff writer
First in the lineup for Gradu-
ate Day at Edinburgh Online Fashion Week (EOFW) is Edinburgh-raised Jennifer Morris, debuting her autumn/winter collection. Entitled The Order of Uncertainty, Morris’ pieces explode onto the catwalk with a high-energy burst of intense colour and texture. The collection is heavily influenced by both the weather and
nature, and beautifully mixes highlystructured outfits with chaotic fringe detailing. As a result, Morris’ collection is full of movement, its braids waltzing down the catwalk. Two of the key pieces of the collection are a pair of cobalt blue silk cigarette trousers and a zestful orange tuft shoulder dress, both of which encapsulate the colourful and confident tone of Morris’ collection. Morris cleverly developed the unique ‘tufting’ technique herself, and it crops up in several of these pieces.
Fiona Somerville A dark and vamped-up vision of Scottish outerwear
Just as the bitter winter air begins to settle in the city, Edinburgh College of Art graduate Fiona Somerville debuts her latest collection at Edinburgh Online Fashion Week. Abundant in luxury knitwear and oversized cardigans, the collection is perfect for Scottish winter days. Breezy florals are out for the winter season and knitwear is once again in: Somerville has proven that you don’t have to end up looking bulky to be warm.
Having reworked her signature ‘coatigan’ from last year’s graduate collection, Somerville encompasses what it means to be chic and seasonal with this deep royal blue showstopper, and the ‘coatigan’ almost reaches the floor to ensure maximum cosiness. “Wrapping yourself in luxury” is how Somerville describes her new outerwear pieces which are indeed oversized - draped and bordering on masculine as they almost completely conceal the feminine form. Nevertheless, outwear isn’t the only
Using specialist technology at the London College of Fashion to fuse fabric together, Morris creates a frayed hem with a fur-like appearance and texture. Such texture runs throughout Jennifer’s collection and stamps each piece with a signature style. The collection includes many ready-to-wear items, which embrace both evening and day wear. The collection exemplifies how bold colours can be included into your autumn/ winter wardrobe with its use of tangerine, emerald green and bright yellow. Morris’ pieces also encapsulate many of this season’s key trends with a thigh-high split dress and oversized outerwear both on show. Morris is a graduate designer to look out for, as she plans to carry on her unique and exciting design work in London, with a focus on luxury womenswear. thing on the agenda, when an animal print gown and a classic pencil skirt and blouse ensemble appear on the runway. The most surprising piece? A sparkling military shirt, worn with cropped suit trousers and nude courts. Tonal greys and sea blues were the main colour palette for the six-piece collection, with more focus being placed on hair and makeup than on accessorizing. Asymmetry played a significant role in creating strong silhouettes in the collection, emitting a dark, romantic vibe. This was also reflected in the styling, which made the models look like bohemian country girls. Models wore tousled fringes and messy braids with rosy cheeks and strong red lips, which perfectly complimented this vamped up vision of traditional Scottish apparel.
aration for their release over a period of five days, beginning on Monday 22 October. Edinburgh Online Fashion Week (EOFW) is the brainchild of Napier student Gary Anderson, who came up with the unique concept for EOFW in February and was planning the event with his team for a total of seven months. Anderson explains, “our objectives were to make fashion available to a larger audience than a typical fashion show, as well as to highlight the strong fashion industry we have here in Scotland.” By broadcasting the collections online, people could watch the event on any internet-connected device anywhere in the world. There were four themes to EOFW: Designer and High Street, Boutique, Independent Designers and Graduate Designers. In a show of support for local talent, all of the independent and graduate designers were either from
or based in Edinburgh. The response to EOFW far exceeded the team’s expectations: “In total we had 16,500 hits during broadcast week and had a global audience reaching countries on the other side of the planet.” Anderson said, “the event is important to Edinburgh as sometimes the city can sit in the shadow of other cities’ fashion culture. Obviously there is a huge interest in Scotland, as can be seen with the response we received and the fact that Edinburgh will be host to Chanel’s Metiers d’Art show in December. I personally believe Edinburgh is the next big thing for showcasing fashion.” The success of this season’s EOFW means that Anderson and his team are already planning the next event. “Such a strong response has confirmed our plans [to continue EOFW] next season, but that’s all top secret at the moment.”
Maxine Miller Scintillating laser-cut collection by Heriot-Watt graduate Oliver Giles Fashion editor
Miller closes this season’s Edinburgh Online Fashion Week with her debut collection, with a cacophony full of voluminous skirts and unique laser-cut tops. Miller recently graduated from Edinburgh’s Heriot Watt University with a degree in Fashion Technology, the results of which can clearly be seen in her designs. Miller has developed an innovative laser-cutting technique, which can do anything from adding intricate cutout detailing to reducing tops to a delicate lattice-like frame. This technique formed the base of Miller’s entire collection. Classic vest and skirt ensembles are transformed by Miller’s technique, with her cut-out pieces adding a layer of intricate detail to what are often quite classic designs.
Oliver Giles Fashion editor
Miller’s technique is shown off to its best effect on a steel-grey leotard, which is covered in a trellis-like acrylic cut out. By successfully sticking to a muted palette of metallic greys and blues, Miller has made her collection feel not only innovative, but also futuristic. In the midst of clouded colours, a flash of cerulean blue appears in the form of a floor-length pleated skirt, adding brightness to the collection. All of Miller’s looks were paired with floating skirts that complement her cut-out tops well, adding movement to the looks and preventing cut-out pieces from looking too harsh. As a collection, the looks are fairly unchanging. However, Miller’s unique technique makes it stand out as something new and exciting. Combined with her clever use of colour, this graduate collection makes Maxine Miller a designer w o r t h looking out for.
