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PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR 2012 » Scottish Student Journalism Awards • PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR 2012 » NUS Scotland Awards






Russell under pressure as SNP education agenda stumbles • Education secretary branded “bully” after ousting Stow College chair for ‘spy-pen’ recording

Gaza fears prompt Edinburgh protest Hundreds rally in capital against Israeli airstrikes, as body count continues to rise

• Salmond and Russell accused of ‘misleading’ parliament over cuts • Knives come out as unions attack college reform programme





IN COMMENT / 17 A matter of life and death Student activists debate the divisive topic of abortion rights, as protests greet pro-life conference in Edinburgh

Braids race success • EUMSC karting round 3 • Glasgow trump EUAC • Napier Knights beaten



Form and function

Celebrated architect Richard Murphy on how good design could solve the housing crisis



IN NEWS / 3-11 • Pro-choice protests in Edinburgh • Right to Education Week • Astronaut touches down at uni • Remembrance controversy at EUSA • Sauna-brothel licensing outrage


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The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

A busy week in Scottish football Levein, Romanov and SFL reconstruction have all been making headlines

BP Portrait Award 2012 American artist Aleah Chapin clinches prestigious portrait prize for ‘Auntie’


Obama: what now? The incumbent president will return to the White House for four more years; but what will his re-election mean for American politics?


Stanley Liew


Police wrangle suspected SDL activists attempting to enter the Gaza rally (p3)

For advertising information Two tests, two Scotlands Reflections on Scotland’s recent defeats to the All Blacks and the Springboks


Call our sales department on 0131 560 2830 or email The Journal is published by The Edinburgh Journal Ltd., registered address TechCube, 1 Summerhall Square, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL. Registered in Scotland number SC322146. For enquiries call 0131 560 2825 or email The Journal is a free newspaper for and written by students and graduates in the City of Edinburgh. Contact us if you’d like to get involved. Printed by Morton’s Printers, Lincolnshire. Copyright © 2008 The Edinburgh Journal Ltd. Elements of this publication are distributed under a Creative Commons license - contact us for more information. Distributed by Two Heads Media, www. Our thanks to PSYBT, Scottish Enterprise, and all who make this publication possible.

The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

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Student groups picket Hundreds attend anti-abortion alliance’s Free Gaza protest George Street fundraiser in Edinburgh Dozens of pro-choice activists protest Alliance of Pro-Life Students fundraiser in Edinburgh city centre Greg Bianchi News editor

Student leaders and student groups turned out in Edinburgh city centre last week for a protest against a convention hosting a number of ‘anti-abortion’ religious and political organisations. The 14 November event was a fundraiser for the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS) who hoped to raise funds to start a pro-life student organisation across Britain. Speaking at the event Aurora Adams, president of the Edinburgh University Feminist Society said: “it is really inappropriate that this [the convention] is happening, abortion clearly should be legal.” Ms Adams also went

on to claim that the groups meeting at the convention were trying to create an “anti-women” movement and that they were here to protest the event “very vocally”. Ms Adams also claimed that the groups at the convention were trying to create an umbrella organisation to get pro-life societies on campuses. A number of student organisations were present at the march with senior members of the Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) and the National Union of Students (NUS) in attendance. During the protest it emerged that a Conservative councillor was attending the convention, resulting in his heckling by protesters upon his arrival at the event. In a statement, the APS said: “We wish to open up respectful academic dialogue on life ethics by encouraging pro-life student societies to organise events where students of all perspectives are welcome to attend and ask questions. There are some very important debates to be had. “Why is abortion permitted up until birth for the disabled? What about gender selective abortion? Is

euthanasia really dying with dignity? As young people, we need to be debating these questions which concern the fundamental right to life. “Universities, as hubs of debate on the tip of scientific discovery, are the ideal places for this discussion to rationally open up.” In a statement on the APS website, the group claim that their aim is to become a strong organisation on campus, providing a voice for pro-life students on campus while also aiming to “build university communities in England, Scotland and Wales that have a lasting and profound respect for human life from fertilisation to natural death.” The protest congregated outside the fundraiser on Hanover Street with dozens of protesters making their feelings known regarding the debate and aims of the APS to build a stronger campus-based organisation. The demonstration coincided with another march protesting the issue of anti-abortion organisations in Europe, amongst other social issues, which marched down Princes Street and eventually congregated outside the National Portrait Gallery.

Stanley Liew

Anger at Israeli action in Gaza draws crowds to Charlotte Square

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Greg Bianchi News editor

Hundreds of activists have turned out in Edinburgh to march from the first minister’s official residence at Charlotte Square to the Scottish Parliament, in protest against the ongoing crisis in Gaza and Israel. The ‘Free Gaza’ event on Saturday 17 November, described as an ‘emergency national demonstration’, attracted a diverse crowd, with students, residents and families present at the initial rally. A number of student leaders from across Scotland addressed the audience, including activists who had travelled from Glasgow. Liam O’Hare, president of Edinburgh Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) criticised the UK and Scottish Governments for hosting Israeli diplomats and supporting the Israeli government’s recent military action in Gaza. Addressing the crowd, Mr O’Hare said that the demonstration “saluted the courage” of the people of Gaza. Speaking to The Journal, Mr O’Hare said: “We’ve had to call this very short notice… and I think it’s important that people around the world and Scotland react immediately”. He warned against the threat of a massacre in Gaza, and said he was pleased with the high turnout at the protest. Asked about the possibility of further protests, Mr O’Hare added: “we will continue to react to this… we will stand with the people there and will escalate our actions here in solidarity with the people of Gaza Another SJP member that it had been a “promising start to an emergency demonstration.” Organisers said they expected between 700 to 1,000 demonstrators to attend throughout the day. The demonstration grew in strength throughout the morning, accompanied

by a large police presence, though the relations between police and protesters were largely amiable, partly due to the number of families present. A small group of protesters believed to be affiliated with the Scottish Defence League attempted to infiltrate the crowd, but were soon removed by police and kept at a distance from the main body of marchers. Judith Flacks, campaigns director at the Union of Jewish Students told The Journal: “UJS’s main priority at this time is the welfare of Jewish students on campus. “We encourage our members to have constructive and balanced conversations regarding Israel and do not think that protests are an environment that allows for this.” This demonstration comes amid an on-going military standoff in Gaza, which began with the assassination in an Israeli missile strike on 14 November of Ahmed Jabari, head of Palestinian militant group Hamas’ armed wing. Hamas have since fired rockets at the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv, sparking a rapid escalation of tensions which has seen Israeli military forces moved en masse to the border with Gaza and further Israeli military strikes against the city. Egypt have entered the fray, pledging to support Gaza against any Israeli aggression. As The Journal went to press, over 100 Gaza residents and three Israelis had been killed, according to the BBC. The death toll is expected to rise. Israel withdrew troops from Gaza in 2005. The blockaded city has since 2006 been governed by Hamas, following an effective coup against teh Fatah-dominated Palestinian National Authority. The demonstration in Edinburgh also protested at Alex Salmond’s decision to meet with the Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub, which was roundly criticised by activists and resulted in volatile protests. Last fortnight, The Journal reported on the fallout following a speech by Amb. Taub at the University of Edinburg,h which prompted a row between the university and a number of student groups after the talk was disrupted by SJP activists.


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The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012


Russell under pressure over Stow scandal Ousting of college chairman who recorded meeting with education secretary Mike Russell prompts calls for minister to resign Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor, Glasgow

The resignation of a college chairman has raised questions over alleged bullying by education secretary Mike Russell, amid controversial college reform. The allegations surfaced during a public spat between Russell and Stow College chair Kirk Ramsay who stood down after an “unwarranted personal attack” by the SNP minister. The row began after Ramsay made a secret recording of a meeting with college chairs with a device dubbed a “spy pen”. A letter from Russell said: “It appears that an unauthorised audio recording was made of the event, without my knowledge or the courtesy of notifying those in attendance. I’m informed that this recording has now been distributed by Mr Ramsay. “I am afraid I do not regard Mr Ramsay’s actions as consistent in any way with the protocol expected at such an event or of the standards I expect [of the chairman of a board of management of ] any college.” In a statement last week, Ramsay said: “My resignation follows an unwarranted personal attack on me by Michael Russell MSP. “My passion and commitment for Stow College, and the college education

sector as a whole, is too great for me to allow any perceived error on my part to be allowed to inflict damage on the college, its students or staff, executives and board. “I remain firm in my belief that I have done nothing wrong and intend to clear my name.” Amid a fierce backlash against his college regionalisation programme, which has seen drastic budget cuts, mergers and fears of job losses and course cuts, the beleaguered minister took the unprecedented step of writing to every college principal and chairman in Scotland to highlight Ramsay’s recording. He then refused to apologise for questioning Ramsay’s suitability as chair of a college board of management and went on the offensive for a second time during heated exchanges with opposition MSPs at Holyrood last week. Russell said: “The Scottish Government believes the college sector, like any other, needs to be led and governed by people of the highest quality and standards. “Chief among their attributes must always be mutual trust and respect.” Ramsay’s justification for the recording was to ensure he and absent colleagues had an accurate record of the meeting and it was not submitted to outside parties. He said: “Rather than take detailed

notes of Mr Russell’s speech, I recorded his comments. This recording was solely for my own use and for others who could not attend. “I am extremely disappointed that Mr Russell has used his position to seek to exert such control, influence and power both privately, but also so publicly.” BBC Scotland have reported that opposition MSPs have seen their calls for an official inquiry blocked by the head of the education and culture committee, in a move that opposition members of the committee have called a “partisan” decision. The meeting, which Ramsay claims was attended by 80 people including college managers and civil servants, was seen as an opportunity for college leaders to speak to the education secretary about the Scottish Government’s controversial college reforms which will dramatically reduce the number of colleges. Stow College’s future remains uncertain after it abandoned plans to join the City of Glasgow College merger in 2010, instead opting to remain independent, but college management are now in talks to merge with North Glasgow College and John Wheatley College reducing the number of colleges in Glasgow from seven to three by 2013. Additional reporting: Daniel do Rosario.


Why The Journal believes that Mr Russell has failed as education secretary, and should resign


Scottish Government accused of ‘misleading parliament’ over FE cuts


First minister Alex Salmond is forced to apologise to parliament, after insisting at FMQs that there had been no cut to college budgets Daniel do Rosario Political editor

Stow College in the Cowcaddens area of Glasgow was Glasgow’s first purpose-built college, named after a Victorian philanthropist and one of the greatest pioneers in the history of Scottish Education, David Stow, in 1934. Described at the time as a ‘trades school’, the initially college provided evening courses to help the workers and companies of Clydeside towards economic recovery. More recently the college’s primary focus has been on training in management, computing, electronics, science and music. In January 2000, the college expanded its operation with a new £1.3 million campus development on the semi-derelict Shakespeare Street Primary School in Maryhill and opened a new £1.5m science learning centre in 2005 at its city campus.

Scottish Government

Stow College’s proximity to the city centre meant joining a merger of Glasgow’s Nautical, Central and Metropolitan colleges seemed inevitable and it was part of plans to join, but the troubled college abandoned the move in 2009 amid an internal audit by the Scottish Funding Council into the college’s 2007/08 accounts. Three years later, with Mike Russell’s regionalisation reforms ramping up across the coutry, the college was snubbed by the ‘Clyde’ merger with college principals and board chairs particularly concerned about Stow’s estates and financial situation. In June 2012 the college then entered substantive merger negotiations, this time with North Glasgow College and John Wheatley College, with a proposed vesting date in 2013.

The Scottish Government was accused of misleading parliament about cuts to college funding last week, when it emerged that figures quoted by first minister Alex Salmond and his education secretary Mike Russell were incorrect. Under questioning from Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, Mr Salmond repeatedly stated that the resource budget for Scotland’s colleges for 2011-12 to the current financial year had seen an increase from £545 million to £546 million — what Salmond called “about as exact an answer as anybody has given in any parliament”. Shortly after first minister’s questions, Labour circulated documents from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre indicating that college funding had in fact fallen, and that the figures quoted by Mr Salmond were obtained by comparing the draft budget figures from 2011-12 to the final (revised) figures for the current financial year. The revised figure for resource funding in 2011-12 was over £555 million, which means the allocated

revenue spending for Scotland’s colleges has fallen by over £9 million this year. Mr Russell is also under fire for two contradictory claims — one in June claiming that there was no fall in college funding, and then a written statement in October that stated there had indeed been cuts. During FMQs, Lamont said: “It is no longer a question of whether Mike Russell has misled parliament, but rather, when”, before suggesting that this might be grounds for Russell losing his job. Alluding to the controversy between Mike Russell and the chair of Stow College in Glasgow, Lamont said: “This week Mr Russell told a college chair he should resign because he no longer had any trust in him — well presiding officer, no one can have any trust in Mike Russell after this week.” “Mike Russell has told a college chair he would sack him if he had the power — but Mike Russell has misled this parliament, and the first minister has the power to sack him.” Salmond responded by listing the large number of MSPs that Scottish Labour had previously called on to

resign, before saying “the only person they haven’t called for is my resignation — a totally extraordinary situation.” At around 5pm, Salmond appeared before parliament to clarify the government’s position and to apologise over the incorrect figures, which he claimed to have used ‘in good faith’. He admitted that the 2011-12 figures he had used “failed to take into account revisions to funding” and stressed that “there was no intention to mislead.” He argued that was made clear in the fact that Russell had provided the correct figures in a letter to the education committee on 18 October. In the same FMQ’s, the first minister admitted that budgets for colleges were going to fall next year, but that capital spending was being allocated to help out. Revenue/resource spending is for day to day spending that an institution might need to do, for the delivery and purchase of services. Capital spending is spending allocated to improvements such as infrastructure and so on, which are expected to deliver a return. The Journal has pressed Russell over cuts to college spending before, but he ‘disputed’ our figures.

The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

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Unions slam government’s college agenda Senior figures in Scottish staff and academic unions open fire on the government’s college regionalisation programme ANALYSIS Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor, Glasgow

Education secretary Mike Rus-

sell’s actions since the SNP swept to power in the 2011 election have angered many in the education sector, particularly Scotland’s further education colleges. Funding cuts and aggressive sector reform which have resulted in numerous job losses, along with a tense debate around student funding arrangements have embittered the sector, leaving many in the education sector privately resentful of Russell and the SNP administration. College principals have talked a good game behind closed doors, regularly criticising Russell’s direction for education in Scotland, but their silence now is deafening, with many fearful of being out of a job this time next year when at least six mergers are expected to go through. Staff unions, however, have been more assertive; in The Journal today, two influential unionists take few prisoners (see right).


Address the issues; stop this party-political point scoring Larry Flanagan

While we want to see Scotland’s Further Education sector high on the news agenda, it was disappointing this week that this was based around personal spats and party-political squabbling. Scotland’s colleges are facing very serious and very real problems so Scotland’s politicians, both local and national, should be focusing on addressing these issues rather than engaging in party-

political point-scoring. Scotland’s FE colleges are in the midst of a cycle of deep cuts to their annual teaching budgets, which has cost thousands of jobs in our colleges and robbed thousands of prospective students of vital educational and training opportunities. Scotland’s colleges are key to Scotland’s economy and Scotland’s economic recovery, yet they are being forced to cut jobs and courses to

balance their declining budgets. The grant for learning and teaching, which funds the core function of FE, has been cut by 20% in the last two academic years. Today there are many tens of thousands fewer college places (44,000 in the last year for which there are statistics) while the number of applications have soared. At a time of record youth unemployment, this is a scandal. Now that the true extent of the cuts

are no longer in dispute, we would argue that before decisions are taken about future spending on Further Education there should be an extended period of discussion during which the voices of those most closely involved in the provision and receipt of college education – the staff and students – are clearly heard. Larry Flanagan is general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland.

We need openness, transparency and union representation Chris Greenshields

This row over the use of a recording

device at a meeting to discuss matters of vital importance to students and staff at Scotland’s Further Education

colleges was unfortunate, but it highlights wider issues of openness, transparency and union representation. Cuts, mergers and regionalisation are going ahead without full involvement of FE staff and their representatives in the process. There is a lack of

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representation of unions at board level, despite the minister saying that he wished the unions to be ‘fully involved in the process of change’ in colleges. As FE colleges head into mergers, we must reiterate our call for democratically elected local officials of our recognised trade unions to be given places on the new boards. Such representation would ensure the transparency and accountability of government ministers in their dealings with the FE colleges, including Stow College. Over 1,300 jobs have been lost in Scotland’s colleges last year alone. The prospect of further damaging budget cuts means the sector is facing a diffi-

cult future. The number of jobs which have been lost in our colleges is unsustainable and damaging to the chances of our students successfully completing their course of study. All of our efforts should be on the disastrous implications of the current cuts to budgets, courses and jobs on our current and future students. Unions need to be able to represent college staff in the places where the decisions are being taken. Chris Greenshields is chair of UNISON Scotland’s FE committee and a steward at Stow College.

Unemployment in Scotland rises New figures from the Office of National Statistics show jobless numbers in Scotland are up in the last three months, but down overall across the UK

Positive discrimination to be allowed in university admissions Decisions by Universities Scotland represent move towards widening access

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Report: student opportunity gap has closed Benjamin Lebus

A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has stated that its results suggest the gap between wealthy and deprived students has narrowed since

2006. According to the IFS the “new finance regime introduced in 2006-07 was actually significantly more progressive than the system it replaced.” Although the tuition fee cap rose from

£1,000 to £3,000, the new system has made it more financially viable for those from a deprived background to attain higher education qualifications. Since the rise in tuition fees there has been a concern that those students from lower-income backgrounds will feel the effect most strongly, and that those students from a wealthier background wouldn’t feel the impact of this rise as much. The narrowing of this gap is manifest in the 3 per cent reduction (from 40 per cent in 2007 to 37 per cent in 2012) in the difference between the number of those attending higher education from the most deprived backgrounds and those with a wealthier upbringing.


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However, the rise in fees in 2006 and the increased HE (Higher Education) participation from deprived students cannot be conclusively linked. The IFS went on to add that they could not “say for sure that this change… arose as a consequence of the new HE finance regime”. The author of the IFS report, Claire Crawford, referred to this revelation positively as she discussed the most recent rise in tuition fees, which has renewed concerns that this economic gap may start to increase again. She argues that the reduction of the gap “provides some hope that the drop in university applications observed this year – following the most recent increase in tuition fees – may not

herald the start of a longer term fall in participation rates.” Liam Burns, the National Union of Students (NUS) president, disagreed with Crawford’s statement, though, by arguing that there is a “marked contrast” between the implementation of the higher cap in 2006-07 and the one in 2012. Similar to the recent overall increase in university application figures, shown in a report released by UCAS last month, this narrowing of the gap is a positive reflection on the education sector. It is clear, though, that work must be done to maintain the narrowing of this social gap in HE so as to ensure a more balanced overall economy.

Edinburgh student group launch Action AIDS campaign Group aims to raise awareness over disease in run up to World AIDS Day Rachael Crockett

First minister Alex Salmond on a visit to new startup incubator TechCube

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Hannah Dowe Standring Student News editor

The University of Edinburgh

branch of the Student Stop AIDS Campaign held the first action in the Why Stop Now campaign on Wednesday, part of a national awareness-raising effort in the run up to World AIDS Day on 1 December. Rachael Crockett, Edinburgh Student Stop AIDS campaigns officer, told The Journal: “it’s very important for students to be globally aware... especially with this campaign, as it’s a nationwide campaign, it’s not just us with our own little agenda, it’s really quite exciting that its happening all over the UK”. The campaign is part of a bid to encourage David Cameron and the UK government to commit to a blueprint to end AIDS within the next generation. Students from the group spent the afternoon getting passers-by in George Square to cover a sheet in blue hand prints to show their support for the campaign. This symbolic ‘blue print’

will be brought to Edinburgh MPs this week to urge them to put pressure on the government to make a commitment on World AIDS Day. The idea of a blueprint has already been taken on in the United States, and the Stop AIDS campaign is hoping that Britain will follow suit, mapping out a strategy for how UK resources can be used effectively to combat HIV and AIDS, and how the UK will lead the global HIV response. A “tipping point” in combatting the AIDS epidemic is now within reach, the Stop AIDS Campaign says, and decisive action from the UK government would mark an important step towards this. The Students Stop AIDS campaign is part of a national movement, with societies at universities across the UK, and with links to many other non-governmental organisations. Wednesday’s action was co-ordinated by the AIDS consortium and saw similar events taking place across the UK. The University of Edinburgh branch works closely with Waverley Care and HIV Scotland in raising awareness and tackling HIV and AIDS in Scotland.


The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

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Students’ 24-hour ‘journey’ Staffers of history journal Retrospect produce glossy mag in a one-day push Hannah Dowe Standring Student News editor

Students from the University of Edinburgh’s Retrospect Society this weekend produced their second 24-hour magazine. Editors and contributors had just 24 hours, between 9am on Friday 16 and 9am on Saturday 17 November, to design, write, edit and publish the online magazine. The project was run by two third year English Literature students — editor Lydia Willgress and deputy editor Oliver Giles — and draws on a broad base of contributors, including students themselves as well as professional journalists such as NME and Guardian regular Pete Cashmore. Editor Lydia Willgress, who is also

an assistant news editor at The Journal, said: “when I heard about the concept of a 24-hour magazine I was really keen to see how far the boundaries could be pushed. “We created the whole magazine from scratch. There was no point when I thought we weren’t going to make it and we even managed to finish half-an-hour early. “We had students and full-time journalists writing from across the globe: the standard of articles was exceptional and I feel privileged to have worked on such a project.” Students from around the Globe — including Leon, Paris and Bologna — added to the content, which is set to include interviews with Daniel Sloss, Caggie Dunlop and the singer-songwriter Syron.

The magazine also contains travel features, a preview chapter of an unreleased book and Ms Willgress told The Journal that Retrospect Society decided to run the project for a second time after “great feedback” on the first 24-hour magazine which was produced in October. They are the only organisation to have run such a project in Edinburgh. In the run up to the project Willgress went on to say: “I think that the concept is an excellent idea and highlights how print journalism is evolving to keep up with the vast changes taking place in the media industry. “I am particularly excited about this issue as we have a wide range of writers, including professional journalists. The magazine should act as a great platform for students who are hoping to get into journalism, publishing or design.”


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Edinburgh astronaut revisits alma mater Edinburgh University alumnus Dr Piers Sellers talks about his time as an astronaut in the American space programme Emma Mowat

University of Edinburgh alumnus

Dr Piers Sellers returned to the institution to discuss his career as NASA astronaut on 15 November. Dr Sellers noted that he “owes a lot” to Edinburgh University, where he studied for his first degree, before launching into a career as a scientist. He did not become an astronaut until being accepted onto a NASA programme at the age of 41. He spoke of his experiences of takeoff and landing: generating a fragmentation radius of at least 3 miles, 2,300 tonnes of explosives send the shuttle

hammering uphill before reaching the velocity target, 8 minutes and 22 seconds after lift off. Dr Sellers described some of the physical consequences of space travel, such as the initial expansion of your face in the first few days as fluid ascends from the lower body. Such an unfortunate physical effect is however compensated with the acquisition of a couple of inches to your height, as the spinal cord stretches out. Travelling at a rate of 5 miles per second, the space shuttle hurtles around the world in a staggering 90 minutes, 10 times the speed of a concord. Dr Sellers joked that the panoramic

Uni researchers in new study of ancient Istanbul Research team, including Edinburgh academics, use technology to map subterranean aqueducts Tristan Ryan

A team partly made up of British

researchers, including some from the University of Edinburgh, opened an exhibition on Friday 9 November to display their work mapping the enormous network of ancient aqueducts, cisterns and channels under and around Istanbul. The 20-year project, led by Professor James Crow of the University of Edinburgh archaeology department, began with the investigation of an ancient wall near Istanbul. It then moved on to mapping the network of aqueducts and channels that transported water to and around ancient Constantinople in the fourth century AD and for several centu-

ries after. Using GPS and satellite imagery above ground, the team of Turkish and British researchers mapped the enormous system of 160 cisterns under Istanbul, by far the largest of the ancient world, and the channels that delivered water to it. Mr Riley Snyder, who is finishing a doctorate at the University of Edinburgh this year and is currently working in Ankara, was responsible for determining the nature and scale of material used. The channels, cut into hillsides and covered to protect the water, are about 1.5m across and up to 2m high and “composed of a combination of sand, crushed brick and lime… [that] created watertight and significantly stronger struc-

view of Earth as a majestic marble silently spinning 300 miles below makes the space station the ultimate location from which to decide your next holiday destination, stating: “you do appreciate that the world is a small place, it is extraordinary that we live on the outside of a rock, turning on a big ball of dirt.” With a view of 1,000 miles in any direction, it is easy to understand the growth of the space travel industry. For those tired of terrestrial getaways, there is no better way to escape. Dr Sellers said that he “would love to take everyone, I’m hoping it won’t just be something billionaires will be able to do.”

A video showed the crew members navigating the space cabin, indulging in impressive displays of gymnastics, curling, and human darts, free from the shackles of Earth’s forces. Fun aside, Dr Sellers stressed that the ability to “work hard and be a team player” are the most essential assets of any astronaut. Lengths of 8 hours are spent on space walks, and Dr Sellers spoke of the trials of sleeping, “upon dozing off, you are abruptly awakened by the sensation of falling off a 10-storey building.” Whilst Dr Sellers himself faces a more grounded existence, he set an optimistic forecast for space exploration

saying that he’s “pretty sure we will find in the next 20 years earth-like planets, they won’t be too hot or too cold, they will have liquid oceans, clouds, rain, mountains […] who knows, there could even be a parallel universe.”

tures,” Mr Snyder said. Mr Snyder estimates that the extensive stone waterways and aqueduct bridges are 501km in length, only one kilometre short of the combined length of the 11 aqueducts that supplied ancient Rome with water. “The total stone necessary for the construction was equivalent to the Great Pyramid of Giza, around 2.5 million cubic metres.” The scale and technological

sophistication of the construction, in a period generally believed to be one of decline in construction, “shows we have much more work to do,” said Mr. Snyder. “We sort of vaguely knew they were there,” said Professor Crow of the channels, noting that very little had been published about the system when he began work on an ancient wall in the area in 1994 while a teacher at the University of Newcastle, “they’re not in tourist books

or anything.” Professor Crow sees the potential for sustainable tourism at the sites as part of a conservation effort; “the structures are recognised but they’re not properly protected.” To this end he hopes that the exhibition, hosted by the Istanbul Research Centre for Anatolian Civilisations and housed on one of Istanbul’s busiest thoroughfares, will increase public awareness of the structures.



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EUSA hosts delegation from Palestinian university for ‘Right to Education Week’ Several years after twinning with Birzeit University, the Edinburgh union hosts its first delegation from the West Bank university Callum Northcote

Two students from Birzeit Univer-

sity gave a talk to University of Edinburgh students on Thursday 14 November as part of the ‘Right to Education Week’ campaign. The event, organised by EUSA and Edinburgh University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), was wellattended as students gathered to hear the experiences of Palestinians at university in the West Bank. Asmaa Dasa, a 20-year-old student from Hebron, described road-blocks and arrests as part of the student experience at Birzeit. The proposed co-speaker, Yaseen Farraj, was unable to attend as he had been detained by Israeli border control and was not able to leave. EUSA has been twinned with the Birzeit University student council since 2005, and is affiliated with the ‘Right to Education’ campaign and to the UK charity ‘Friends of Birzeit’, but this is the first time students from Birzeit have

visited, following a student council vote last year mandating to EUSA to organise the event. The speakers claimed that both students and academics are frequently denied access or delayed at checkpoints making attendance almost impossible. Anan Quzar, an organiser of the ‘Right to Education’ initiative based in Birzeit, told the audience that students are regularly detained, often without charge, to the detriment of their studies. Reports estimate that 73 Birzeit students are currently in jail, with almost half having no charges brought against them. Mr Quzar continued by issuing a call for students to push for ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ from companies involved with Israel and questioned alleged unethical investments by education establishments asking: “if you care about international law why are you investing in these companies?” James McAsh, EUSA President, said that it is “a great honour to be a part of this” when opening the talk and declared “it will happen every year”.

Birzeit University

EUSA president criticised over Remembrance snub Quebec activists criticise ‘sense of McAsh declines to lay wreath at university service defeat’ in British student protests Rachel Barr Staff writer

EUSA president James McAsh has been criticised after refusing to attend a Remembrance Sunday event and lay a wreath on behalf of Edinburgh students. McAsh explained that his refusal was on the grounds of his personal belief that the official remembrance campaign “celebrates and glorifies” war and the people who should be blamed for it. This caused controversy among Edinburgh students after the president posted a comment reflective of this on his personal Facebook page. This was quickly followed by over 40 comments from both outraged students and defenders of the president’s decision. Critics of McAsh’s refusal gave opinions that his actions were ‘vile’, with others on Facebook calling for his resignation. One comment on the thread of the original status read: “It puzzles me why people run for representative positions when they aren’t prepared to represent people who may not agree entirely with their personal political views”. Some have advocated their support for the president’s decision. Former EUSA vice-president Mike Williamson defended his right to refuse for personal reasons, stating: “I really don’t think McAsh’s vision of a democratic university is one in which military groups get to decide what the EUSA president gets to do on the weekend and what he says on his personal Facebook profile.”

In a statement, McAsh re-iterated that this was a decision he had made on the back of his personal beliefs rather than the position of EUSA and emphasised that students had still been represented through the attendance of vice-president academic affairs Andrew Burnie. In commenting on the service, Burnie said that he felt it was necessary that he attended because it was something that was “important to a lot of people”. He also stated that people who make the day something political were “missing the point”. However, in commenting on McAsh’s refusal, Burnie made clear that he had not known much about the decision when he was asked to attend in replacement by email, commenting further that “everyone is entitled to their own choice”. McAsh has since apologised if he had offended people as a result of his own beliefs. He stated: “It was not my intention to offend or disrespect those who fell fighting in wars or those who chose to remember them in this way”. However, in commenting on McAsh’s refusal, Burnie made clear that he had not known much about the decision when he was asked to attend in replacement by email, commenting further that “everyone is entitled to their own choice”. McAsh has since apologised if he had offended people as a result of his own beliefs. He stated: “It was not my intention to offend or disrespect those who fell fighting in wars or those who chose to remember them in this way.”

Quebec student leader and free education activist Kevin Paul criticises the UK student movement in a talk at the University of Edinburgh Rachel Barr Staff writer

Canadian free education activist Kevin Paul visited Edinburgh last week as part of a series of UK university visits. The tour, organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) focused on parallels between the Quebec and UK movements and what lessons the UK movement could learn from CLASSE’s success. Paul began the talk with an outline of the ways in which the province successfully utilised student opposition to fee rises. Quebec is renowned for the scale and success of the student movement against an 80 per cent rise in tuition fees last year — indefinite strike strategies, direct action and repeated demonstrations over a period of several weeks resulted in the mobilisation of over 30,000 people in opposition to the liberal government’s decision to raise tuition fees. University groups throughout the province joined together over a two year period to form CLASSE, a temporary strike coalition explicitly formed to build the students’ strike and stop fee rises. In response, the liberal government passed an emergency law imposing fines and restrictions on people’s rights to protest. Up to half a million people marched

in clear defiance of this law, with strong public support behind them, ultimately resulting in an election which saw the party defeated and tuition fees frozen. Edinburgh anti-cuts activists were keen to get Paul’s opinion on how the movement could succeed in the UK, and Paul attempted to frame his own experiences round the current problems faced by UK university students. Paul emphasised the need for building momentum, stating: “Marches and demonstrations are not going to change anything long term”. He instead advocated for long term strikes or lecture boycotts and direct action specifically targeting the economy to “multiply power relations” between the student movement and the government. His advice was something which clearly resonated with the talk’s attendees, many of whom are involved in organising the Edinburgh presence on the upcoming NUS demo next week. Speaking after the talk on differences between UK and Quebec student activism, Paul noted that there was already a “strong sense of defeat from UK students”, though he added this wasn’t reflective of the students present at the talk: “this wasn’t the impression I got from sitting in that room”. He also stated that it was his hope that his talks on Quebec throughout the

UK can spark student activism ahead of the demo, inspiring more universities to take action against the rising tuition fees and increasing graduate unemployment levels.

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Bike corridor launched on student thoroughfare

Chris Hill

Corridor is designed to ease travel between the University of Edinburgh’s King’s Buildings and George Square campuses Lydia Willgress Local News editor




Bike Corridor connecting George IV Bridge and King’s Buildings was opened last week. The council, alongside Sustrans, a leading charity who promote safe cycling throughout the UK and the University of Edinburgh, upgraded the route as it has proved highly popular with students and commuters. Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “Today is an important milestone in our shared ambition through the Active Travel Action Plan of making cycling as safe and appealing as we can to commuters and cyclists of all

ages. “We know that Southside and Newington already has an above average number of journeys made by bike (some 12 per cent), and this new corridor will no doubt encourage even more people to take to two wheels. “The work to improve the bus lanes will also be welcomed by commuters as this will increase the reliability of local bus services.” New and enhanced bus and cycle lanes have been added to the old route, as well as changes to parking and loading restrictions so lanes are not restricted by stopped vehicles. Route signs have also been improved in order to increase the safety and attractiveness of the corri-

dor for cyclists. Danielle Falkner, a third-year maths and music student, will take full advantage of the improved cycling lane. She said: “I regularly travel by bike from George Square to King’s Buildings. “I am very pleased that the council are spending time and money on cycle lanes, as I am confident that this will improve my safety.” The scheme is part of a long-running action plan to improve the cycling experience in the Scottish capital. The corridor cost £650,000, with one third of this cost having been funded by the Scottish Government’s Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets programme.

Edinburgh’s ‘world-class’ Hogmanay plans unveiled Organisers promise that the 2013 New Year’s party will be the best in the world, with a headline performance from Simple Minds Lydia Willgress Local News editor

For the 20th anniversary of the

Scottish capital’s famous New Year party, a wealth of artistic performances and sporting events will be put on all in line with the theme of luck. To celebrate the onset of 2013, up to 80,000 are expected to attend the three-day event. This year’s Hogmanay is thought to be one of the largest New Year’s festivals in the world. On New Year’s Eve, Simple Minds will headline a live open-air concert, with support from The Maccabees, The View, Reverend and the Makers and many other bands. Princes Street will have seven screens positioned along its length,

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with DJs welcoming in the New Year at an event called REW1ND3R. The event has been dubbed the world’s largest open-air nightclub. As well as the musical performances, 7,000 people will march to Calton Hill bearing torches. Pete Irvine, artistic director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “Every year, in response to ever-changing circumstances, we make the festivities different and create what we believe to be the best New Year celebration in the world. “This will be another one of 20 great nights to remember.” On New Year’s Day, organisers have come up with a whole host of events centred on luck. Galoshins, a traditional seasonal Scottish play that is usually performed door-to-door, will be staged. The drama follows a fight, MEN & WOMEN

before a doctor brings the injured party back to life. An event called ‘Your Lucky Day’ will also be put on to entice visitors and citizens to spend a day exploring different cultural destinations. These destinations will be decided upon by a throw of a dice and options include spending an afternoon at a Highland ceilidh or attending theatrical and musical performances at various destinations. Sport will also play a key part in the festivities. Individuals and teams can enter into the triathlon and take part in a 400m swim, an 11-mile bike ride and a three-and-a-half mile run. For those who do not take part in the large race a separate event, including a bike ride and two runs, will be available.