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The Tallest Man on Earth Room 237 Singer-songwriter brings a mesmerising performance to the Picture House
An ethereal dissection of Kubrick’s magnum opus
Varia Fedko Blake
As The Tallest Man on Earth,
Swedish-born Kristian Matsson performs to a packed venue of adoring fans that hang on to every raspy vocal and guitar string. While this is his first visit to Edinburgh, his ability to create intimacy in such a large venue is token to just how far Matsson has come; released last June, There Is No Leaving Now is his third studio album. The previously composed crowd erupts into cheers as the set begins with ‘To Just Grow Away’. Impatient shout-outs for silence reveal that this is undoubtedly an audience that has come prepared to savour every second of his performance. Indeed, Matsson is mesmerizing to watch as he bends and twists across the stage, guitar in hand, in his characteristically spindly manner. As he delivers songs from both his old and new repertoires, his use of open tuning produces some stunning guitar work.
Yet the bulk of his melodies remain modest and seem to lack the powerful urgency that marked him out from the flock in the first place. Needless to say, his better-known songs remained crowd-pleasers and in particular ‘The Gardener’ (from his debut album Shallow Grave), ‘Love Is All,’ ‘1904’ and the upbeat ‘King of Spain’ were delivered with a remarkable high energy. The highlight of the show lay in his transfixing cover of Paul Simon’s ‘Gra-
celand’ and a piano rendition of ‘The Dreamer.’ The Tallest Man on Earth delivered a magnificent solo performance that left the crowd reeling; shows like this undoubtedly consolidate Matsson’s lasting imprint on the folk scene. VENUE: HMV PICTURE HOUSE DATES: 27 OCTOBER 2012 PRICE: £16.50
A Midsummer Night’s Dream An accessible and spellbinding interpretation of the Shakespeare classic
James Burnham Staff writer
On the surface, Room 237 (dir. Rodney Ascher) is a documentary exploring various interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980): was the film an allegory of Native American genocide, or perhaps Kubrick’s surreptitious confession to having helped fake the moon landing? The film introduces us to these outlandish theories through the commentary of several Kubrick enthusiasts. The voices of these narrators are disembodied, and as a result, this artificial distance makes it difficult to distinguish one interpretation from the other. Further, as the various interviews are interweaved with continual loopings of Kubrick’s
Varia Fedko Blake
Director Matthew Lenton (of Vanishing Point Theatre Company) brings a delightful portrayal of romance and magic to Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum. The setting of A Midsummer Night’s Dream surprises the audience with its roaring blizzard of a harsh winter. Snowflakes fall on the stage as a magical, mesmerising dust, and a dreamlike setting is created; it is within this that the amusing complications of the collision of two worlds — that of fairies and mortals — are played out. Despite the initial drawn-out, stilted nature of Theseus’ (Ifan Meredith) and Titania’s (Flávia Gusmão) first monologues, the second act’s comedy value proves once again why this remains one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies. Here it is Bottom (Jordan Young) and the four-strong cast of the acting troupe who really shine. Young’s hilarious transformation into an ass leads to irrepressible laughter from the audience, and the side-splittingly funny performance of the troupe’s Pyramus and Thisbe is marvellous. It borders on farcical slapstick, but redeems itself in its mixing of contemporary and Shakespearean puns. Puck’s (Cath Whitefield) eccentric mischievousness is also spellbinding; the sprite’s quirky physical presence and sharp movements almost verge
on the inhuman. Undoubtedly, the production is visually and aurally captivating. From the snug winter attire of the acting troupe and the bold colours of the Athenian snowsuits to the slick manipulation of the hypnotic sound effects, clearly attention to detail is paramount. Without diverging too far from the original text, A Midsummer Night’s Dream succeeds in making Shakespeare accessible to the modern-day audience, complete with its own Britain’s Got Talent TV-show. Although this production is an aesthetically darker take on Shakespearean comedy, it maintains a lighthearted effervescence.
picture and frame-by-frame scrutiny of individual scenes, the film — instead of gaining coherence — produces a growing sense of unease and confusion. Is there some rubric with which to decode the film? Or is Room 237 the Pandora’s box we were never meant to open? As the film progresses, a parallel emerges between the narrators presenting their theories in painstaking detail and Jack Nicholson’s protagonist in The Shining, as they both slowly descend into insanity. The morality of this reminds viewers of the question posed by Antonioni in Blow-Up (1966): does the magnification of a text or a work of art to a microscopic degree really reveal anything at all, or does it only obscure and complicate it more? Ascher’s film is an interesting experiment that will entice Kubrick devotees and film nerds, but it will inevitably vex viewers looking for a less cerebral thrill. Reviewed at the Filmhouse.
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FOOD&DRINK / 27
Real ale for dummies
An ale enthusiast gives the “what’s what and where” of ale in Edinburgh Tabitha Standish-Hayes Staff writer
Ale: the underappreciated cousin of all alcoholic beverages, outstripped by the sophistication of wine, the decadence of gin, and the ready availability of Buckfast. Most painful to this poor beer, though, is the advent of lager, widely acclaimed as ‘the ultimate refreshment’. In fairness, lager has its place in hot countries, where something with ‘extra cold’ and ‘smooth’ slapped on the label is eminently desirable. But on this island, where winter is the bully and summer the misfit, it is a matter of perennial surprise that ale, lager’s warmer, more robust and frankly tastier brother is so neglected. So, a small eulogy to ale is in order, and an education on what it actually is. One of the strengths of ale is its diversity. It does not have to be bitter or
overwhelmingly hoppy as is commonly believed; it can be anything from light and floral to chocolatey, thick and bitter, like Guinness. It can even be blended with other ingredients to render a unique flavour - Stewart’s particularly seasonal Halloween ale, for example, is brewed with pumpkin and actually tastes like it! Ale is less fizzy than the big-name lagers, but this doesn’t need to be a bad thing. Lagers with high production rates are pasteurised to maintain a long shelf-life, which removes much of the flavour and the naturally occurring carbon dioxide, causing brewers to add CO2 to make up for this loss, giving the beer its unnaturally high fizziness. ‘Real’ ale avoids pasteurisation to ensure no flavour is lost, which is why it is generally either flat or mildly fizzy. According to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), ale - unlike lager undergoes a fast fermentation process
in warm temperatures, and after the initial fermentation it is kept in casks to mature, right to the point where it is poured in the pub. This is what gives it its depth and body, a body that can be as refreshing as lager. Eminently drinkable and with a diversity that means there is bound to be at least one type of ale palatable to everyone, there is no excuse not to give ale a chance. The Blue Blazer on Spittal Street, Grassmarket, is a good place to try if you wish to explore. Given the CAMRA seal of approval, it has an excellent and constantly changing range of ales, and the staff are more than happy to let you sample their delights before you buy. So give it a go, give some love to this most British and tastiest of drinks. After all, as the Hobgoblin – eponymous mascot to the Wynchwood Brewery range – says, “what’s the matter lagerboy, afraid you might taste something?”
The Blackbird Cocktail bar and a cracking kitchen raises
Five-spice crispy duck legs with sticky sauce
Tollcross’s gastronomic game at all hours
Crispy duck legs 8 duck legs (at room temperature) 4 large sprigs rosemary 8 cloves garlic, peeled 3 teaspoons sea salt 3 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder Jammy sauce 3-4 tbsp cherry jam or redcurrant jelly) 300ml red wine/port (or fresh orange juice) 6 tablespoons water Fried roast-style potatoes 1.8 kg floury potatoes e.g King Edwards, Maris Piper, peeled, quartered 3 tablespoons duck fat plus a knob of butter or oil Sea salt Fresh or dried thyme
Sam Stern It’s gotten to that time of year when
all you want is warmth, comfort and the company of friends. So put your dissertation or essays to the side for one night and enjoy this simple, sophisticated dinner. Duck legs pack a lot of flavour and crisp up beautifully, and nothing’s as good for cooking potatoes as a bit of duck fat. Tip: duck legs are often on special offer, so watch out and maybe freeze them ahead of time. Crispy duck legs 1. Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Mix salt and five spice powder. 2. Place legs flat side down in a large roasting tin in a single layer. 3. Prick all over with a fork/sharp knife to release fat during cooking and crisp the skin. 4. Rub spice mix into each leg. Poke a piece of rosemary and garlic under each one.
5. Roast for 50 minutes. Check twice to see they’re browning, but not too dark. Pour fat off each time. 6. Meantime, melt jam, marmalade or jelly in a small pan on low heat. Add wine or juice, and water. Whisk to integrate. Simmer for a few minutes. Taste and add more wine/jelly if needed for sharp/sweet contrast. Set aside. Finish the duck. 7. Reduce heat to 180C/gas 4. Tip sauce over legs into the tin. Roast 15 minutes until jammy and crispy. Check sauce doesn’t dry out. Make a quick bit extra if needed. Test meat is soft. Remove. Rest for 5 minutes. 9. Place a leg (or two) on plates with a spoonful of sauce, a pile of potatoes and a heap of salad. Fried roast style potatoes 1. Add potatoes to a pan of boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes. Drain. Cool. Cut into bite-sized bits. 2. 15 minutes before eating, heat a large frying pan (or two). Add duck fat/ butter/oil. 3. Add potatoes in a single layer. Reduce heat. Cook slowly for 15 minutes, turning until crisp. Sprinkle sea salt,
Green leaf and pear salad Soft salad leaves (watercress, rocket) 2 heads chicory/cos/romaine lettuce 3 conference pears Lemon juice A few bits of walnut (optional) Dressing 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard 1 teaspoon honey 1 clove garlic, crushed 2 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar Salt and black pepper 6 tablespoons olive oil
optional herb, just before serving. Green leaf & pear salad 1. Just before eating, slice pears lengthways. Brush with lemon juice. Wash and blot leaves. 2. Mix mustard, honey, garlic, seasoning. Beat vinegar in slowly with a spoon. Beat oil in drop-by-drop to emulsify. Pour over leaves and fruit. Dress with your fingers. Tip: Make up a huge bowl of creamy mash instead of fried potatoes if you’d prefer, and toss some shredded 3 minute boiled cabbage in a bit of duck fat and bacon if you don’t fancy salad.