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Outrage over city’s sauna relicensing Local residents unhappy about the relicensing by council of suspected brothels Lydia Willgress Local News editor

Local residents were left out-

raged as 12 saunas were granted public entertainment licences by Edinburgh City Council. On Wednesday 7 November, councillors approved the applications despite concerns they are operating as brothels. Gavin Barrie, convenor, said: “The committee is not convinced there is sufficient evidence not to renew the licence.” Jenny Kemp, coordinator of Zero Tolerance, a leading Scottish charity that deals with male violence against women, said: “We are appalled by this decision. “Sexual exploitation is a huge problem in Edinburgh and saunas are a key place where that exploitation happens. “The council’s insistence on turning a blind eye to the harms and illegality of indoor prostitution is totally inconsistent with its approach to other forms of gender-based abuse. “For the council to tolerate the abuse of some women, so long as it remains hidden, is hugely disappointing. The citizens of Edinburgh deserve much better.” The applications were delayed after 59-year-old anti-prostitution campaigner Mike Anthony claimed the offending saunas were actually offering

a ‘sex-for-sale’ policy in July. The premises must have their licences renewed every three years. In past five years, the only complaints lodged against the saunas have been predominantly minor and concerned with noise or environmental complaints. All of the establishments will be allowed to continue trading. Two of the licences were continued because they are subject to on-going police investigations, although they will have to be reviewed within six months. After two of the establishments had been relicensed, Anthony stormed out of City Chambers. Some students are also against the decision. Rebecca Miles, a third year student at Edinburgh University, said: “Even if there was only a small amount of evidence against the saunas, I think that the licences should have been reconsidered more carefully.” One of the sauna’s websites boasts: “with a selection of both home grown and international beauties, nobody can be disappointed” and includes individual profiles, where girls are identified by their hair colour, chest size, nationality and height. The gallery includes pictures of private rooms that contain double beds. Another one of the relicensed saunas, asserts that for companionship with a girl, customers must pay extra. All 12 licences were considered in one council meeting.


The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

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Puzzle 1 (Very hard, difficulty rating 0.77)

The education secretary

Michael Russell’s reign of error We find ourselves here again. Fort-

night after fortnight, we have criticised the Scottish Government’s education secretary Michael Russell from these pages for a litany of missteps and bad policy that makes thoroughly bleak reading — the utter failure of this government on the issue of Rest-of-UK tuition fees; on the massive cuts to further education which have imperilled the whole sector; on the crude and bloody process of ‘regionalising’ Scotland’s colleges; and, most recently, on the government’s sluggish response to this year’s abject failure of the Student Awards Agency for Scotland to pay student bursaries and loans on time and in the correct amount. Now Mr Russell has gone and done it again. In the last week, we have watched him publicly hound a senior college official from his job for what is, placed in proper perspective, a minor professional breach. Kirk Ramsay, the chair of Glasgow’s Stow College, was reported to have covertly recorded a meeting with Mr Russell; for this transgression, the minister publicly demanded that the chairman resign — which he did, days later. But before the imagination leaps to leaked tapes of candid closed-door discussions, consider the following facts: Mr Ramsay recorded the minister’s remarks at a meeting which included over 80 college and union officials, government advisors and civil servants. He circulated the recording to a small number of fellow college chairs; it was not released publicly. The minister’s supreme arrogance in decrying a relatively minor professional faux pas as a breach of trust sufficient to warrant Mr Ramsay’s public flogging is appalling. There was certainly a breach of etiquette — all parties should

be made aware that their words are being recorded, but he should not have been publicly pilloried by a senior minister. Mr Russell has long been known as an uncompromising political operator. He is respected by many — but he is also feared, many sources say. There is a sense that he has significant power, given education’s place as perhaps the foremost of the government’s devolved powers, and that he is fond of wielding it. Mr Ramsay has even described him as a “bully” — an accusation not dismissed out of hand by those who have dealt with the minister. At a time when the Scottish education sector is so vulnerable, and so lacking in confidence about the future, they do not need a minister who is seen as a bully. Mr Russell’s hard-charging approach to his job has not helped calm the sector’s nerves; quite the opposite. A more general reflection on his twoand-a-half-year tenure gives little cause for confidence: although it is true that he came into the job at an enormously challenging time for the British education sector, even against such a miserable backdrop Mr Russell’s ministry has been notably devoid of successes. Rather, it has been a grim farrago of bad policy, notquite U-turns and political maneouvering masquerading as tough but honourable choices. These are not necessarily personal failures on Mr Russell’s part; rather, they are evidence that the Scottish Government under the SNP has failed dismally to articulate a coherent and progressive vision for education in Scotland. Indeed, first minister Alex Salmond made a fool of himself in the Scottish Parliament this week after insisting vigorously that college budgets were not being cut — only to return hours later and sheepishly

Smoking killed

admit that he had been quoting the wrong data. With each new bout of ‘reform’, we are told that we must suffer short-term pain for long-term efficiency. Yet many of these changes have dire long-term consequences: drastically increased RUK fees, allowing universities to charge undergraduates from outside Scotland up to £9,000 per year, deal a major blow to the vital efforts towards widening access, an injury compounded by continuing cuts to FE. The college mergers programme is hugely expensive, wildly unpopular with college lecturers and unions, and it remains unclear how it improves the learner experience given it is almost certain to result in course cuts. Massive cuts to bursaries were only lightly tempered by a partial U-turn; the government’s commitment to student support remains lukewarm at best. The new minimum income guarantee is a strong gesture in the right direction, for which the government deserves praise — but then, nothing is guaranteed when SAAS is involved. The agency continues to prove itself unfit for purpose, as we endure a second consecutive year of backlogs and pervasive administrative errors. Mr Russell has not only fronted a string of bad policies, but is also perilously close to losing the confidence of the sector altogether. Colleges are already resentful of him; universities seem ambivalent at best. The time has come for a change; we need an education secretary with fewer enemies, and with fresh ideas. The Scottish education sector needs a clear path forward; Mr Russell has not provided one. The time has come for him to go, and for the first minister to appoint a more diplomatic pair of hands to steer the ship.

by Jen Owen

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Generated by on Mon Nov 19 15:26:29 2012 GMT. Enjoy!

‘Negotiating the right to live’

call out the helicopter gunships and the F16 attack fighters and the Besieged Palestinian Gaza is an heavy tanks and the guided misexperiment in provocation. Stuff siles, and destroy yet more of the one and a half million people into pathetic remains of infrastructure a tiny space, stifle their access to that the Palestinian state still has water, electricity, food and medi- left. cal treatment, destroy their livelihoods, and humiliate them regu- And then you can point to it as a larly...and, surprise, surprise - they hopeless case, unfit to govern itself, turn hostile. a terrorist state, a state with which you couldn’t possibly reach an Now why would you want to make accommodation. And then you can that experiment? Because the hos- carry on with business as usual, tility you provoke is the whole quietly stealing their homeland. point. Now under attack you can cast yourself as the victim, and - JohnWV, via web.

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COMMENT Obama triumphant: now where next for the USA?

Obama for America

The US president’s second-term victory raises important questions about the what 2012 will mean for the future of American politics Dr Elizabeth Bomberg University of Edinburgh

Why did Barack Obama win reelection in 2012? Political scientists offer competing explanations. On one side are political forecasters who argue a few ‘fundamentals’ (GDP growth, presidential popularity, party control) determine the outcome of presidential elections, and they do so before the campaign commences. For forecasters, campaigns don’t matter much: examining only the ‘fundamentals’ months before the 6 November voting day, forecasters predicted the outcome: a (narrow) victory for the incumbent Obama. Their predictions were right. But does that mean campaigns don’t matter? Certainly not, insist other scholars of US elections. They argue that what matters is not the fundamentals themselves, but rather how they – and other issues - are presented, exploited or sidelined in the campaign. Moreover, when the national race is as close as a few marginal points (as predicted by most models) other factors such as the character of the candidates or the dynamics of the campaign can be crucial in determining the election outcome. If scholars and pundits disagree, what about students of US elections? This Autumn I asked a very engaged group of US Government students to investigate the explanations and factors shaping the 2012 presidential election. Their findings mirrored wider debates among election scholars. While the importance of the economy was central (as forecasters would predict) other factors mattered mightily. Below we highlight three features in particular. It’s the economy, but not as you know it. Forecasters are right: the ‘state of economy’ is absolutely crucial. But it alone does not determine electoral outcomes, because this ‘fundamental’ is ambiguous. For example, did sluggish overall economic growth favour the Republicans, or did a slight improvement mean Obama gained a ‘fundamental’ advantage? Drawing in part on exit poll data, my students argued that what matters is how voters interpret the economy and its health. Obama won not because of GDP or because he had the stronger record on economic growth, but because his team was able to depict the Republican candidate Romney as a ‘wealthy, out of touch plutocrat’. That image was cemented in voters’ mind

early on and the Romney campaign had difficulty shaking it. Demographics and voter appeals Voting demographics in the US are changing and the Obama team was far more effective in exploiting those changes. Ethnic minorities now make up a significant and growing segment of voting age population; the white vote is now 72 per cent, a drop of over 20 percent in the last two decades. According to exit polls the Obama team won 80 per cent of the non-white electorate. Particularly noteworthy was the Hispanic vote, 71 per cent of which went for Obama. Even Cuban Americans — traditionally a Republican party stronghold — opted for the Democrats this election. The Obama team assiduously courted these key voters, both by highlighting his stance on core issues (including immigration and equality) but also through a dedicated ‘Operation Vote’ turnout movement aimed exclusively at these constituencies. Secondly the women’s vote was overwhelmingly Obama’s. The gender gap was even wider than in 2008. Women favoured Obama by 55 to 44 per cent nationwide, with an even larger gap in key battleground states. Women traditionally favour Democrats, but Obama’s edge — heightened by his repeated emphasis on issues of reproductive rights and gender equality — as perhaps strengthened further by a series of unfortunate comments from Republicans about rape, birth control and abortion. Over 65 per cent of unmarried women favoured Obama (the percentage was even higher among women with a university degree). Finally, a clear majority (60 per cent) of the youth vote (18 to 29 years), opted for Obama. That young voters favoured Obama was expected; the question was whether they would bother to turnout. In the event youth turnout did increase slightly (to 19 per cent ) even if it remains low compared to other age groups. In short, Obama successfully appealed to women, youth and a racially diverse electorate; these were core constituencies in this election. As the party better able to appeal to this changing demographic Democrats enjoyed a distinct advantage in 2012. If trends persist that party advantage will continue well into the next election cycle and beyond. Ground game Because of US electoral rules, the successful presidential candidate is one who wins states rather than a majority of the overall vote. That means the campaign was won within so-called

battleground states — the handful of states still too close to call on election eve. Obama reached voters through a high tech, extraordinarily well-organised ‘ground game’ operation. As Alex Paul described earlier in this newspaper (‘Notes from the Campaign Trail’, 26 September 2012), Obama’s team ran one of the most datadriven, high-tech mobilisation campaigns in US history. Using a sophisticated knowledge base, social media as well as armies of trained volunteers the Obama team targeted and shifted the electorate in just enough constituencies to win victories (albeit often slight) in virtually every battleground state. What now? The election has several implications, not least for the Republican party. We’ll see much soul searching — if not internecine battles — within the GOP

“One irony of this election is that after all the drama, energy and cost of the campaign, Obama returns to a largely unchanged power balance in Washington DC.” in the next months and years. Was it the candidate, the pull of the Tea Party and shift to the right, the party’s inability to court constituencies, or simply a poor ground game that best explain its losses? Certainly the GOP’s failure to attract minority voters — including those with values more akin to traditional Republican values — will shape Republican party strategy and outreach, but might also render the party more amenable to calls for immigration reform. Expect also further debate about the role of money and campaign spending. An astonishing amount was spent by Romney donors (over $300 million by one group alone) with very little return on the investment. The loss has already sparked discussion of the practical (if not political) implications of donor spending within the GOP and more generally. At best this election

might mitigate concerns by those who fear US elections are simply ‘bought’ and inevitably won by the team with wealthier donors. What might Obama’s victory mean for US policy and politics? On one hand, Obama will now have four years to consolidate what his supporters see as his major first-term policy success (in health, financial reform, education) as well as tackle neglected priorities. Presidential scholars note how most second term presidents, freed from the shackles of re-election, begin to focus on their ‘legacy’ in domestic and foreign policies. That may well mean greater focus on foreign policy (including another attempt to address the Arab-Israeli conflict?) or bold measures at home, perhaps linked to immigration or even climate change, two urgent issues mentioned by Obama in his victory speech but sidelined in his first term. But presidents don’t make policy on their own, especially not in the US divided system of government. One irony of this election is that after all the drama, energy and cost of the campaign, Obama returns to a largely unchanged power balance in Washington DC. The Democrats held on to their slim majority in the Senate (the upper house of Congress) but the Republicans maintained control of the lower house — a key player in budget matters and which proved highly successful in stifling action in the last four years. The Obama Administration and Congress face immediate challenges in the form of tough budget decisions that must be agreed this year if swingeing spending cuts and taxes are to be avoided. A huge list of further domestic and foreign challenges await the reelected President and new Congress in 2013. Obama will need to find the right balance of confrontation and engage-

ment with Republicans in Congress. He will need to do a better job communicating to Americans his policy priorities and the confidence to pursue them. But policy success will depend not just on the President or his supporters, but on the willingness of Congress to engage in the constant, messy, bipartisan cooperation and compromise that makes legislative progress possible in the US. Dr Elizabeth Bomberg is a senior lecturer in the department of politics and international relations at the University of Edinburgh. Students A. Paul, H. Murdoch, T. Pakenham, R. Pont, A. Reynolds and G. Bianchi contributed to this paper.


Summly set to triumph

The Journal asseses 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio’s new mobile news app Summly

Dancing away the student debt

Aoife Moore speaks to a Glasgow university student who stripped to skip out on student scrimping


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The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

The return of the American dynasties First there were the Kennedys, now it seems like the return of the Bushes and Clintons may be on the horizon Michael Mawdsley

Forty-nine years ago, on 22 November, at around 12.30pm, three shots rang out in downtown Dallas. After 1,036 days, the presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy came to a violent end, as he was gunned down by Lee-Harvey Oswald as he began his re-election campaign. It all occurred in full-technicolour before the eyes of the American nation. Immortalized in both film and literature, the assassination itself remains a hotbed of controversy, the truth of which will probably never be known. Two weeks ago in the American election, after a brief respite, “Camelot” has returned to the United States again. Joseph P. Kennedy III, great nephew of JFK, has been elected to the House of Representatives. He continues a sixty-four-year trend of a Kennedy being involved in the Senate or Congress in Massachusetts. His grandfather, Senator Robert F. “Bobby” Kennedy, was also killed in tragic circumstances during a campaign. Having just won the Democratic Primary in California minutes previously, he was murdered by a Palestinian extremist in Los Angeles in June 1968. However beyond the details and motives of both acts themselves, the question stands almost fifty years on; is there any significance still to be drawn in the 21st century from the murder of a President and his brother cut down in their prime? The facts are tantamount. JFK was a historically ineffective president. He failed in his ambitions in terms of domestic policy, in particular civil rights. The Alabama University fiasco represents this superbly. Secondly, his ventures into foreign policy were a disaster. His admin-

istration’s vindictive persecution of Fidel Castro and Cuba, both economic through an embargo that continues to today and militarily, centrally the Bay of Pigs in 1962, created the Cuban Missile Crisis and almost nuclear war. His relations with Premier Khrushchev were risqué in terms of a Berlin settlement, and his continuation of containment policy towards communism would eventually, although inadvertently, lead to the Vietnam War. “Camelot”, a term used by Noam Chomsky to describe the 1960-1963 administration, was filled with numerous advisors who confounded the Presidents decision-making, leaving a legacy that is negative. But this is ignored, because those shots in Dallas and Los Angeles helped created an icon for a democratic figure, “American-style”, and everything it believes in. A Kennedy to the American public represents a talismanic, youthful and charismatic leader. They represent hope, prosperity, and vision. There is no coincidence that that is exactly the image portrayed by RFK and JFK at the moment of their untimely ends. President Obama courted the family extensively in the run up to 2008, in particular Caroline Kennedy, JFK’s daughter. That relationship has since turned sour, with allegations of back-stabbing on both sides. He also evoked a spirit Irish ancestry, as has almost every American presidency since J.F.K. Both serve as prominent examples of the current president’s original attempt to invoke his longdead predecessors and the stake and power of a name. Dallas, and latterly L.A., it can be argued, helped to cement the politically active community’s undoubted love of dynasties, personified in the Kennedys, the Bushes and the Clintons.