Ben Kendall Food & Drink editor
The first rule of business is to ascertain your niche, your singularity of purpose. The Blackbird, accordingly, deserves an MBA. Occupying the revamped husk of a washed-up watering-hole, it has conferred upon Tollcross that elusive best-of-both-worlds: a cocktail bar with a cracking kitchen. The interior is a double-act of Mad Hatter and Victoriana, with streaks of Art Deco angularity. It’s all Chesterfield sofa, black and white chequer tiles, tangerinebright chairs and wallpaper of tessellating geometric blackbirds. Bonkers. We start, appropriately, with a cocktail. The 85% Party (£6.50), had a sophistication of flavour which belied its tongue-in-cheek provenance: steeply discounted glassfuls were once offered to female customers. The acerbic notes of lemon and Hendrick’s were mollified with dashes of apple and fragrant St. Germain, all silkily cohered with the froth of an egg-white. The manifest playfulness of the cocktail list spills onto the food menu. While
the dishes do not ostensibly screech innovation, certain whimsical touches lift the entertainment of dinner. Open lasagne of butternut squash (£10.65) comes flecked with toasted pine nuts and the throaty zing of fresh pesto to cut the root’s blanketing nuttiness. Delicate apple crisps – almost translucently light like edible glass – lend an eccentric touch. The grilled salmon fillet with its stewed bed of white beans and chorizo (£11.95) was a harmonious exercise in antithesis and imitation. The chorizo’s incisive salty smokiness bit through the coral-hued delicacy of the salmon, which was in turn echoed by the tender-fleshed beans. As if in ironic mockery, florets of darkly salted seaweed crisply crowned its piscine prince; as in life, so too in death. The chef has a sense of humour. To close, a chocolate and peanutbutter brownie (£4.95) scoffed to the tune of an espresso martini (£6.50). Each was rich sublimity at its most indulgent, the dark moussiness of the former recapitulated in the bitter smoothness of the latter. Perfect partners in a postprandial saccharine crime.
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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
Metaphorical waffle helps keep football afloat Sometimes irksome and sometimes hilarious, football managers provide half the entertainment Ruth Jeffery Sport editor
In the world of football the focus is
very often not on the pitch. With regards to irksome stories such as controversial handshakes, digs at referees or twitter outbursts, fans resent this wavering of onpitch attention. However, when it comes to the hilarity provided by the likes of Ian Holloway or Brian Clough, we are very much listening. One Clough quote which comes to mind is the infamous “I can’t even spell spaghetti never mind talk Italian. How could I tell an Italian to get the ball? He might grab mine.” Such baffling banter is much appreciated amongst the usual dry quotes from managers.
Scots athletes get funding boost Government body Sportscotland has boosted funding given
to athletes with a new ‘Athlete Personal Award Scheme’. Over 45 athletes have received between £3,000£10,000 this year, with the awards to be renewed annually and based upon targets. The project is aimed at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. Sportscotland elite performance director Mike Whittingham has said that 34 podium places is the aim for the games.
Birdie drops shark on California fairway A live 60cm leopard shark was
found near the 12th tee of a California golf course this week. Staff at the San Juan Golf Club south of LA found the shark in the grass, and noticed puncture wounds under its dorsal fin which suggested it had been dropped by an osprey. They drove the animal 8km to the sea and released it. A member of staff told the local newspaper: “After placing it in the water, it was still for a moment before flipping round and swimming off.”
PGA putts up hole new calendar for 2013 The coming golf season will be
the last one in the current format, with the PGA tour changing around
As a Liverpool fan (revealing one’s true colours is always a dangerous game and I hope you will forgive me), I have been both annoyed and delighted with some of Brendan Rodgers’ metaphorical musings. One of the best came after Liverpool’s torrid time in the transfer window. Disastrous communication between owner and manager resulting in a squad void of a real strike-force, Rodgers tried to justify himself to the press, saying: “If you go to a library and are looking for a sports book and go straight to that section then it’s quite straightforward. But the problem is when you go into that library and you’re not sure what you are looking for. You then spend half your time and effort wandering around and you might end up with
so that the traditional autumn events will become the start of a fresh run of tournaments. The 2013 calendar has now been revealed. Highlights include the US Masters in Georgia in April, the US Open in Pennsylvania in June and the USPGA Championship in Rochester, New York in August. The only non-US based competition will be held in Muirfield from 18 - 21 July. The season runs all the way to October before the regime change kicks in.
Badminton’s Bankier quits GB training Scot Imogen Bankier has resigned from Great Britain’s badminton programme to focus on 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Glaswegian won silver in the 2011 World Championship with doubles partner Chris Adcock, but struggled in the London Olympics. Bankier was reportedly unhappy with the environment and training programme of team GB.
Fan referees SFL match Last Saturday a fan stepped in after referee Kevin Clancy was injured during a Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline Scottish Division One match. The game stopped for 30 minutes whilst a replacement was found. Spectator and qualified official 61-year-old Jock Campbell stepped in to make sure the game continued. Dunfermline went on to win 3-0.
a book you don’t want.” Fair point, but as the ‘Pool are 13th in the table, any fan would surely rather see the manager thinking tactically and trying to secure Dempsey than writing fancy metaphors for the Sunday broadsheets. And taking Rodgers analogy and running with it; in the library that was the transfer window, the book Liverpool wanted to get out was Dempsey. It was not so much not knowing which book to get, but of forgetting to bring the library card. Another gem of Rodgers’ which has been used by many managers past is of football posing as the metaphorical ship. When he first took over, and after the transfer debacle, Rodgers was describing how he would get his team together:
“Hopefully what I have come in and done is get everyone on board the ship and set sail knowing where we are going.” Where they were going was down the table, rapidly, but if Rodgers paid more attention to crafting a strikeforce and less to hauling anchor, the ship may not have drifted so far from the port. Infuriating as managers can be, some of their post-match word-play can verge on the ridiculous. A key culprit of the elaborate quote is Ian Holloway. When the ban on footballers taking off their shirts was introduced, the Blackpool manager posited: “I don’t see the problem with footballers taking their shirts off after scoring a goal? They enjoy it and the young ladies enjoy it too. I suppose that’s one of the main reasons women come to
football games, to see the young men take their shirts off. Of course they’d have to go and watch another game because my lads are as ugly as sin.” These moments of comedy are what keep the game sane in these times of controversy and hyperbole. Football needs its characters to keep some level of entertainment going next to all the technology, diving and handshakes nonsense. While Rodgers has been given a hard time on this page, he too has moments of amusement. I just hope his prophecy comes true: “When you’ve got the ball 65-70 per cent of the time it’s a football death for the other team. We’re not at that stage yet but that’s what we will get to. It’s death by football. You just suck the life out of them.”
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SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALL
No Hearts of gold Financial woes return to Tynecastle Gary Paul Staff writer
Hearts last week booked their place at Hampden for the league cup semifinals with a penalty shoot-out victory away to Dundee United, but once again the club’s off-field matters have overshadowed their success on the pitch. Last month, players’ wages were delayed and following a series of similar incidents previously, the SPL sought to punish them, imposing a transfer embargo until 23 December. Some questioned the impact of such a ban outside of the transfer window but the failure to re-sign fans’ favourite and Scottish Cup winner Rudi Skacel will be more than enough to frustrate the Tynecastle faithful. Other than this, Hearts fans may well be glad to hear that wages have been delayed again given that the late payments have coincided with improved performances and results from the players on each occasion! The players have since been paid but this short delay conceals the true extent of the club’s current financial woes. Only the sale of Eggert Jonsson to Wolves last January put them in a position to pay the squad, and on this occasion the club find themselves appealing to fans to contribute toward their share scheme, aimed at raising almost £1.8m. Director Sergejus
Fedotovas this week revealed that £8m was paid to the playing squad last season, with just £7m coming in — this balance needs redressing. Several big earners left over the summer, albeit on free transfers, so things are moving towards a more sustainable situation; the changes needed at Hearts are perhaps not as modest as some other SPL clubs but they still have a team that can compete with any in the league. However, a far more serious case has presented itself in the past weeks. The clubs now face an unpaid tax bill to the tune of £1.75m, echoing the Rangers saga if on a smaller scale and have understandably been quick to dispute this bill and play down any rumours of administration. The tax case relates to wages paid to players on loan from owner Vladimir Romanov’s Lithuanian club FBK Kaunas between 2006 and 2009 but Hearts are confident the issue can be resolved. This represents another chapter of financial uncertainty at Hearts under Romanov; the Russian-born Lithuanian has pumped huge amounts into the capital club since taking over in 2006 but recent years have witnessed a more austere approach. As money becomes yet more scarce in Scottish football Hearts will hope that they do not become an example of financial mismanagement crippling a club with a proud history.
Wheels come off for world cycling Disarray as doping scandal rolls on Orla O’Muiri Staff writer
The only option is to hop on your
bike and keep on riding, your 20km or 200km route, it doesn’t matter, keep going until it all melts away. Pace yourself, though, as there is a long road ahead in the rebuilding of this broken sport as the bad news just keeps rolling in. After 17 years, Rabobank announces it will end its sponsorship of a professional cycling team. The province of Drenthe withdraws its financial support from the 2015 Vuelta a España. The powerhouse of this year’s peloton, Team Sky, is sputtering to a halt. Sporting Director De Jongh and Coach Julich are forced to resign after the pair admitted to doping during their individual professional careers, while Sports Director Yates retires ‘for health reasons.’ The future is looking dim; Armstrong will never confess and the sport seemingly isn’t getting any cleaner with top riders like Alberto Contador caught out in 2010 and Frank Schleck in this year’s Tour de France. Levi Leipheimer is fired from Omega Pharma-Quick-Step for doping. Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie, all of GarminSharp are banned for their involvement in the US Postal doping programme. Even at amateur level the scandal whirls; eight American amateur riders were sanctioned for doping this year. No winners will be attributed to the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005. Rabobank’s Bert Bruggink says it all; “We are no longer convinced that
the international professional world of cycling can make this a clean and fair sport.” The UCI President Pat McQuaid needs to step aside if a revamp is going to have any success. Former Tour de France winner Greg LeMond published an open letter on Facebook urging both McQuaid and Hein Verburggen to resign. In it, he says; “I have never seen such an abuse of power in cycling’s history – resign Pat if you love cycling. Resign even if you hate the sport. Pat McQuaid, you know dam well what has been going on in cycling, and if you want to deny it, then even more reasons why those who love cycling need to demand that you resign.” Five papers - The Times, L’Equipe, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Het Nieuwsblad and Le Soir have united and published a manifesto calling for reform. Cycling journalist Paul Kimmage has set out in pursuit of Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid by lodging a criminal complaint against them. Change will come eventually but for the moment just get on your bike, put your head down and keep pedalling.