The dynastical legacy that has begun to steadily increase its hegemony over American politics is something which bears increasing significance. Had either brother or one survived, it is probable that the face of American politics would be vastly different. It is even possible that the current President would not be the first black man or woman in the White House. Bobby ran on a very significant Civil Rights programme, and was also exceedingly keen on withdrawal from Vietnam. In their stead Edward Kennedy, the younger brother of both, ran for the Democratic nomination in 1980 on name and name alone. Political theorists place Jimmy Carter’s success in the election process as being due to his ability, via an intelligent press strategy of keeping the name out of the headlines. But 1980 represents the rise of the alternative dynasty. In response to the Kennedy dynasty in the Republican Party in 1980s, there was the rise of the Bushes. Although their patriarch in political terms of the family, Prescott Sheldon Bush, was an advisor in the Trumann regime of the 1950s, it was his son, former President and VicePresident George H.W. Bush Snr, and grandson, former President George W. Bush Jnr, who represent this success. In terms of approach, both have defined the Republican party’s thought process and actions since the 1980s. Bush and Reagan recused America from economic crisis in the 1980s, and George W. Bush almost dragged it back into despair in 2008. Both engaged in wars in the Middle East, one legitimately, the other not, and both extensively engage in expanding America’s imperialist legacy that had been dismembered in Indochina. While one accidently undermined the other, the fact is America as it is today is largely

due to this family’s presidencies. And although we have just seen the triumphant re-election of Barack Obama, there is one final chapter in the dynastical story that stretches back to 1963. Already as the dust settles from Mitt Romney’s defeat, there is talk in both the capital and the national press of another dynastical clash, this time between Hillary Clinton, current secretary of state, and Governor Jeb Bush of Florida. The Clintons themselves represent a combination of both. As the first President to be born after the end of the Second World War, and the third youngest after JFK and Teddy Roosevelt, he invoked the spirit of JFK in his campaign; whilst post-presidency his wife has sought to establish herself eminently. As a young man he had met Kennedy

in 1963, and although not directly referencing the assassinated president in his campaign he was a youthful, vibrant candidate representing all the metaphors of the 1960 campaign. He defeated an incumbent elderly president by demolishing his policies. There is no undoubting the legacy of JFK in the man who saw his presidency almost demolished by allegations of adultery. Hillary ran as Senator for New York in 2000, and ran against Obama in 2008 as a leading contender. Having settled for Secretary of State, her political ambitions have been left unfilled. Although she will be 65 by 2016, she is the forerunner in terms of the nomination. Jeb Bush, liberal by Republican terms, may too be offered the opportunity to redeem the family name, although there is a long road left to run. The dynasties shall rise again.

McAshing-in EUSA boss puts a cat among the nationalist pigeons

Edinburgh Anonymous EUSA president James McAsh chose not to attend the University of Edinburgh’s Remembrance Day service earlier this month, on account of the nationalist and imperialist agenda of our armed forces overseas. The decision to do so was, of course, deliberated over for some time before McAsh decided instead to appoint one of his vice-presidents to attend the event. This was criticised by some as a false representation of the views of the students of Edinburgh, many of whom saw beyond McAsh’s narrow view of Remembrance Day being about forces currently deployed overseas, and more about remembering the many, military and civilian, throughout history who have died at war. The decision not to attend was described as ‘vile’ by some students, and while some EUSA officers leapt to the president’s defence, the stunt has nonetheless been seen by some in the student body as misguided, offensive and irresponsible. The statement on the president’s personal Facebook page created more anger. But despite a belated apology it is still a powerful statement from the president of one of the biggest student bodies in the

country, and risks projecting upon the students an opinion they didn’t know they had - and perhaps didn’t want to have. One can only assume that this kind of stand will become a permanent fixture in the year ahead. After all, the capitalist hordes will once again be descending on Princes Street to throw their hard-earned money at ever more wealthy fatcats all in the name of festive goodwill and charity. Of course our dear leader couldn’t possibly be seen indulging in such decadent shenanigans. He shall, of course give out presents, but will under absolutely no circumstances accept any gifts from well-wishers; not even socks. Find another way to show your appreciation. This is the kind of selfless and allencompassing system our president likes to run. Don’t worry, though: EUSA embodies your beliefs, so much so as to not ask your opinion on important matters like a day of huge national service. Therefore, it has been henceforth decreed that Pancake Day will hereby be boycotted by Edinburgh students. The god-awful batter all over the kitchen, not to mention the huge numbers of Israeli Jaffa oranges which are used to flavour what can only be described as the most abhorrent manifestations of globalised capitalism and imperialism. And why stop there? Let’s ban Easter while we’re at it.

The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012


@EdJournal /

On Her Majesty’s Service


PERSPECTIVE by Johanna Smit

The Journal talks to outgoing British ambassador to Afghanistan Sir William Patey

When I call Sir William Patey, among Britain’s most experienced diplomats, we start the conversation by talking about his early life, growing up in Edinburgh and going to university in Dundee. “University was best time of my life. It shaped my whole outlook. It was fabulous.” he says, “You should enjoy it while you’re there because you don’t appreciate it enough. Later on come all sort of worries and responsibilities.” He goes on to confess that he hasn’t always aspired to be a diplomat. “My main goal in life was to be a teacher and only in my last year did I consider other options. I fell into the Foreign Service as a result of beginning to think of these other options, when some friends of mine went down to London for interviews. “I was interested in politics and travelling abroad, and the career adviser at Dundee said ‘Why don’t you try the Foreign Office?’ And I said, ‘Oh they don’t want people like me. They want Oxbridge and public school types.’ And she said, ‘it’s quite the opposite; they are looking exactly for people like you.’” Sir William rejects the notion that the FCO only looks for a certain type of person to join its careers programme. “They are broadening the base” he says, “Women apply, ethnic minorities and so on.” Sir William held the post of Her Majesty’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at Khartoum — Britain’s foremost diplomatic post in Sudan in 2005 when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed. “It was very hard and challenging,” he confesses, “but that’s why you enter the diplomatic service. To help contribute to things that influence countries and help develop their future, so it was pretty exciting. We were trying to reconcile people who had been fighting each other for 50 years. Britain, US and Norway were playing a leading role in that, so for me there was lots of travelling to the south, talking to the rebels, to the government and so on.” His next ambassadorial appointment was in Iraq. From 2005 to 2006 he served as the chief British diplomat there. He was in Iraq during the time of the negotiations that forged the constitution on which the first democratic elections were based. “It was a rollercoaster year with a lot happening in a very difficult security backdrop,” he admits. But did he feel that the west was in Afghanistan and Iraq for a good cause? He responds very candidly and prag-


UK in Afghanistan

Jon Vrushi Comment editor

matically: “Well that’s not how I would put it. We were in there because we were protecting our vital interest. We were in Iraq because we felt that Saddam Hussein was a threat to our interest and to his own people and we believed that he had weapons of mass destruction.” He adds that by the time he was there, the invasion was a fact and his task was to help consolidate Iraq. He jovially concludes: “It’s the job of the NGOs and the press to worry about good causes.” So if Britain intervened in Afghanistan and Iraq in the interests of security, are we safer now after the intervention? He replies by emphasising that, “Our allies in the gulf are a lot safer than when Saddam was in power and it is more difficult for Al-Qaeda to operate. However, terrorist threats don’t just go away. They move, they get displaced. So whether we are safer overall is hard to say.” When asked to comment on the legality of the intervention in Iraq, Sir William argues that, “People who think the war was illegal will never be convinced.” He goes on to say that the British government certainly believed that it was legal. “We had a legal rationale for going there. It was voted by the British parliament, which people tend to forget about. This matter will never be adjudicated in a court, so you will have an endless debate among international lawyers.” He concludes by emphasising that the key thing is that

the UK went to war “believing that it was legal”. What does he make of EUSA’s referendum on supporting Margo McDonalds motion to try Tony Blair for War Crimes? His response is very direct: “That’s ludicrous. Ludicrous. War criminals are people who deliberately target civilians or conduct wars in illegal ways. If Tony Blair is a war criminal then so are all our democratically elected leaders and therefore us. We have responsibility because we voted in the parliament which voted to go to war, that’s what democracy is all about.” The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been long, painful and costly and the west sounds more reluctant to directly intervene in places like Syria and Libya. So where does Patey stand with regards to future interventions? “Interventions should be very much a last resort option, because we’ve seen what happens. Reluctance to intervene is sensible. You shouldn’t embark on these things lightly. The experience of the past will convince people that it is much more uncertain and much more difficult than anyone would think.” As both a Scot and a diplomat, what does he think the diplomatic implications of Scottish Independence would be? “We’re better together in all spheres of life.” he states unequivocally, “The rest of the UK would not lose very much because it would still have 57 million inhabitants. So, from a diplomatic point

of view it would affect Scotland much more than it would affect England. Scotland would have to re-join the UN, seek a membership of the EU and, I suspect, it would have to adopt the Euro, despite Alex Salmond’s attempts to dissemble this. Also, the chances are that membership might even be vetoed by the Spanish who have worries about the Catalans. “As a Scot I think Britain would be better together, and as somebody who has an English wife and half Scottish, half English kids, I can’t see why we would have to make a choice. Scotland would not have a position of influence diplomatically. It would be a small nation like Denmark or Iceland or Latvia.” But does Scotland need to influence the world? Is it not good enough to be a small European nation, just like Denmark or Iceland? “That is entirely up to the Scots; do they want to be a small state in the fringes of Europe or be part of Britain and have a seat at the top table.” After over a decade of service as Ambassador, Sir William has retired from the diplomatic service. How is post-Foreign Office life for him? “It’s very challenging. I am very busy as an adviser to Control Risks” — an independent global risk consultancy. I am on the Board of HSBC Bank Middle East and Chairman of Swindon Town. I don’t have as much free time as I thought I would have in retirement.”

There are so many new and different things international students experience when they move away from their home country. Evident changes such as language, accents and climate come as no surprise, but nobody warned us about less obvious things, like road rules and plug sockets. All students are used to a variety of transportation means – some walk, some cycle, some drive and some get driven – and this is no different at a university. However, imagine the international students’ frustration when vehicles drive on the wrong side of the road. Crossing the road becomes a backwards process – needing to look right then left, as opposed to the ingrained habit we are used to back home. It is an everyday affair that all students must do to travel to George Square or Kings Buildings and it is a fear one must overcome. Moving abroad, I also realized that I had been taking for granted electrical items and charging plugs. Nobody told me that three pronged plugs were used here and nobody warned me of the small fortune needed to buy adaptors or new chargers. These differences vary from country to country and their causes are mainly rooted in their colonial history. However there are other differences that I, as an international student, have noticed on less regionally specific items. Take for example the laptop and phone keyboards. On some European keyboards the ‘z’ and ‘y’ keys are swapped around, some have a distinctly smaller ‘enter’ key and others have more key options to produce a different accentuation and intonation on words. On one hand these novelties take us by surprise, but eventually, when we’re back home these differences will make us miss Edinburgh. And the laptop keyboards, well they’re just a small token of home that we can take with us around the world, reminding ourselves to keep in touch. . Johanna Smit is a first-year student at the University of Edinburgh.

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Musselburgh Parsonage, 550, 2, 1S 1D E P, 0844 635 9320 High Street, 475, 1, 1D O, 0844 635 6450 Bush Street, 475, 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 4820

New Town St Vincent Street, 1600, 2, 2D 1B G Z, 0844 635 4820 St Vincent Place, 2750, 4, , 0844 635 9308 St Vincent Place, 2000, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 4820 Scotland Street, 1700, 4, 1S 3D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Scotland Street, 825, 1, 1D 1B G Z, 0844 635 4820 Royal Circus, 1425, 2, CG Z, 0844 635 9308 Queen Street, 1050, 2, CG Z, 0844 635 9308 Queen Street, 500, 1, 1D, 0844 635 3330 Northumberland Street South East Lane, 1300, 2, 2D G PG, 0844 635 6450 Northumberland Place, 1300, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 4820 India Street, 1600, 3, CG Z, 0844 635 9308 Huntingdon Place, 1000, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 6872 Huntingdon Place, 800, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 4820 Heriot Row, 1695, 3, PG P, 0844 635 9308 Henderson Row, 635, 1, 1D G CG Z, 0844 635 4820 Henderson Row, 550, 1, , 0844 635 1428 Great King Street, 775, 1, 1D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Gloucester Square, 850, 2, 2D G, 0844 635 2287 Fettes Row, 1500, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 4820

Eyre Place, 2250, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 4820 Eyre Place, 600, 1, 1D E, 0844 635 4820 Eyre Crescent, 1200, 3, Z, 0844 635 9308 East London Street, 1200, 3, 1S 2D G, 0844 635 6872 East London Street, 750, 2, 1S 1D G CG Z, 0844 635 9679 Dublin Street, 1500, 3, 3D G Z, 0844 635 6872 Cumberland Street, 1680, 4, 1S 3D, 0844 635 6872 Cumberland Street, 1680, 3, 1S G, 0844 635 6872 Broughton Place, 1650, 3, Z, 0844 635 9308 Ainslie Place, 900, 1, 1D E CG Z, 0844 635 4820

Newhaven Western Harbour Midway, 695, 2, 2D E P, 0844 635 9679 Western Harbour Brkwater, 950, 2, 2D G PG P, 0844 635 9320 Prince Regent Street, 500, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9488 Hawthornvale, 495, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9312

Newington West Newington Place, 725, 2, 1S 1D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Summerhall Place, 595, 1, G, 0844 635 2418 South Gray Street, 795, 2, 1B G P, 0844 635 2418 Sienna Gardens, 795, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 9424 Richmond Place, 595, 1, G, 0844 635 2418 Parkside Terrace, 675, 2, 1S 1D E P, 0844 635 9318 Nicolson Street, 1700, 5, 5D G Z, 0844 635 9592 Nicolson Street, 575, 1, 1D G Z, 0844 635 9320 Nicolson Street, 550, 1, E, 0844 635 2418 Mayfield Road, 1200, 5, 4D G CG, 0844 635 9316 Findhorn Place, 750, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9245 Dalkeith Road, 1360, 4, 4D, 0844 635 3700 Dalkeith Road, 1200, 4, 1S 3D G CG O, 0844 635 9578 Causewayside, 750, 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 9602 Buccleuch Street, 695, 2, G, 0844 635 2418

Old Town West Bow, 650, 1, E, 0844 635 2418 Ramsay Garden, 3250, 4, 1S 3D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Lady Wynd, 650, 1, G, 0844 635 2418 King Stables Road, 850, 2, G, 0844 635 2418 Johnston Terrace, 900, 2, G, 0844 635 2418 Jeffrey Street, 750, 2, 2D 1B Z, 0844 635 9384 High Street, 650, 2, 1S 1D W Z, 0844 635 9320 Edmonstone`s Close, 650, 1, G, 0844 635 2418 Drummond House, 525, 1, E, 0844 635 2418 Blair Street, 695, 1, E, 0844 635 2418

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

Bedrooms: Heating: Garden: Parking: Furniture:


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


Pilton Park, 650, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 4820 Pilton Avenue, 650, 2, 2D G PG O, 0844 635 9302 East Pilton Farm Rigg, 735, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9320 Crewe Road West, 475, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 2287 Crewe Place, 650, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9488 Colonsay Close, 675, 2, G P, 0844 635 2418

Polwarth Watson Crescent, 525, 1, G CG O, 0844 635 6872 Temple Park Crescent, 825, 3, , 0844 635 9338 Temple Park Crescent, 625, 2, G CG, 0844 635 2418 Polwarth Crescent, 525, 1, , 0844 635 4644 Henderson Terrace, 650, 2, G CG, 0844 635 2418 Harrison Road, 660, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9478 Harrison Gardens, 695, 2, G O, 0844 635 1423 Harden Place, 950, 3, 3D G Z, 0844 635 9592 Dundee Terrace, 825, 3, CG Z, 0844 635 9352 Dundee Street, 475, 1, 1D G Z, 0844 635 9560 Dorset Place, 775, 2, 2D E CG P, 0844 635 4820 Bryson Road, 650, 2, 2D W CG P, 0844 635 9245 Bryson Road, 490, 1, 1D W Z, 0844 635 9560 Bryson Road, 490, 1, 1D E, 0844 635 9560

Portobello Portobello High Street, 450, 1, 1D G, 0844 635 9334 Kings Road, 580, 2, 2D E O, 0844 635 6450 Kings Road, 575, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 1312 Kings Road, 550, 1, 1D W CG P, 0844 635 1429 Hope Lane North, 600, 2, 2D G CG, 0844 635 9424 Figgate Street, 675, 2, E O, 0844 635 2418


The Maltings, 595, 1, CG P, 0844 635 9352 Slateford Road, 800, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 3920 Slateford Road, 795, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 2287 Slateford Road, 650, 2, 2D E P, 0844 635 4820 Slateford Road, 585, 2, O, 0844 635 9352 Slateford Gait, 800, 2, 2D PG P, 0844 635 1312 Hutchison Cottages, 650, 2, , 0844 635 6260 Hermand Terrace, 550, 1, , 0844 635 6604

South Gyle South Gyle Wynd, 595, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 9460 South Gyle Road, 550, 1, PG, 0844 635 9352 South Gyle Mains, 650, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9594

South Queensferry Villa Road, 625, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9679 Hillwood Place, 595, 2, 1S 1D O, 0844 635 9594 Echline Rigg, 475, 1, E CG P, 0844 635 2418

Stenhouse Stenhouse Gardens, 625, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 9362 Stenhouse Drive, 650, 2, 2D E CG O, 0844 635 6450 Stenhouse Crescent, 625, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9424