Griffiths fires Hibees top
Leith men overcome St Mirren to keep pace with Celtic
Ruth Jeffery Sport editor Hibernian are top of the table again after coming from behind to beat a ten-man St Mirren team at Easter Road on Saturday. Jim Goodwin was sent off in the 67th minute for knocking down David Wotherspoon. The visitors’ goal came in the 31st minute when Kenny McLean received the ball 25 yards out after a St Mirren corner wasn’t properly cleared. He thumped it into the bottom corner of Ben Williams’ goal with a strike full of intention. Just minutes prior to the goal, the visitors had caused Hibs some concern with two consecutive corners. Leigh Griffiths evened out the scoreline in the 37th minute with a chip in across goal from the right side. Hibernian had been looking flustered in the few minutes preceding the goal, but Griffiths took the ball and shot it from
ten yards out past St Mirren keeper Craig Samson and into the back of the net. Griffiths scored again - his 11th goal this season - to get the winner for Hibs in the 64th minute. He received the ball from Paul Cairney 30 yards out, took it into the centre of the box and slotted it neatly past Craig Samson. St Mirren looked scrappy in the first half, disposessing Hibs and not letting them make too many moves towards goal. They had a decent chance themselves in the 13th minute when St Mirren’s Steven Thompson scrambled a ball at the Hibernian net and was just caught by Ben Williams. The Hibs keeper had to fumble the ball twice to make sure it stayed out of the net. Hibernian’s formation wasn’t as effective as it could have been in the first half, and this stopped them from creating many dangerous chances. Eoin Doyle was often playing too far over on the right, leaving the space in the centre of the pitch empty of striking force. Although under constant pressure and with ten men, St Mirren had some chances of their own in the second half. Graham Carey took a free kick in the 83rd minute just seconds after coming on. The shot was from 30 yards out and
was solid, but was caught by Williams. Thompson also had his close range strike in the 91st minute collected easily by the keeper. Momentum seemed to be building for the St Mirren team as they scrambled to try for a last minute equaliser. Hibs held on however to sit at the top of the table for the second time this season, an incredible turnaround after their second from bottom finish last year. After the match Hibs manager Pat Fenlon commented: “I thought it was a great performance today. I thought St Mirren, first half were very very good, the better side and we got a bit lucky going in I suppose at half time. Second half was a bit better, the last five minutes then we probably got a little bit edgy as well and hung on instead of just seeing the game out I suppose.” St Mirren manager Danny Lennon said: “I thought the players showed character, commitment and some very good football. And Hibs showed us respect because they had to change their formation halfway through the first half, but that didn’t phase us and we continued to play well and we managed to score a wonderful goal through young McLean again.”
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Hare and Hounds brace for Braids Edinburgh’s long-established cross country club takes to the hills to host its annual marquee race Ruth Jeffery Sport editor
Saturday 10 November sees the Edinburgh Hare and Hounds (Haries) running club host their very own event, Braid Hills Cross-Country, located south of the city centre. Robin Thomas started this race back in the late 70s as an inter-university fixture between Scottish universities with a few English unis also getting in on the action. Former members of the club were also invited to boost the entries. Nowadays the race attracts in excess of 300 runners from all over Britain. This year is no different, with universities such as Manchester and Leeds each planning on sending 30-40 students. These early races also involved a large after-party and the tradition has AMERICAN FOOTBALL
stuck ever since, with this year taking on a Scottish theme with a Ceilidh and buffet of haggis, neeps and tatties. However, due to the positioning of other races this year, there is tough competition with two other major races falling on the same weekend. Danny Ashworth, men’s club captain, remains optimistic and feels this won’t affect the turn-out. “With the combination of the usual regulars, big universities and even beginners looking to give cross-country a shot for the first time, we should have no problem drawing in the runners! This year is going to be massive!” The ‘Hare and Hounds’ name dates back to the 19th century when crosscountry running was in its early stages in the UK. Races would be run in the following way: one person, the ‘hare’, would run ahead and leave an indistinct trail of marks for all the other runners, WATER POLO
Edinburgh men sink Newcastle at St Leonard’s
Edinburgh men’s water polo
Patriots romp to victory over sorry Rams Outing at Wembley showcases ever-expanding NFL franchise Ollie Bunting Staff writer
The NFL came to London last
weekend for the sixth time since the partnership began with Wembley stadium back in 2007. New England Patriots and St Louis Rams were the two sides competing in what is known as the ‘International Series’, as the NFL franchise seeks to expand to a further audience. The Patriots would have been somewhat familiar with what to expect last week having beaten Tampa Bay back in 2009 at Wembley in what was their first trip across the pond. The Rams less so, despite the fact that this game was set as their home match and New England’s away game. It didn’t seem like that in the stadium on Sunday evening, however, as it was apparent that amongst the many thousands of NFL fans gathered in North London, the Patriots were the team being cheered on by the majority. Things could not have gone much rougher for the Patriots who found themselves 7-0 down in the first quarter after the Rams’ first drive of the game. Bradford, St Louis’ Quarterback, found their Wide Receiver Givens with a 50 yard touchdown pass to set the crowd going.
the ‘hounds’, to follow. Much has changed in the form of cross-country running in the UK, yet the Haries have held onto this name ever since the club was formed in the late 1800s. Nowadays the club can be seen training around the streets of Edinburgh most evenings, from casual joggers to elite athletes. With both men’s and women’s Scottish University cross-country titles under their belt, the club continues to grow every year. Last February the women’s team snatched a bronze medal at the British University cross-country championships, making them known among other top universities. With the next Scottish universities race only a few weeks away, they are expecting more titles to add to their collection, as well as a successful day out at their own competition.