Stockbridge St. Stephen Street, 800, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9362 Raeburn Place, 750, 1, 1D G CG Z, 0844 635 9390 Raeburn Place, 695, 1, 1D, 0844 635 3700 Marys Place, 1100, 3, 3D G O, 0844 635 6874 Henderson Row, 850, 2, Z, 0844 635 9308 Clarence Street, 950, 3, 3D G Z, 0844 635 9464 Cheyne Street, 500, 1, Z, 0844 635 9558 Avondale Place, 695, 1, 1D G PG Z, 0844 635 9362

The Shore

Restalrig Road South, 675, 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 9460 Restalrig Road South, 650, 2, PG P, 0844 635 9352 Marionville Road, 500, 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 4820 Loganlea Terrace, 580, 2, 2D G PG O, 0844 635 9488 Loaning Road, 595, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9558 Loaning Mills, 595, 2, G P, 0844 635 2418

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 Roseburn Maltings, 850, 3, G P, 0844 635 2418 Roseburn Maltings, 745, 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 6450

Tower Street, 775, 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 6872 Timber Bush, 650, 2, 2D P, 0844 635 9679 Sheriff Brae, 615, 1, P, 0844 635 9308 Sheriff Bank, 725, 2, 2D, 0844 635 4820 Portland Gardens, 950, 3, 3D G P, 0844 635 9679 Ocean Drive, 750, 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9384 Giles Street, 700, 2, , 0844 635 6450 Giles Street, 650, 1, CG, 0844 635 9308 Constitution Street, 725, 2, 2D E O, 0844 635 9679 Chapel Lane, 825, 3, 1S 2D W P, 0844 635 9320

Tollcross Tarvit Street, 575, 1, 1D, 0844 635 9332 Lothian Road, 1550, 4, Z, 0844 635 9308 Gardner’s Crescent, 715, 2, 2D E Z, 0844 635 9334

Fountainbridge, 550, 1, 1D, 0844 635 3700 East Fountainbridge, 825, 2, G CG, 0844 635 2418 East Fountainbridge, 595, 1, E CG, 0844 635 2418 East Fountainbridge, 500, 1, 1D E Z, 0844 635 4820 Drumdryan Street, 595, 1, CG Z, 0844 635 9352

Trinity Trinity Crescent, 650, 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 9679 Newhaven Road, 650, 2, G CG O, 0844 635 9596 Grandville, 675, 2, 2D E CG P, 0844 635 6450 Darnell Road, 650, 2, 2D E O, 0844 635 9488 Craighall Crescent, 675, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 3780 Chancelot Terrace, 650, 1, G CG O, 0844 635 9320 Chancelot Terrace, 575, 1, 1D G, 0844 635 9320

West End William Street, 825, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Rothesay Place, 795, 2, G, 0844 635 2418 Palmerston Place Lane, 650, 1, 1D G Z, 0844 635 9478 Palmerston Place, 950, 2, G CG P, 0844 635 2418 Hope Street, 2250, 4, 1S 3D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Grosvenor Crescent, 1750, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9390 Grosvenor Crescent, 1750, 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9390 Glencairn Crescent, 900, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9362 Eglinton Crescent, 1200, 3, Z, 0844 635 9308 Drumsheugh Gardens, 1525, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 4820 Drumsheugh Gardens, 1150, 3, , 0844 635 9338 Drumsheugh Gardens, 995, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9320 Chester Street, 1200, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9320 Belgrave Place, 950, 2, 2D G Z, 0844 635 9560 Belford Road, 1095, 2, 2D, 0844 635 6450

Wester Hailes Calder Grove, 595, 3, 1S 2D G O, 0844 635 9334 Calder Gardens, 460, 1, 1D G PG O, 0844 635 0624 Barn Park Crescent, 450, 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 1312

Willowbrae Willowbrae Road, 700, 2, 2D G, 0844 635 9332 South Elixa Place, 675, 2, 2D W P, 0844 635 9320 Northfield Broadway, 585, 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 6450



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The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012





Abortions are a right; they must be legal and safe for women who make that choice

Kirsty Haigh Edinburgh Univ. Feminist Society

Since 1967 women in Great Britain have had the right to access free and legal abortions, something which is vitally important not only for women but for the whole of society. Women have the right to this choice and it is not the place of the government, church or anyone else to decide otherwise. It is impossible to say that women are liberated if they cannot even be allowed to control their right to bare, or not to bear a child. The notion of allowing anyone other than the individual to decide whether they can have an abortion is patronising and illogical. The decision to have an abortion is no easy one but it’s quite clear that a woman who makes this decision knows what’s best for them self. rI have always been very interested in women’s issues and now find myself as campaign organiser for the Feminist society. My feminism is very much based on equality and while there are some issues, like quotas, I can be conflicted about, the right to legal abortion is, in my opinion, entirely black


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and white. It is a case of ensuring the welfare of women both mentally and physically. Having a child is a massive commitment and not something that we should be forcing women into. It is nobody else’s place to make such a life-changing decision. It saddens me that across the world, and indeed even as close as Ireland, people are still fighting for the right to have an abortion and that here we still need to defend it. 2 weeks ago Savita Halappanavar died after being denied an abortion in Ireland. If Ireland legalised abortions then this death and the grief of her family could have been easily prevented. Earlier this week the ‘Alliance of Prolife students’ held a fundraising event in Edinburgh. While the number of pro-choice demonstrators outside greatly outnumbered those attending the event it is still worrying that these kind of events take place. The so called ‘Pro-life’ movement allows Savita, and many other women who have been in similar situations, to die. They are in no way defending a right to life. The ‘pro-life’ stance displays a blatant lack of trust in women to decide their own fate and yet are

encouraging these women to have children. If you can’t trust a woman to make a choice about their own life how can you trust them with the life of a child? The decision to have an abortion is no easy option and abortions are most certainly not used as a common contraception method, as some people suggest. It is a complex issue that can be very emotionally straining for all involved. If a women feels they are not ready, do not have the necessary provisions to support a child or any of the other reasons that women have abortions then we need to support them in this choice. It is unfair on the unborn child and all involved to not respect this decision. Only a few months ago Alex Neil made some very disturbing comments about limiting the time period in which it is legal to have abortions. A decrease would be a definite step backwards in women’s rights and should not even be a question in this day and age. Reducing the time limit will not stop women from having abortions but will simply lead to illegal and, more importantly, unsafe abortions. The length of the time limit can be problematic for some people. However, it is in fact quite rare

that abortions occur after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Indeed despite the legal time limit of 24 weeks 87% of abortions take place within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. For a woman to make the decision at a later stage that an abortion is necessary it is clear that they are not ready or able to have a child. The pro-choice movement is not restricting anyone’s beliefs. Women are entitled to make the decision to not have an abortion. Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion; nobody is calling for more women to have abortions, simply for women to have the right to choose. Moreover, there should not be pressure from the state or religion on

such a personal issue. Although I personally disagree with religious influence in such a personal decision, the legality of abortion does not affect an individual’s personal option to exercise their religious belief on this issue. Abortions should only be legislated in the sense of keeping it legal so as to keep the conditions safe for those who decide this is the correct option for them. Governments should uphold that abortions are a right and nothing should change that. We should trust and respect the decisions that women make about their own bodies and lives. Women are capable of making these choices and we must not deny them this, or any other, right. James McArdle

A pro-life alliance is a necessary measure

Maria Stopyra Alliance of Pro-Life Students

Wednesday 14 November saw the launch of the Alliance of Pro-life Students (APS) at an event held here in Edinburgh. This is a group I have been helping in its start-up phase since I graduated from the University of Edinburgh in June. Quite simply, the organisation is a response to a need felt by pro-life students at universities from all over the UK. Starting and running any society at university is hard work. Starting and running a society with controversial and often unpopular views is probably among the most challenging tasks students could set for themselves. APS was started by students from five universities as a way to support and encourage each other. It is a way to connect prolife students, and to share resources, information and experience. The launch event was the target of a pro-choice protest, including people involved in the National Union of Students Women’s Campaign. In the week leading up to this event the venue received emails pressuring them to cancel, and saying that it was a ‘disgrace’ that they were hosting APS. These emails created a huge amount of added stress not only for the team organising the event, but for the staff working at the venue. While I respect that in a democratic society people have the right to protest, that reaction to a perfectly legitimate

exercise in free speech is concerning. The emails I find disturbingly antidemocratic, a clear attempt to prevent an exercise in free-speech from even taking place. It is particularly disturbing that this happens at a time when precisely the issues the pro-life movement tackles, such as euthanasia and abortion, are so widely debated. These issues cut right to the heart of what it means to be human, and to come to any conclusion on them we must answer hugely challenging questions. Why do we value human lives? When does that value start and when does it end? Who gets to decide which human lives are valuable and which are not? And very importantly, if as a society we do not know for certain what the answers are, how do we proceed? Unfortunately life won’t wait for the philosophers to come up with the answers: I should know — I studied philosophy. While we struggle with those questions both as individuals and societies, we still have to make difficult decisions that crucially depend on answers we don’t always have. I cannot answer the question ‘how society should proceed?’ in all its complexity with any certainty. Very broadly, however, I would say this; we go with our best guess and constantly debate and discuss the issue in the hope that we will figure it out or at least ensure we are doing the best we can. Naturally, the pro-life movement has a particular kind of philosophy, and a particular way of answering those

questions. Being pro-life I have my own views on what the answers might be, though there is by no means a consensus within the pro-life movement. At its heart, I believe being pro-life is to see an irreplaceable value inherent in every human life. It is about believing that every life is worth having, worth striving for, and that the value and dignity of human life cannot be lost. There is more to it than that, but the point I want to make here is not that abortion or euthanasia is wrong, but that there are important questions we must tackle when we address the morality of those issues. The philosophy that pro-lifers live by suggests answers to those questions, and they are answers that deserve consideration when we continue the discussion as a society that is not certain. This is why I found the emails to the venue pressuring them to cancel the launch event of APS so disturbing. Our organisation is run entirely by students and recent graduates, and we are dedicated to supporting pro-life students and student societies in putting forward their views rationally and respectfully. We have every right to do this, and to hold events. I believe the protest was an overreaction, but I accept that the protesters had their own views and had the right to be there to express them. To try and block APS from holding its events, however, implies a worrying lack of willingness to allow healthy debate on hugely important issues.

University should be a place where opposing ideas meet, where debates are healthy and students encouraged to draw their own conclusions. To have healthy debate on issues surrounding the beginning and end of life, it is essential that all views are represented, and represented by people who are well informed. As students on one side of these debates APS aims to make sure we are well informed and able to contribute helpfully to the discussion. This kind of debate and discussion is not only an essential value of our educational institutions, but of our democratic society. To try and prevent a group with a different viewpoint from holding their events is an alarming attack on free speech. Such aggressive opposition is not the sign of healthy debate, and has no place among members of any side.

Unfortunately it is not uncommon, and it is one of the main reasons APS exists. As part of supporting pro-life students we would expect any group affiliated with us to act respectfully and sensitively, and at the same time work to make sure our members know their rights and are equipped to deal with the aggressive opposition they so often encounter. Thankfully when a member of the Edinburgh University Life Society, engaging with other students I always felt that my freedom of speech was respected and debate encouraged. Listening to the difficulties encountered by students at other universities, however, has made me feel incredibly lucky that this was the case. It is vitally important to open up these debates, and strive to discuss them calmly, rationally and respectfully.

The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

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A&E / 19


ARTS&ENTS ARTS “Britain’s housing crisis can be saved.”

Richard Murphy Architects are solving the housing crisis through good design at Edinburgh’s Quartermile 10


Richard Murphy Architects

Laurie Goodman Arts & Entertainment editor

Writing his Picturesque Notes In

1903, Edinburgh resident Robert Louis Stevenson described the city as ‘half a capital and half a country town.’ He added, ‘the whole city leads a double existence; it has long trances of the one and flashes of the is half alive, and half a monumental marble.’ Drawing on the diversity of Edinburgh’s built environment, Stevenson’s comment is one of numerous references throughout history to a schizophrenic city that has difficulty integrating new architectural movements. Looming over the North side of the meadows, the Foster + Partners planned Quartermile development illustrates that this sentiment still bares resonance, over 100 years later. Combining glass giants with conversions of Edinburgh’s 1729 Royal Infirmary, Foster’s master plan provides the city with a sense of verticality that is usually only derived from 19th century church spires littered along the Royal Mile.

“It’s quite an interesting problem... you’re putting social housing next to some wealthy apartments. I’m pretty worried about night-time in this area.” Quartermile brings a mix of retail and office properties to the area, marked most noticeably by the presence of high-end market properties. However, developers are required to dedicate a portion of land on site to the creation of social housing (that which is governed by a housing association.) As a result, a section of the land on the West end of the site is currently home to a construction housing 170 properties under Hillcrest Housing Association. After a scuffle between owners of the site and Page/Park architects, the Edinburgh based firm and winner of 19 RIBA awards Richard Murphy Architects were taken on board to spearhead the social housing project. The new ‘Q10’ building sits on the corner of Chalmers street and Nightingale Way, “What’s interesting about Foster’s design - whether you like it or not - is that the building’s are quite tall. So while this building is sitting in splendid isola-

tion and looks rather large at this stage, by the time Fosters buildings catch up, it will just blend into the background.” The project arrives as part of a larger attempt to solve the issues of Britain’s housing crisis. In October, the Royal Institute of British Architects released a report from a year long investigation into the quality of newly built housing: the Future Homes Commission. Characterised by cramped, dark properties with a dearth of storage space, the Future Homes Commission (FHC) reported that homes in London were significantly lacking in floor space in comparison to their continental counterparts (also known as the ‘GIA’ - Gross Internal Area - of a home.) For example, the average GIA of a two-bedroom apartment for three individuals in London resided at 61m squared, in comparison to Germany’s 70. Q10 can be seen as an attempt at solving the housing crisis through good design. While Murphy claims to pay little attention to the demands of RIBA, the average GIA for a three-bedroom apartment in Q10 for five individuals towers at a staggering 97.4 metres squared, in comparison to the 86 provided in London. Paramount in the quest for goodquality homes is the provision of light. This is partially achieved through the plan of the building - a quadrangle with a southwest facing cut-out, allowing light into the interior courtyard. This also allows Murphy’s design to eradicate single aspect proper-

ties - those receiving light from one side. Murphy explains the programme at Q10: “The design is generated around the idea of getting the most number of flats in with the right amount of sunlight... You’ll notice that the building has four access cores with deep reveals so that when you’re waiting for the lift, you’re waiting in daylight. I hate those internal corridors in hotels. Q10 should feel like a residential property, not a hotel.” The FHC outlined the main cause behind Britain’s housing crisis: ‘the debate on housing has been distorted by focusing on cold figures such as the number of units or bedrooms. It must be recast around homes, communities and people.’ Murphy explains that previously, small housing associations provided a small, neighbourhood community approach to social housing. “These were set up because the larger associations were out of touch and not responding to their needs, and managerially top heavy... now, the smaller associations are being gobbled up by the big housing associations. It’s a bit of an Animal Farm situation: they’ve become what they were set up to replace” Q10 counters this with a landscaped courtyard, as well as public spaces serv-

ices such as a nursery school and a cafe, in order to engender a sense of community. However, the proximity of Q10 to high-end market properties presents somewhat of an anomaly - clients will often buy land away from their site to develop the prescribed social housing in order to prevent a class-clash between home owners. Murphy ponders over the limitations of such an arrangement: “If it was up to me I would have distributed Quatermile’s social housing into two or three blocks...I wouldn’t have put it in one single complex, because there is always the danger in these situations that it become viewed as some kind of ghetto, which is very unfortunate. “It’s quite an interesting problem happening here because you’re putting social housing tenants next to some wealthy apartments. I’m pretty worried about night time in this area.” So while design can provide the solution to the problems outlined by the FHC last month, the obligation to provide social housing in new developments presents new issues. Despite this, Murphy has attempted to solve the problem of social division through aesthetic integration: “Foster has covered his flats in aluminium. We couldn’t afford Foster’s materials, but we built Q10 in such a way that it felt like a part of a family of buildings on the site. It’s the first time in my life where I’ve

created a building that is supposed to be associated with the language of another.” One could certainly be forgiven for thinking that Q10 was merely an extension of Foster’s, although not only for the skin on the exterior of the building: “These would be six-figure flats if they were market properties. Many have southwest facing roof terraces with views of the castle.” So hopefully the ‘double existence’ that characterises Edinburgh’s urban fabric will not extend to the new inhabitants of Quartermile. With that said, the FHC remain positive about the prospects of Britain’s housing market: “The housing crisis can be saved. The Commission firmly believes that, with determined action by everyone involved, the UK can build enough homes of high quality to meet the demand for housing.”

20 / A&E

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The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

Familial feel at BP Portrait Award show ‘The world’s most prestigious portrait competition’ opens at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to critical acclaim

Art&design Gillian Achurch

A London newspaper vendor gazes out at us, a professional Prince Charles lookalike poses near the workers in a busy noodle bar, a daughter’s separation from her father and a sleeping husband lie just around the corner from Derren Brown and his pet parakeet Rasputin. These are among the 55 paintings currently on display in the BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The award is organised annually by the National Portrait Gallery in London, where the exhibition made its debut over the summer before arriving in Edinburgh earlier this month. Described as ‘the world’s most prestigious portrait competition’ and seen by more than 350,000 people each year, the award was originally designed for young artists in a bid to encourage emerging talent and to promote the genre of portraiture. Since 2007 however, it has been opened up to adults and this year 2,187 entries were received from 74 different countries. Submissions must be painted within the previous year and directly in front of the sitter; something which is visible in the life emanating from the works. Four winners are chosen by the panel of judges, with the First Prize of £25,000 and a commission for the National Portrait Gallery this year

being awarded to 26-year old Aleah Chapin for Auntie. The young Brooklyn-based painter chose to depict a family friend who has known her since birth, commenting on the smiling, nude portrait that, “Her body is a map of her journey through life. In her, I see the personification of strength through an unguarded and accepting presence.” A large amount of the portraits depict friends or family of the painters, people whom they know intimately rather than the famous faces which often dominate portrait galleries. Curator and cultural historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, who sat on this year’s panel, comments that he was looking for portraits with technical competence, but also with “a kind of electric narrative,” adding that, “If someone paints you in that adoring way, it’s as much to do with the visual likeness as to do with the love obvious from the picture, and you want to know that person and I think that is the thing about really, truly great portraiture.” The Young Artist Prize went this year to Welsh artist Jamie Routley for Tony Lewis, his triptych of a London newspaper seller. The BP Travel Award is also given to the work of 2011 winner Jo Fraser, who journeyed to the Cuzco region of Peru to depict its textile workers, and is also on display. The Award’s organisers are keen to engage in a dialogue with the public, and ask that we vote for our favourite with the Visitor’s Choice. In London, the exhibition was

Galapagos Lack of focus proves the downfall of this haphazard exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery

art&design Caroline Horwich Staff writer

Located in the Fruitmarket Gallery, one of Edinburgh’s finest contemporary art venues, is the Galapagos exhibition. While the well-stocked bookshop and the space itself make the Fruitmarket well worth a visit, Galapagos sadly leaves a lot to be desired. The exhibition showcases 12 artists, who visited the Galapagos for a threeweek residence programme hosted by the Galapagos Conservation Trust. Their work is spread over two floors of the gallery in no particular order, and come in many different media. One area is sectioned off for a video installation, while the main room downstairs contains photographs,


television broadcasts and a chest of drawers filled with sketches. An interactive learning station is also set up, with several books covering the Islands and their history available. The artists should be commended for trying to show in their works that there is more to the Galapagos Islands than simply the wildlife that Darwin studied. Their works attempt to deal with many different subject matters, from exposing the Islands’ problems with tourism to highlighting indigenous culture. However, this wide range of material makes the exhibition incoherent and difficult to understand as a whole. Some of the works are downright confusing — such as the stuffed badger that is tucked away in a corner — and it is unclear as to how they relate to the Galapagos at all. VENUE: FRUITMARKET GALLERY DATES: UNTIL 13 JANUARY 2013 PRICE: FREE

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well-received and awarded three stars by both The Times and The Independent. The latter noted that the photorealist style in which a large number of the portraits are rendered can give the impression that “we are looking at a body, not a person.” However, it agrees that the outstanding works of the show “go beyond plodding pathology and reveal a living, breathing being.” The exhibition now travels to Scotland every year, alternately showing in Edinburgh and at the Aberdeen Art Gallery. The 2012 selection notably features three alumni of the Glasgow School of Art, two of ECA and Louise Pragnell, a former ECA and University of Edinburgh student. Following its display in the Dean Gallery in 2009, this year marks the Award’s return to the newly-refurbished Portrait Gallery and as Casely-Hayford commends, it looks “pretty spectacular up here.” He concludes that this award “absolutely explodes” the idea that portraiture is dull or dying out, affirming that it is “not just alive and well, but I think it’s such a dynamic discipline, such an interesting area of painting, I think it’s got a very rich future.”

Aleah Chapin

The exhibition will be accompanied by an introduction to the Award given by Julie Lawson, Chief Curator at the Portrait Gallery on 13 December. The BP Portrait Award will be in Edinburgh until the 27 January, after which it will move to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter. Ella Bavalia

The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

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‘Fifty Shades of Shite’


The Journal looks at the popularity and reception of erotic novels

A profound, touching meditation on love and aging

books John Hewitt Jones Literary editor

A history graduate from the Uni-

versity of Edinburgh has been snapped up by Penguin for a two-book deal, days after taking America’s e-book market by storm. Having self-published her work online over the summer, Samantha Young’s erotic novel On Dublin Street rapidly made it to number one in the American Amazon charts. Set in Edinburgh’s New Town, the book explores a number of famous locations in the city, recounting the tale of a young American woman’s rather steamy visit to the Scottish capital. But this news won’t please everybody. Much of the debate at the Edinburgh International Book Festival over the summer centred on the question of literary value, and the effect that this sort of easy erotic fiction is having on the publishing industry. Booker Prize-winning author Howard Jacobson was particularly outspoken in his fierce criticism of titles like Fifty Shades of Grey, describing the book as “pathetic soft porn, for which the sex should hang its head in shame.” Scots Makar Liz Lochhead also waded in, dubbing the series “Fifty Shades of Shite.”

Jacobson argues that titles such as this lack imagination and fail to engage the reader in any meaningful way; that filling bookshops with stacks of this type of book dupes people into thinking they are having a meaningful relationship with a text that is unchallenging and exists purely as an easy form of self-gratification: “Half the time they are describing a book, they are describing their inability to read, the shortage of their own imagination, and a lack of wide reading.” A quick browse of Amazon will demonstrate the extraordinary plethora of this steamy, self-published fiction which is now available for download. So why has this area of the book market expanded so exponentially over the last few years? The rise of the e-reader certainly has something to do with it. People can now indulge in their favourite erotica on the way to work without fear of being found out. David Robinson, book editor of Scotland on Sunday has suggested that the format of the electronic book has actually affected the way that texts themselves are structured, and this seems a convincing hypothesis. If you’re reading a book on a Kindle, you don’t want to, or can’t, flick pages backwards and forwards to check narrative details and re-examine character descriptions. This is a format that fosters an easyto-grasp style, with plenty of signposts

for the reader so that they don’t have to work hard to follow the plot. Quantum leaps forward in the selfpublishing industry have also meant that the facilities for producing a professional-looking book and making it available for sale online are available to everybody, all with a minimal cost to the author. As a consequence thousands more people are using this as a way to expunge their own creative impulse, as well as to indulge in others’ fantasies. With online self-publishing growing so fast, it seems that the editor and the publishing house has a more crucial role to play than ever before in determining a writer’s commercial success. Whether or not we agree with what makes it from the slush pile is a different matter… ‘On Dublin Street’ is published in January 2013 by Penguin Books.

FILM James Burnham Staff writer

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Remember When Harry Met Sally, when Sally has a stroke and slowly loses the ability to do anything for herself? Michael Haneke’s latest film, Amour, is the story of an ageing couple, Georges and Anne, who find themselves in just that situation. Many films like to show the beginning of relationships; Haneke’s is about the end. The film’s title — Love — conveys a veneer of simplicity, however it is anything but. Haneke masterfully constructs a subtle meditation on the complexity of the word as the pair oscillate between displays of earnest affection and the frustration that surfaces as they have to cope with the difficulties of Anne’s condition.

There’s a quote attributed to Orson Welles — “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” Haneke, on the other hand, begins his film with a glimpse of the aftermath and then tragically marches the viewer towards the inevitable conclusion. The work strikes a sombre chord but avoids the easy path of mawkishness. Haneke thus paves the way for the brilliant, yet restrained performances of the two lead actors, JeanLouis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, in an attempt to demythologize the tawdry position love has garnered in contemporary society. Visually stark, the film takes place almost entirely inside the couple’s Parisian flat, littered with books and paintings that reveal their past life as highly cultured music teachers. In this way, the setting acts as a metaphor for the quaint, hermetic life they created together. Haneke’s 2012 Palme d’Or winning film is a delicate piece that demands a thoughtful viewing but is well worth it.

Norwegian Wood books John Hewitt Jones Literary editor

This is the novel with which Haruki

Murakami carved his place firmly into the Japanese literary canon. Brimming with resonances of the author’s love of solitude, it is Murakami’s first ‘conventional’ novel, focusing on love and the complicated nature of human relationships. University student Watanabe reflects on his struggle to find a path through a life steeped in the tragedy and emotional dysfunction of others. Set in ‘70s Tokyo, this is a book that deconstructs the typical ‘coming-of-age’ novel, as the protagonist’s honesty and cool reserve brings him into contact with unusual people and circumstances that elicit poignant moments of self-realisation. Murakami’s style is stark and clipped, portraying the messiness of

human interaction and the awkwardness of natural dialogue with a cuttingly acute eye. This caused some of the author’s fans to react with dismay when it was first published in 1987, but the unique, uncompromising style is a key reason for the author’s international literary reputation today. ‘Norwegian Wood’ by Haruki Murakami (Vintage Books, £8.99)

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French Film Festival UK Varia Fedko-Blake

Over the past year, the astonishing

success of films such as Untouchable and The Artist has shown that French cinema is flourishing and continues to excite audiences worldwide. The French Film Festival UK proved to be no exception. Held at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse, the festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with the support of sponsors such as Creative Scotland and the Institut Français. It offers a diverse and illuminating programme of French and Francophone films including comedies, documentaries, contemporary dramas and children’s animations. In addition to that, this year features an audacious selection of films from Québec. Although the gala screening opened with the UK premiere of Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia, a film produced on an extraordinary budget of £50 million, the programme also allows smaller-budget and eclectic arthouse features to shine.

Particularly notable is Le prénom (What’s in a Name?), which has already been very successful in France. Here, directors Alexandre de La Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte construct a plot similar to that of Polanski’s Carnage (2011): they follow the scandalous dialogue between a group of 40-somethings in the enclosed space of a Parisian dining room. The result is a hilarious portrayal of a dinner date that turns into a nightmare. On the other side of the spectrum, Raymond Depardon’s documentary Journal de France (co-directed by Claudine Nougaret) is an insightful addition to the genre. His collection of images and shorts, compiled over decades, conveys his personal interpretation of people and places. From images of tanks rolling through the streets of Prague in 1968 to famine in Biafra, his photographic commentary is a poignant reflection on 20th century society. The festival provides a fantastic opening for young talent. The Coulin sisters’ debut feature 17 Filles (17 Girls)


is a dark social commentary on a group of American girls involved in an alleged ‘pregnancy pact’. In the same vein, Jalil Lespert, one of France’s admired young actors, takes the director’s seat in Les Vents Contraires (Headwinds), while Sophie Lellouche’s Paris-Manhattan, a romantic comedy with a touch of Woody Allen nostalgia, also makes its mark. Particularly delightful is also Ernest & Celestine, a charming animation inspired by the books of Gabrielle Vincent. It is interesting to note that for every ticket sold, a percentage of the price goes to the Centre National du Cinéma (CNC). This tradition, which dates from after the war, is one of the many forms of support for film producers, distributors and small cinemas which have enabled French film to remain at the forefront of cinematography. Since many of the titles included in the programme of the French Film Festival do not have a UK distributor, Edinburgh audiences should be thankful for the opportunity to experience such a bold blend of extraordinary talent on their doorstep.

Traditional Christmas dinner for six Sam Stern

Here’s my recipe for the perfect end-of-term Christmas dinner. It’s strictly traditional, with old-school trimmings. Follow the easy steps and timings. Split costs, shopping, prepping. Catering for loads of people on a budget? Use sweet and delicious chicken thighs. Happy Christmas...Tip: duck legs are often on special offer, so watch out and maybe freeze them ahead of time. 1. Cranberry sauce: Tip berries and water into heavy pan. Boil briefly for 5 seconds, then simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, taste for balance. Add wine (if using). 2. Stuffing: Fry onion gently in butter for 8 minutes. When soft, tip into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Cool before using. 3. Bread sauce Add first four ingredients to a pan. Bring to boiling point, then remove from heat & cover. 4. Chicken Each 450g weight needs 20 minutes cooking, so check the label, calculate accordingly and add 20 minutes. Spoon stuffing into cavity without over-filling, then tie the legs together. 5. Pre-heat oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Sit bird in large roasting tin, rub with butter & lay the bacon over the breast. Add oil to pan and roast for calculated time. Baste occasionally and cover with foil if browning too fast. 6. Potatoes Boil 7 minutes, drain and shuffle in pan for 5 seconds. Cool and season. Roast on an oiled tray or around chicken for the final hour of cooking. 7. Pigs Stretch bacon by running a knife-

back along the rashers on a board. Wrap one around each sausage at a slight angle to cover. Lay on an oiled tray. 8. Bread sauce Remove the onion. Add breadcrumbs & 1 teaspoon butter. Simmer on low to thicken (roughly 10 mins). Restore onion. Cover. 9. Test chicken by pushing a skewer/knife into leg for 5 seconds: the juices should run clear (not at all pink) and the breast meat should be white. Return to oven to finish or rest on plate in a warm place. Increase heat to 220C/gas mark 7. Put the pigs in and crisp the potatoes up for 15-20 minutes. 10. Sprouts: Boil 7-10 minutes and drain. 11. Gravy Remove potatoes from tin & transfer to a warm plate. Put tin on hob, adding liquid ingredients & chicken juices. Stir, boil, and reduce by a third. Taste & add seasoning/lemon juice accordingly. 12. Plate and Party Re-heat bread sauce gently, bits removed, cream and butter added. Sit bird on plate with the pigs and roasties. Put sauces in bowls, gravy in jug. Carve at the table. 13. Roast Chicken Bits with Roast Roots & Trimmings for 12: Get 24 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in). Prick 12 with knife. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Strip skin off 12, wrapping each in thinned bacon rasher (see above). Roast for 45 minutes/1 hour on baking/roasting tins at 220C/gas mark 7 till crisp, white all through. Peel and chop a mix of sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, beetroot, swede. Slice whole red onions in half. Toss in 1-2 tablespoons oil, sea salt, lemon juice, oregano. Roast as for meat. Use meat juices for gravy. Enjoy with double quantity trimmings!

The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

INGREDIENTS Chicken 1 good chicken (2 – 2.2 kg) giblets removed, room temperature Salt and black pepper 5-8 unsmoked streaky bacon rashers Soft butter/olive oil 1 lemon Cranberry Sauce 225g cranberries (frozen ok) 6 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon orange juice (optional) 70g granulated sugar 2 tablespoons port/red wine (optional) Stuffing 40g butter 75g diced shallot/ onion Grated rind of 1/2 lemon 100g white crust-free bread, torn and blitzed to crumbs 4 sage leaves/few sprigs parsley, chopped Bread Sauce 1 pint milk 1 large onion, peeled, stuck with 8 whole cloves 8 black peppercorns 1 bay leaf (or dried is ok) 110g white bread (stale is fine) 50g butter 2 tablespoons cream Roasties 1.5g floury potatoes (e.g. Maris Piper) peeled & quartered Sea Salt Pigs in Blankets 18 good chipolatas/thin pork sausages 18 slices of meaty smoked streaky bacon Gravy 400 ml water/chicken stock/splash white wine/lemon juice6 tablespoons olive oil

Anyone for tea? Somewhere, in a secret parlour near you awaits Edinburgh’s most indulgent high tea experience...

food&drink Ben Kendall Food & Drink editor

Like good pop music and collecting

hardbacks, afternoon tea has become a dying art. Perhaps, one might argue, there simply isn’t room in the crowded modern lifestyle for the relaxed vagaries of high tea. After all, it is but a capriciously light-hearted, fanciful form of snacking. Instead, one ‘grabs’ a bite to eat, one ‘snatches’ time for a break, but does one ever really sit and enjoy? Let us be thankful, then, that Edinburgh’s Queen of Tarts is here to re-teach an age-old lesson. To elucidate, Queenie – as she is more affectionately known — is progenitress of one of Edinburgh’s growing number of pop-up, make-shift, one-off eating institutions and her specialism is hightea. Once every few months she opens her tastefully eccentric living room to a dozen-or-so lucky guests and confers upon them an afternoon tea experience of high cibarious indulgence. £5 — plus whatever donation you care to part with — earns you course upon course of dainty delights. Following a spritzy aperitif of homemade ginger beer, we begin the comfortingly autumnal tea with a catalogue of savoury treats. Handed round in petite glass cups, a velvety fuchsia-hued beetroot soup opens with a throaty, garliclaced punch. Miniature leek and Wens-

leydale scones, with their burnished edges and fluffy centres, sit alongside generous slivers of squash, sage and ricotta quiche. Classic flavours in unconventional form are all part of Queenie’s little theatre. To cleanse our flavour-laden palettes, her Highness hands out little cut-glass sherry glasses of Earl Grey and lemon sorbet to be refreshingly supped from a tiny silver spoon. It tastes confidently, unexpectedly of itself, foreshadowing the real tea to follow. Next, Queenie proffers a profusion of sweet morsels, cosy manifestations of the season’s best offerings. A pear and hazelnut cake, at once dense and lusciously light, accompanies chocolate and walnut brioche buns while little orange Viennese whirls glow like miniature sundisks, oozing their sharp-sweet citrus cream. To cap it all, the Queen brings forth her pièce de résistance, a masterful plum, fig and almond tarte tatin, alive with the flavours of autumn. All is gratifyingly enjoyed to the clink of a regularly refilled porcelain cup and perhaps the odd tinkle of a champagne flute. Only a few more dates remain on the Queen of Tarts’ winter programme, so get yourself booked-in sharpish. A more pleasant way to pass the afternoon is hard to imagine. @Queen_of_Tarts QueenofTartsEdinburgh

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The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

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Music Like A Vitamin 2012


A successful fifth outing in 2012 for Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones’ contribution to the Mental Health Arts and Film Festival Andrew Ferguson