Unfortunately this was to be their only impact on the game as the Rams then found themselves 28-7 down at half time after Tom Brady, New England’s three-times Super Bowl champion and seven-times Pro Bowl player, led five touchdown drives for the Pats on their first five drives of the game. Brady threw 304 yards in the game for four touchdowns as New England surpassed 350 yards total offense for their 17th consecutive game, breaking the NFL record which ironically was set by the Rams themselves in 1999 and 2000. Gronkowski, the Pats’ Tight End had a memorable match with 8 receptions for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns, despite rumours that he was carrying an injury. New England continued their blitz on the Rams defence in the second half as they eventually went on to win 47-7 and wrap up another enjoyable trip to London. The day was a success for the NFL in their pursuit of expanding their evergrowing franchise. It was arguably the best team showing since the NFL came to London and was a great advertisement for the game, which is the most popular sport in the US and draws 111 million viewers for its final, the Super Bowl. Moreover, these fixtures are set to continue for the foreseeable future as
Jacksonville Jaguars have signed a contract that ensures they will feature for the next three years at Wembley. There will be two fixtures next year rather than the usual one as Minnesota Vikings play Pittsburgh Steelers on 29 September, a month before the Jaguars meet San Francisco 49ers on 27 October.
team defeated Newcastle 17-9 last Wednesday. Having travelled such a long distance the Newcastle men were not looking to go home with a loss, but Edinburgh came back from their last match, which was a draw, to neatly see off the visitors. The first two quarters were promising for Edinburgh as Sam Miller put a bounce shot past Newcastle’s goalkeeper within the first minute. Some sloppy defending also left Captain Robert Tate open, and weak swimming from the opposition allowed Tate a clear shot at the goal after powering away with the ball. While poor defence had left Newcastle with a two-goal deficit, their attack was still a threat. By four minutes in they had already clawed a goal back. After an unfortunate tussle over the ball between Edinburgh’s goalie and an opposing team member, Newcastle regained a lucky goal. However, it was evident by this point
Discount on Cut and Colour services at all times
MEN & WOMEN
that the home team were being much more vocal, organised and aware of each other than their challengers, and an absent coach for Newcastle left them without direction or cohesion. Both teams quickly scored in their respective man-up situations, and two swift goals from strong rival shooters meant Newcastle had closed in on Edinburgh slightly, with an 8-6 score. A rapid goal for Edinburgh by Charlie Dane was scored within the first fifteen seconds of the final quarter. Newcastle received a penalty shot after an illegal foul against a player, but resulted in a miss, highlighting inaccurate shooting as their greatest weakness within the game. After a competitive game, the result remained an outright victory for Edinburgh at 17-9. Captain Rob Tate stated “It was a big improvement on the St Andrews game, we were working much more as a team”. This was undoubtedly their strength over Newcastle, and strong defence allowed them to control the game with relative ease.
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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012
@EdJournalSport / journal-online.co.uk KARTING
Campbell top dog EUMSC veteran triumphs at round two Gary Brown, Sean Gibson
Edinburgh University Motor
BUCS Scottish Conference Women’s 3A P W D L F
A GD Pts
St Andrews 2nd
Heriot Watt 1st
3 0 1
Edinburgh 4th 2 St Andrews 2nd 2
Sport Club (EUMSC) headed west to Larbert in the final week of October for round number two of its karting championship, with club veteran Steven Campbell holding off rival Nick Roberts for the victory. The heats began well, but as the drivers grew in confidence and ambition the racing got dirtier and the marshals did not shy away from getting out the flags. Sam Stein even collected a black flag for a particularly harsh move. The more experienced drivers proved that practice makes perfect as they handled the unusual lack of grip better to pull clear, although there were some good challenges made by winners of later heats such as David Haverson and Jonathon Chow. Club captain Gary Brown, a Larbert local, made some impressive moves and won three heats. However, he couldn’t make it to the front in his other two races and therefore started mid-table for the final. Steven Campbell , another local boy, also picked up three race victories en route to the A final. The B final was most notable for the disastrous drive of last year’s champion Scott Douglas, who even suffered the indignity of being lapped. The oncegreat man was previously feared but,
as with F1 legend Michael Schumacher, he is now just a scalp that the younger drivers all want to claim. In the A final, last year’s secondplaced man Finn Moore was drawn a faulty kart on pole; helpless to the attacks of his opponents, he dropped straight to last. Apart from this there wasn’t much action as the group separated itself out. That said, there were black and white warning flags picked up by eventual winner Campbell, as well as the increasingly dangerous Jamie Thomson for a move on James Mollard. Roberts took the runner-up spot finishing a couple of seconds behind his great rival – the podium completed by captain Brown. Campbell proved to be so fast as to evade The Journal, but second-placed Roberts was happy to comment: “I’m very happy with second place, if I finish second every time I’ll win [the championship].” “I’m driving like a man possessed, but we’ll have to see how I cope with the outdoor season.” The next round will take place on the Tranent indoor track on 13 November. Championship Standings: 1) Jordan Martin, 106 points; 2) Jonathan Chow, 95; 3) Nick Roberts, 94; 4) David Heverson 90; 5) Finn Moore, 90; 6) Gillian Stewart, 89.