Music Like A Vitamin, the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival’s key music event, made its triumphant return to Edinburgh’s Picture House this month. The show, which has been coordinated by Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones since 2008, had taken a break from proceedings last year but returned after popular demand. The show has come a long way from its origins five years ago. Rod, who suffered from depression in the past, explains, “originally, I asked friends in other bands to do me a favour and we ended up selling out the ABC in Glasgow”. One of Music Like A Vitamin’s aims is to send a message that music can be key in the treatment of mental health issues. “Music has so much power, and it helps capture everyone’s imagination. It’s such a positive thing to have bands performing for such a good cause. The concerts help to raise awareness of the charity and get people talking about it. Mental health is something that is close to anyone’s heart, either through themselves, friends or family. It affects everyone and the show promotes what we want to do.” The success of the previous concerts spurred Jones on to create The Fruit Tree Foundation with singer/songwriter Emma Pollock. The foundation went on to release the critically acclaimed album First Edition, which featured ten musicians writing together for a week in

Perth. Sparrow and the Workshop’s Jill O’Sullivan, Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit and the Twilight Sad’s James Graham were just a few of the names involved in the collaboration. This year’s Music Like A Vitamin event was kicked off in tremendous fashion by Sparrow and the Workshop. Chicago-raised frontwoman Jill O’Sullivan’s eerie vocals combined cleverly with the group’s grunge/folk melodies to captivate the busy Edinburgh audience. The three-piece played a selection of tracks from their two albums, with O’Sullivan sarcastically dedicating her 2010 single ‘I Will Break You’ to someone special. “Would it be clichéd if I dedicate this next one to Donald Trump?” O’Sullivan questioned to the audience’s laughter. Second to perform were The Birthday Suit, throwing themselves into a fastpaced set with ferocious riffs reminiscent of Jones’ early days in Idlewild. The Birthday Suit stormed through a number of songs from their debut recording and soon to be released second album, A Conversation Well Rehearsed, opening the eyes of those who hadn’t heard The Birthday Suit previously. Rod Jones’ confidence as a frontman seems to be growing, as he continuously engaged with the crowd. “Does anyone remember the nineties?” he asks, before bursting into a powerful cover of Snap’s ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’ - a particular highlight of the night’s proceedings. The group were later joined by Emma Pollock to show-

case a series of tracks from The Fruit Tree Foundation’s album, and help raise awareness of the charities’ work. After a short break Withered Hand took to the stage, supported by a strong local following who would not be disappointed. Performing as a three-piece on the night and fresh from their European tour, frontman Dan Willson was accompanied by a violinist and an accordionist to give his fragile folk songs a fuller sound. Willson’s continuous jokes and anecdotes added to the pleasant atmosphere among those in attendance. The group’s performance of ‘Religious Songs’ encouraged the loudest sing-a-long of the night, highlighting Withered Hand’s growing popularity in the music scene. As well as organising events, The Fruit Tree Foundation has branched out its work in recent times, setting up a mentoring programme for hopeful musicians. One of the students to benefit from the scheme, Marie Collins, joined Dan Willson at the show to play a number of songs that she had written with the help of her mentors. Despite having only rehearsed the songs on the stairwell prior to the gig, Marie’s performance was an excellent insight for the majority of the Edinburgh audience. Big things are expected from Kilmarnock based five-piece Fatherson, who closed this year’s Music Like A Vitamin. A blend of raw indie riffs and catchy vocals energized the large following the band had in attendance. The addition of live cello player Elaine Glass provided

a greater dimension to Fatherson’s live performance, generating a terrific sound inside the Picture House. Set ender James closed the gig in rousing style, with a passionate, melodic chorus sung along by many sections of the room. After another successful show as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, plans are already underway to continue the charities’ work into next year: “The Fruit Tree Founda-

tion are trying to get more mentoring next year, with one session a month. This is the first year that the foundation has hosted the event and we plan to have a new Music Like A Vitamin next year too. There’s always a great community atmosphere for an extremely important cause and we want to keep it fresh each year.” anotherformofrelief


largest student media organisation, is seeking a passionate, talented student journalist to lead our award-winning web platform. As managing editor (online), you’ll work alongside the senior editors of our Edinburgh and Glasgow print editions to make our digital coverage fasterpaced, more responsive and more interactive.

You will be a valued member of our senior editorial team, reporting to the group editorial director and publisher, you will be our senior digital journalist, and will make a significant contribution to directing and defining our online presence. You’ll recruit and lead a team of digital journalists and work with the large editorial staff already in place to put out content faster and promote it better.

Our ideal candidate is a student based in Edinburgh; our newsroom is at Summerhall, on the east edge of the Meadows. Prior experience in student media is highly desirable, but editorial skills and experience with web publishing are crucial. We’re looking for a digital native with great news sense and a nuanced understanding of social media and web tools. Experience with live-blogging and tools like Storify are a definite bonus.

This is a volunteer position in line with most of our positions, but there is potential for it to become a paid role in the near future.

For more information or to apply, email or call 0131 560 2826

The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

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Hayley Scanlan fashion Oliver Giles Fashion editor

There is definitely a buzz in the

room before Scottish designer Hayley Scanlan launches her HS diffusion line, and it’s not caused by the free-flowing champagne. Ever since Scanlan was crowned Young Scottish Designer of the Year 2012, there have been plenty of people waiting to get their hands on her designs. The HS diffusion line is Scanlan’s first collection that will be mass-produced, which makes it far more accessible for the excited crowd at Dundee’s McManus Gallery. The gallery is overflowing with Scanlan’s family, friends, and fans — all of them eagerly awaiting the HS runway show: there is clearly no shortage of support for this young designer. Thankfully, as the catwalk show begins, it quickly becomes clear that the HS line will not disappoint. This first collection, entitled Velvet Venom, is composed almost entirely of body-hugging dresses, all of them showcasing Scanlan’s classic sleek silhouette. The designer’s signature studded embellishments and leather halter neck collars also feature throughout, which makes this collection easily identifiable as Scanlan’s work. Scanlan is best known for her bold printed dresses, but some of her innovative print work has been sacrified to save on price for the HS line; however, this does not detract from the collection as a whole. Instead, Scanlan employs a limited colour palette to draw attention to the eye-catching mock-croc and snakeskin fabrics that she uses throughout; the four colours used are fuchsia pink, yellow, black and white. Dresses in the bright colours are standout party pieces, but the detail and luxurious fabrics ensure that all the looks are attention-grabbing. Speaking a few days after the launch, Scanlan is both relieved and excited at its reception. She exclaims, “the turnout was unbelievable! It was great to share the launch of my first diffusion line collection with all my family and friends.” Scanlan’s pride is understandable, but this is not her only experience of releasing a successful collection. The first collection for her main line was snapped up by celebrities but, despite this support,

Scanlan insists that she designs only for herself. “My instinct and inspiration always come from what I would love to wear. Everyone who knows me says that they can see my identity through my designs.” Aside from the celebrities queuing up for her clothes, Scanlan’s biggest supporter has been the V&A Museum, who are set to open a gallery in Dundee in 2015. Scanlan could not express her gratitude to the V&A enough: “The support from V&A has been absolutely amazing. I feel very honoured that the V&A would even want to support me in the first place!” Scanlan is not only successfully building up her own brand, she is also drawing interest to the Scottish fashion industry. Scanlan says, “Scotland is such a beautiful place and it is my home. I feel extremely lucky to be working in my hometown, as

Hayley Scanlan

I can still do what I’ve always wanted but also be surrounded by the people I care about the most.” Her work for Dundee has not gone unrewarded; this year Scanlan was made an ambassador for the city. When asked about her hopes for the future, Scanlan explains that she wants “new collections for both my main label and also HS.” Scanlan’s horizons are also expanding beyond Scotland; she mentions the possibility of showing her collections at London Fashion Week and her hope of releasing the HS line worldwide. However, the Scottish fashion industry should not despair, Scanlan is quick to clarify that she will only take these steps “when I’m ready”. Although the rest of the world is beginning to call, it sounds like Scanlan is still happiest in Scotland, for now. Hayley Scanlan


Creepers The Journal’s Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show columnist on the utilitarian style of brothel creepers Alex Bunting

In recent years, brothel creepers

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have crawled out of the woodwork and experienced an inexplicable resurgence, culminating in a subculture that is exhibited by Edinburgh University students on a daily basis. But what accounts for their rediscovered appeal? The origins of brothel creepers tellingly lie in the utilitarian setting of World War II, when soldiers in the North African desert wore them because they were the only shoes that could withstand the climate: they were not designed with aesthetics in mind. It therefore seems absurd that creepers are now one of the most visible statements in the recent proliferation of urban trends, while the equally practical Timbaland boot is seen as having no place in students’ wardrobes. Brothel creepers first became a status symbol in the late fifties, when many of those same WWII soldiers began wearing them in London. Teddy Boys then quickly adopted them as a staple to be worn with drainpipe trousers and a quiff. Their popularity steadily increased and eventually culminated in creeper mania in the seventies led by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood from their shop Let It Rock on London’s Kings Road. In a modern-day context it would seem almost ridiculous to see a man

donning a pair of creepers. However, before this latest resurrection the clientele was predominantly male. This shift of creepers into women’s wardrobes can only be attributed to the rise of androgyny throughout the fashion world. Yet even taking this interest in androgyny into consideration, it remains baffling that creepers are so popular amongst young women today. Even more disconcertingly, creepers are more often than not worn with an entirely incongruous outfit in an attempt to make them more feminine. Pairing them with a Longchamp bag and a fur coat does not make them acceptable. Neither does wearing them with a floral top. Some carefully composed sartorial contradictions can produce creative and exciting results; however, this is not one of them. Unfortunately, brothel creepers epitomize the potency of the ‘micro trend’: the ability to infiltrate a market without any influence from high fashion. Creepers have not appeared on any runways or been championed by any designers but somehow have quickly reassumed their cult status of yesteryear. The only difference being that they’re now only to be found in women’s wardrobes. Like UGG boots, crazy frog, and the common cold, they spread leaving nothing but headaches in their wake. Alex Bunting is blogs coordinator for Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show.

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The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

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Reduce prices or lose Scottish Premier League The SPL has seen drops in attendance that can only be reversed by making matches affordable Ruth Jeffery Sport editor There is no doubt that the Scottish Premier League is an endangered species. Quite how fearfully endangered is debateable. On a scale from the panda at one end to the rat at the other, the SPL would be akin to the polar bear. Protected to some degree, but struggling to keep afloat on sparse finances which are ever receding into an ocean of debt. Despite optimistic arguments which say that the SPL is in the best health of its life, devoid of both Rangers and stagnation, competitive and more exciting than before; there is no denying that financially, it’s a mess. Hearts’ recent headaches have exem-

plified the predicament, and the desperate measures such as asking fans to buy shares and hold fundraising events look ludicrous from one of the main clubs in the national league. As vicious as the prospect of losing yet another SPL club to the taxman is the circle which is created by the high prices and low attendance. Dropping attendance at matches means bumped up prices, which dissuades fans from turning out. Thus the stands grow ever more empty, and the coffers lighter. A tactic which should be taken by the Scottish clubs is to break said vicious circle; reducing prices, racking up attendance and slowly building finances. The Hearts v St Mirren match on Saturday saw a nearly full Tynecastle, almost

Redevelopment at Ravenhill

Bob’s your uncle for Zubkov in Placid

The home of Ulster Rugby in East

Ricky Hatton takes on Vyacheslav Senchenko this coming Saturday after three-and-a-half years out of boxing. The 10-round welterweight contest will take place in the Manchester MEN Arena, and is already a sell-out. Hatton has said he is ready to give his comeback his all: “I’m going to throw it all at Senchenko on the night and it could be a painful night for him.” The former light-welterweight and WBA welterweight champion has struggled with depression, drinking and drugs over the last few years, and will be gladly welcomed back into the ring.

Belfast will undergo major work to reconstruct the stands by summer 2014. The new capacity at the venue will rise from 11,400 to 18,000, surpassing the threshold requirements for hosting a Heineken Cup quarter final or a RaboDirect PRO12 final. Carál Ní Chuilín, the Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister, has officially released the £14.7million pledged to the revamp. The ground, first opened in 1923, will become one of the most modern stadiums in rugby, and will become Ulster Rugby senior squad’s training base. The club are now looking for a naming partner to sponsor the new-look Ravenhill.

Ricky returns to the ring Ricky Hatton takes on Vyacheslav Senchenko this coming Saturday after three-and-a-half years out of boxing. The 10-round welterweight contest will take place in the Manchester MEN Arena, and is already a sell-out. Hatton has said he is ready to give his comeback his all: “I’m going to throw it all at Senchenko on the night and it could be a painful night for him.” The former light-welterweight and WBA welterweight champion has struggled with depression, drinking and drugs over the last few years, and will be gladly welcomed back into the ring.

Sussex cricketers approached over match-fixing The team has confirmed that

players were approached about fixing a Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Kent in 2011. Sussex were beaten in the match by 14 runs. The club said that an internal investigation had found no evidence of wrongdoing, and that they had informed the England and Wales Cricket Board of the situation. A book released last week details this controversy, among others, called ‘Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy: A Journey to the Corrupt Heart of Cricket’s Underworld’.

certainly a reaction to both the emotional turmoil surrounding the club as it struggles for survival, and the pleas from officials for fans to turn out. In a stadium with a capacity of 18,300, the average attendance for 2012/13 season so far has been 12,711. On Saturday it was 16,443. Whilst this is good news for the Jambos, it is a one off. A movement of loyalty sparked by fear of loss. The high attendances may last one more week, two at a stretch, but not until the end of the season. Would it not be better for Hearts to sell 18,000 tickets every week for £15 a ticket than 12,000 for the current cost which is £18- £28? And in the rest of the SPL the same story rings out. Celtic Park, home of what is now the most famous and successful club in the League (after Rangers’

demise), has a capacity of 60,506 but an average attendance this season of 45,873. Whilst it is not reasonable to expect that the stadiums will be packed to the rafters every week, the comparative figure for the 2001/02 season of 58,618 does paint a picture of how numbers have declined. One cannot help but think that ticket prices must be taken into the equation, as the league has increased in competitiveness this season and the quality of football itself does seem to be improving. Celtic is an expensive day out at £23 for the cheapest adult ticket. Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga compares well with Celtic and Hearts’ prices. With an adult ticket costing just £12.30, the German club has almost sold out every match this season. The average

attendance is 80,045 in a stadium capacity of 80,720. Even though arguments can be made that the Bundesliga is more successful, lucrative and exciting, the correlation between affordable football and high attendances is there to see. If the SPL released an agreement for clubs to sign which dictated a required minimum price for tickets, the benefits would surely be seen in the long term. Not only would the clubs reap financial rewards after a few months with the almost certain rise in attendance, but the fans’ connection to their home teams would increase. Maybe an idea hard to sell to struggling clubs, but a reduction in ticket prices could over time bulk out those flimsy icebergs and keep the endangered SPL afloat.

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The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012


The madcap Bobbie Manc

Roger Goraczniak

Another week, another story from the Man City manager Matthew Dunne Miles Staff writer

Is anybody watching Roberto? I mean, I know the whole world’s media is watching, in the way you watch a head on collision, unable to peel your eyes away from what you know is an oncoming horrific mess. But is there anybody actually watching him? It’s all gone a bit Alan Patridgeshaped for the Italian Stallion. “Why do you keep asking me this?” he pleaded with reporters a few weeks ago, after another woefully lacklustre performance by Manchester City in Europe. With his head in his hands and

his silver locks fading ever greyer, it looked as though Mancini had finally had enough of being at the helm of one of football’s super clubs. As though after a few more hours he would break into a Network style breakdown; ‘I’m mad as hell! And I’m not going to take this anymore’ he might announce, before driving to Land’s End and crashing into the sea. However, last week saw a new stage in the Mancini saga. Deciding that surrealist theatre is the sign of steady management, he arrived at a press conference wearing a mask of his second-in-command David Platt. The humble Mancunian Platt must feel honoured that he has received

some appreciation from his superior and might be counting his lucky stars that it’s not his actual face that Roberto is wearing. Is the pressure of life at the top proving too much for Mancini? The same pressure that saw Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho eye gouge a Barca Coach last season? Or perhaps this is a laddish bonding exercise with young tearaway Mario Balotelli in order to heal old wounds, showing that he’s just ‘one of the guys’? Or more interestingly this could all be a Joaquin Pheonix style publicity stunt, using his erratic behaviour to promote a movie. Watch this space, ‘David Platt : The Biopic’ in a cinema near you soon!



Chris Rubey

Grainger mends broken Hearts Strong support as troubled Jambos claim an important three points Scottish Premier League


1 0

Ruth Jeffery Sport editor

A busy week in Scottish football Levein, Romanov and the SFL all troubling the headlines once again Gary Paul Staff writer Scotland struggle to victory

The national team took on part-

timers Luxembourg at the Stade Josy Barthel last Wednesday, with under21s manager Billy Stark taking charge in the interim following Craig Levein’s eventual sacking at the start of the month. In typical Scottish fashion the team decided to do things the hard way; an early brace from Jordan Rhodes showed exactly what Levein had been missing throughout his miserable tenure, but a second half goal from the home side had the tartan army bricking it right into stoppage time. A victory in the end, but an alarmingly unconvincing one. Stark seemed to do his best to rule himself out of contention, bizarrely calling up Kenny Miller, wasting Steven Naismith at left wing and failing to provide a link between midfield and attack; all the hallmarks of Levein’s Scotland. The inclusion of Rhodes, SPL top scorer Leigh Griffiths, and the likes of Kilmarnock’s Liam Kelly are all moves in the right direction though. We can only hope Levein’s successor can learn from his countless mistakes and move forward while addressing the continuing frailties in the team,

particularly in defence, and maximise the talents at their disposal. The wee house stays open Further to last month’s failure to pay players’ wages alongside a disputed unpaid tax bill, Heart of Midlothian was hit with a winding-up order from HMRC unless they could settle an outstanding bill approaching £450,000. The club directors hit the panic button, admitting that the fans’ share set-up would be used to pay this bill, as well as pleading for any donations at all from fans. Club legend John Robertson supported the board’s pleas for ‘emergency backing’, begging fans to contribute in any way possible and get Tynecastle full in the coming weeks. The match there against St Mirren was forecast as the club’s final game but that worst-case scenario has been avoided and a deal was struck with HMRC to keep Hearts beating for now at least. The board have rejected an approach from one consortium and have opened promising discussions with Supporters Direct with a view to a more fan-central ownership of the club in the future. Reconstruction (again) The perennial point of discussion in Scottish Football, league reconstruction, has reared its head again this week. This time it’s serious, allegedly.