Edinburgh 2nds end run of defeats Rivals Heriot-Watt succumb at Peffermill
Scottish Conference Cup
BUCS Women’s Premier North P W D L F Loughborough 1st
Edinburgh 1st Newcastle 1st
Leeds Met Car’gie 1st 3 2
72 22 54
0 2 86 75 61
126 46 -23 10
22 43 0
0 2 12 112 -61 4
4 0 0 4 14 105 -86 -1
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A GD Pts
0 0 98 27 55
Ruth Jeffery Sport editor
Edinburgh beat Heriot-Watt 2-0 on Wednesday in a derby match that was dominated by the home team. The game was part of the Scottish Conference Cup Pool one. The goals came in the 29th and 92nd minutes, the first the culmination of an attacking spree by Edinburgh. Jack Gray scored from the left side of the goal after a pass in from Charlie Thompson. The second was a last-gasp shocker a few seconds before the whistle. Edinburgh was the more comprehensive side over the two halves, allowing Heriot-Watt little time on the ball. They started off playing a long ball tactic, with defenders passing up the pitch to Charlie Thompson. This worked particularly well and gave them a few decent opportunities early on, as Thompson crossed in good balls across the box. Heriot-Watt’s own long ball attempts all too often landed at the feet of the opposition players. The second half looked a more even affair, although Heriot-Watt were never
likely to get on the score-sheet. Edinburgh’s Jak Purkiss was taken off in the 67nd minute after suffering a head injury. The defender had tried to continue playing, and had had a very productive game until his substitution. Edinburgh coach Graeme Armstrong had this to say after the match: “Delighted with the win, I thought the boys really showed the effort and commitment. And we’ve been in a tough patch at the moment, the results haven’t been going our way, and I feel we were due a win today, and hard work and effort, just shows what we can do with it.” Talking about the team’s two defeats prior to this game, Armstrong said: “The boys have come on leaps and bounds... it’s always hard for university football to come together, new players to come into the team and find their feet. I think every week we’re improving - the boys now know what it means to play for Edinburgh University, it’s an absolute honour to be here, to play on this pitch, to play in a green jersey. And I think slowly but surely we’re building up a really good side. I’m delighted, absolutely delighted today.” Edinburgh’s next fixtures are away to Robert Gordon University on 7 Nov and home to the University of Aberdeen on 14 Nov. Heriot-Watt next plays the University of Stirling away on 7 Nov before travelling to Glasgow the following week.
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Firsts fight out stalemate Goals, cards and injuries at Peffermill but no winners as hosts recover from tardy start to draw BUCS Scottish Conf’ce Men’s 1A
Ruth Jeffery Sport editor Edinburgh men’s 1sts and HeriotWatt men’s 1sts met last week in an end-to-end match which ended as a draw. The derby, at Peffermill, saw some weaknesses in the home team exposed. Heriot-Watt took the lead twice in the football match which saw the visitors dominating the play. They had two goals within the first 20 minutes, and looked in control of the match for most of the first half. Clean passing and bursts of attacking energy seemed to give Heriot-Watt the upper hand. However, Edinburgh came back into the game after 30 minutes, scoring twice inside five minutes to even out the score line. The visitors were the first to hit
the back of the net after the break, their goal coming just eight minutes into play. Edinburgh equalised six minutes later, however, to pull even. A clash between Heriot-Watt’s Greg Wilson and Edinburgh’s Calum Frain saw the latter taken off with a rumoured dislocated shoulder just four minutes into the match. At the other end of the game in the 89th minute, Edinburgh’s Craig Rankin was sent off for bringing down Chris Donnelly. Heriot-Watt looked the more competent of the two teams, particularly in the first half. Edinburgh had little support on their attacking moves, with players staying further down the pitch instead of coming up to help the campaign. Cyrus Moosavi, who looked impressive for the home team, was constantly trying to push for an attempt at goal, but frequently looked lonely in the box. His attacking runs were taken quite high up the pitch, and his teammates had trouble getting up to support him. After the interval Edinburgh improved on this, and despite conceding, had a much higher standard of passing and
showed more initiative in looking for the back of the net. In the second half, one particular aspect in which they looked more confident was the teamwork of their players. Moosavi, Connor Regan and David McArthur especially exchanged the ball with increased communication and ease. HeriotWatt still came out with the more comprehensive looking side, but there are positives for both teams to take forwards. Edinburgh will be looking to strengthen their midfield for the coming games, as one problem they had against Heriot-Watt was the amount of space they let them take control of. Heriot-Watt now sits second in the BUCS Scottish 1A table with seven points. Edinburgh is fourth with five points, and host table leaders Stirling this Wednesday 7 November at Peffermill. The following week they travel to Glasgow. Heriot-Watt will take on Aberdeen 1sts at home this Wednesday in the BUCS Trophy and then contest Stirling men’s 2nds in the Scottish 1A the week after.
LEAGUE TABLES FOOTBALL
BUCS Scottish Conference Men’s 1A
BUCS Scottish Conference Men’s 2A
P W D L F
A GD Pts
Edinburgh Napier 1st 3 2 1
0 2 6
Robert Gordon 1st
3 0 1
Glasgow Caley 1st
2 0 1
3 0 0 3 17
47 -30 0
0 4 6
2 0 0 2 1
3 0 0 3 6
56 -50 0
P W D L F
BUCS Women’s Premier North
4 3 1
A GD Pts
P W D L F
A GD Pts
0 12 2
3 2 1
0 39 11
3 2 1
0 38 13 25
0 2 17
Full standings available at: www.bucs.org.uk
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