Following countless failed attempts and talk without action in the past, all three governing bodies have presented their thoughts for the future. Overlooking the ridiculous nature of three separate football governing bodies in Scotland, there are some interesting thoughts being tabled. The Scottish Football League are keen for a 16 team top tier, with playoffs for relegation and a champions league style league cup to make up for the reduction in fixtures. Their plans would also see the end of the SPL as a separate entity with just one body governing domestic matters (apart from the Scottish Cup which is overseen by the SFA, just to confuse things). The SPL are living up to their nickname as the self-preservation league; they don’t want to share with the SFL and have offered two alternative models for restructure. One of these promises a split format even more complex than the current one, while the other proposes ‘invitation’ of SFL clubs to an expanded top-tier Premier League. All very perplexing. What is clear is that change is essential to regenerate interest in the Scottish game and spread income evenly throughout; the SPL’s self-serving interests must not hinder the development of such alternatives.

Danny Grainger’s second half strike went some way towards mending broken hearts as Tynecastle welcomed St Mirren on Saturday. The goal, which came in the 64th minute from a free kick, took a deflection off Kenny McLean. Grainger’s intent with the shot matched that of the jubilant fans, desperate for their club to survive its current money worries. Kick off for the Hearts v St Mirren match on Saturday was to an electric backdrop as fans and players alike tried to forget the financial troubles of the home team for 90 minutes. Jamie Walker nearly made an early start on this task with a header before goal in the opening minutes, but was caught by Craig Samson. The momentum Hearts enjoyed during the opening stages of the game faded towards the middle of the first half. They had been carried by the atmosphere for the first 20 minutes and seemed determined to make their mark on the score sheet, but the chances became sparser as they conceded some of midfield to St Mirren. Jim Goodwin was terrific for the visitors in this respect, holding the fort in the centre of the pitch and managing to slow down the maroon attack. The second half was a scrappy affair, but Hearts dominated throughout. After the match Hearts’ manager John McGlynn said: “Massive Hearts support here today, can’t thank the fans enough for their support. Not only coming along today but 500,000 in shares, money that the football club has taken in. We wanted to give them

a victory, and we managed to achieve that. “I thought we dominated the first half, obviously everyone can tell that St Mirren come here from five straight defeats so they were never going to open up and make it easy for us, they made it difficult for us. “We were probably due a wee break I think. Danny would probably think otherwise. But it was enough to win the football match and I thought we were very solid at the back, great performances from our central defenders.” St Mirren manager Danny Lennon admitted that Tynecastle had an electric atmosphere: “I thought the boys were absolutely terrific today in terms of the character, the effort and passion and every single one of them played for that jersey today I thought they were incredible. “It was always going to be a difficult venue for us to come to today, the situation with Hearts’ fight to survive; coming in to a wonderful arena and a packed house, and a hostile environment that it was. We knew it was going to be that challenge and it was a great atmosphere and we handled that well and we handled Hearts well.” St Mirren host Dundee on Saturday, and will be looking for a vital three points to help get their campaign started. Hearts travel to Motherwell on the same day.


The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012

@EdJournalSport /

SPORT// 29


Two tests, two Scotland sides They attacked with vigour against the All Blacks but were lacklustre in front of South Africa Michael Mawdsley

Though they may have been demolished twice in the past few weeks, admittedly to two of the best teams in the world, there is hope for the Scotland national rugby team. Behind the evident chinks in Scottish armour, their attacking flair has blasted the cobwebs from Murrayfield and spells out a potentially bright 2013. Last week’s 21-10 submission to South Africa however showed exactly how inconsistent they can be. Having demonstrated how brilliant the wide players, , attacking with depth and quick hands, were against the best defence in the world in their previous match(New Zealand hadn’t conceded three tries in a game since 2011), Scotland attacked flat and refused to play wide. Tim Visser didn’t touch the ball in attack until 76 minutes, and Scotland scored just the one try. The 51-22 defeat against the All Blacks the weekend before was a brighter display of the nation’s team, and represented several things. Firstly, it was the triumphant domestic crowning of Tim Visser as Scotland’s great Dutch hope. Born in Zeewolde, 59km from Amsterdam, qualifing for Scotland through 36 months residency in the capital, he has a great finish. Two tries, one off an interception from Matt Scott where he burned Corey Jane to the line, and the second

from an excellent turnover in the All Black 22 showed he has the composure, pace and awareness to provide conclusion to attacking moves or breaks with points. Considering the opposition, two tries on a home international debut is even more impressive. A finisher is distinctively something Scotland’s game has lacked since the 1990s. With Visser’s included, the three tries Scotland scored against New Zealand represented a big, wet kiss of daylight at the end of what has been a long, tumultuous and dark tunnel for Scottish rugby. Too long has Scotland’s attacking game broken down on the proverbial rocks going forward against top flight opposition, due to a lack of vision and capable ball carriers. Richie Gray, the charismatic and gigantic lock, carried the ball superbly and for the first time expressed real interest and desire in a Scotland jersey; the same applies for David Rennie, Alasdair Strokosch and Kelly Brown in the back row. The second try, where Scotland in the past would have crumbled, represents a breakthrough in this area. Against South Africa, this passion and willingness to carry seemed to have vanished. Only Jim Hamilton gave himself credit, being hauled back across the line by an excellent South African defence. Henry Prygos’ try represented the only intelligent piece of


attacking play in eighty minutes, and it was outstanding. This inconsistency in attack makes us the maniacal cousin in home nations rugby; unstable one minute and scintillating the next. < Tactically, there are still cracks in coach Andy Robinson’s vision. The defence looks weak. Whether this fault lies with Robinson or his players is debateable, but against the best teams


Race rows damaging the beautiful game The British public must open their

eyes to what is now very clearly apparent in football upon these shores. No longer can we gaze across at Eastern Europe or indeed even closer to home at somewhere like Italy and look down upon them condescendingly. 2012 has been a year unparalleled in controversy over race and it seems that even with just a month left there will be more to come. One cannot help but expect a new story to hit the news each Saturday since this is the most high profile issue in football at present. The cases have been numerous, with the likes of John Terry and Luis Suarez immensely high profile.

France, for next year. Simple rugby played in the hands and kept tight around the breakdown was perfectly illustrated by Scotland’s Kiwi opponents. It is possible that in four months they may develop the same way. Despite the clean-ups required in the team’s play, the future is certainly looking bright.


Ronnie Macdonald

Ollie Bunting

in the world, who thrive on the turnover, defensive organisation was tantamount. That was not obvious at all in either game. Communication is essential in the future. Stuart Hogg and Greig Laidlaw need to be discouraged from kicking the ball away aimlessly, especially down the throats of exceedingly capable back threes, such as England or

Perhaps most shocking was the abuse that Danny Rose, the young English full back, had to face when on international duty for his country against Serbia U21s. It was not just what Rose had to endure, but also the disgraceful manner with which the Serbian FA reacted to the accusations, with a released video clip of every touch Rose made during the match and arguing that no racism had taken place. They went as far as labelling Rose a liar and entitled the six minute clip ‘Danny Rose is lying to whom?’ It was a sheer repulsive act. Needless to say the clip cuts short 16 minutes from the end and fails to show or mention the ugly scenes that took place towards the end of the match. Equally worrying has been the

recent accusations launched by Chelsea FC against referee Mark Clattenburg. Although police have dropped their investigation the scandal rumbles on and Chelsea players themselves are saying they want the situation to be dealt with quickly. Petr Cech is obviously concerned, and has said: “I believe that if you come up with something like that, you need to have a really good case to say it”. It would not help the game if these claims against Clattenburg were in part a fabrication and would heap even more unwanted pressure on this situation. But surely, the most worrying factor that has to be addressed, something that runs much deeper than the likes of Suarez and Terry, is the reminder of Chris Hughton and Chris Powell. There are only three black managers out of 92 English Premier League and Football League clubs: Hughton (Norwich), Powell (Charlton) and Keith Curle (Notts County). This is despite the fact that 25 per cent of professional footballers in England are black or from ethnic minorities. It is worth, therefore, mentioning the Rooney Rule, set up by Dan Rooney for the NFL which requires every franchise to interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation opportunities that become available. Importantly, it has had an effect on the numbers in the NFL and there are now more black coaches than before. We cannot think that the problem starts with the players; it doesn’t. A hefty fine or match ban will not help the bigger picture when more serious facts need to be faced.

Oh woe is Wiggins Star’s crash brings cycle safety into focus Orla O’Muiri, Ruth Jeffery

Three high profile cycling acci-

dents in the past week have led to calls for road safety to be taken seriously. Last week, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins was the first, knocked off his bike in Lancashire by a van. The Olympic gold medallist walked away with a bruised lung, fractured rib and a dislocated finger. The next morning, former pro cyclist and British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton was in a bike crash, diagnosed with bleeding on the brain and a fractured cheek.Then on Sunday Mark Cavendish collided with a van whilst training in Tuscany. He tweeted: “Went & hit the back of a car that slammed on today in training. Wasn’t ideal. Apart from a bruised arm, I’m relatively ok. If anyone cares.” The reaction from the press has been overwhelming. Stories have been springing up everywhere about cyclists’ safety and the need for reform, but as usual it takes a famous person to get hurt before the government, the media and the people stand up and take action. These accidents are happening too often and too many people are getting killed. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ figures show that 19,215 cyclists were either killed

or injured on the road in 2011. Perhaps surprisingly, the figures also show that over 80 per cent of cycle accidents happen in daylight. 75 per cent happen at or near a road junction. This makes some of the advice given to cyclists regarding light-reflecting clothing not irrelevent, but due with caution. The government’s scheme for children and parents called ‘Bikebility’ is a step in the right direction, promoting cycle safety and discussing biking issues. Figures from Transport Scotland disclose that there was a 13 per cent jump in the number of cyclists suffering serious injuries in 2011 when compared with 2010. Now, after these two high profile crashes, change is beginning to bloom. British Cycling has called on the government “to put cycling at the heart of transport policy to ensure cycle safety.” They say cycle safety needs to be “built into the design of all new roads, junctions and transport projects, rather than being an afterthought.” The crux of the problem is the legal system’s lenient approach on sentencing for motorists at fault in accidents with cyclists. People’s mindset needs to change. Awareness is a word too often thrown around but here it must be pushed upon the world.

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The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012


Malgosia Stelmaszyk

Skinner triumphs in battle of Tranent Sally Skinner, Sean Gibson

Sally Skinner claimed her first

Edinburgh 1st Stirling 2nd

victory in over a year to re-establish herself as a contender for the championship crown. Stephen Walls and Jordan Martin took second and third respectively in a frantic final that saw two disqualifications, as the Edinburgh University Motor Sport Club’s (EUMSC) karting championship visited Tranent for round three. Martin was the chief beneficiary of the stewards’ post-race decision to exclude Ross Hughes and reigning champion Scott Douglas, the former for throwing punches at Walls as the two came together on the start-finish straight. Walls was unperturbed: “I didn’t even realise it was going on.” The first heat set the dramatic tone as, during a close race between the leaders, Walls tested a three-abreast theory in the tight final corner of the circuit. Predictably, a pile up ensued – costly for some but resulting in the first victory of the night for round-two winner Steven Campbell. The later heats witnessed some interesting manoeuvres, with both Nick Roberts and old-timer Richard Crozier making the acquaintance of the first-corner barrier on separate occasions. The night was a success for the newcomers, who hassled the veterans

4 3

Malgosia Stelmaszyk

throughout; Jonathan Chow won one of his heats, finishing in front of reigning champion Scott Douglas, while other newcomers Gillan Stewart and David Haverson also scored victories against some of the more experienced drivers in the club. However, they couldn’t prevent both Crozier and club captain Gary Brown taking two heat wins apiece to qualify with ease for the semi-finals. The semi-finals ran more smoothly with Skinner winning her semi-final from the front to claim pole position for the grand final while Douglas followed closely behind, clocking the fastest lap of the night in winning the second semi-final. The tempo that had built through the heats climaxed in the all-action final. From pole, Skinner got a jump on the rest and never relinquished the lead, securing victory with a succession of rapid laps. Meanwhile, questionable driving behind livened up the fight for the remaining podium spots, Martin emerging from the almighty scrap to take third behind Skinner and Walls at the expense of Douglas and Hughes. Championship Standings: 1) Jordan Martin, 151 points; 2) Nick Roberts 130; 3) Gary Brown, 126; 4) Jonathan Chow, 125; 4=) Finn Moore, 125; 4=) Stephen Walls, 125; 7) Ross Hughes, 122; 8) David Haverson, 121; 9) Jamie Thomson 118; 10) Sally Skinner, 118.


Knights unhorsed by Stirling Clansmen BUCS Scottish Conference



BUCS Scottish Conference Men’s 3A P W D L F 5 3 1


10 5



Edinburgh 1st

5 2 2 1

12 9



Heriot-Watt 1st

5 2 1

2 8




Aberdeen 1st

4 2 0 2 6




Glasgow 1st

5 1

12 -6


0 4 6

Stirling CLANSMEN 56

A GD Pts

Stirling 2nd

Ruth Jeffery Sport editor

A visit by the table topping Stirling

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Clansmen proved a tough task for the Edinburgh Napier Knights last week as they were beaten 0-56 at home. The Knights sit fourth in the BUCS table, and went into the game with one defeat this season already to the UWS Pyros. The Clansmen had two wins under their belt against Edinburgh Predators and Glasgow Tigers. Stirling’s unstoppable offense, which just last week had racked up 100 points against the Tigers, got into gear early on and quickly put 49 points on the board in the opening two quarters. A hatrick of touchdowns for both running backs Terry McDowall and Craig Finlay proved the key to success for Stirling’s high octane attack. These scores were added to by a couple of passing touchdowns from quarter back Dutch Stephenson. The Knights offense struggled to move the ball, turning it over five times in the first half alone giving the Clansmen the short field from which to score. The second half proved a turning point for the Knights and a more gal-

vanised team performed better, reeling off three first downs and an impressive two takeaways. Safety Dominik Wiest was the Knights star performer on the day but the wide score line means the Knights will be hoping to build on their second half performance as they get ready to face the Glasgow Tigers next Sunday. Knights Head Coach Pete Laird was upbeat about his team’s performance. “Whilst it’s never nice to lose, the Clansmen have shown themselves to be the best team in our division by quite some distance this year. Stirling’s Coach Orr should be congratulated on fielding such a quality team. I am immensely proud of our boys’ second half performance today and hope that means we have turned the corner for the remainder of the season.” The Knights travel to Stirling on Sunday 2 December, and then have a clash with neighbours Edinburgh Predators a fortnight later. Stirling take on the Edinburgh Predators on 25 November.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL BUCS Men’s Scottish Conference

P W D L PF PA PD % Stirling 1st

3 3 - 0 6

8 205 1.000

Glasgow 1st

3 2 - 1


7 -66 0.667

Edinburgh 1st

3 1 - 2 3

2 -43 0.333

W’ of Scotland 1st 2 1 - 1 Ed’ Napier 1st


3 0 - 3 2

2 -19


5 -77 0.000

The Journal Wednesday 21 November 2012



@EdJournalSport / Attendance figures provide a bleak context for Hearts’ woes and league reconstruction


Skint fans vote with their feet

27 Malgosia Stelmaszyk

Haries host successful Braids Edinburgh cross country club’s annual race draws multitude of athletes from all over Britain Ruth Jeffery Sport editor

Edinburgh’s running club Hare

and Hounds hosted their annual cross country race last weekend in Braids Hills, with over 100 women and 200 men taking part. The women’s race was one lap of Braids Golf Course, whilst the men’s was two. Universities from all across the UK took part, with many additional competitors returning to the race having previously belonged to Hare and Hounds. A presentation ceremony with

an old fashioned ceilidh was held afterwards, celebrating the tradition of the race which goes back to the 1970s. Dewi Griffiths from Swansea came first in the men’s race with a time of 31.26 minutes. Afterwards he told the Journal: “It was really good. I’m not sure what the time was but I’m pretty happy yeah. (I do) A bit of everything as I tend to do cross country, 10k distance. I might come back again next year- I’m not sure.” Second was James Waldie from Hare and Hounds with a time of 32.35. The next Harie was Patryk Gierjatowicz who came in fourth with

32.56. The winner of the women’s lap was Lucy Crooke from Leeds University who ran at Braids for the first time with a time of 18.35 minutes. She was closely followed by Rebecca Harding of Hare and Hounds with 18.37.The third place was also taken by the hosts with Jenny Dybeck coming in at 18.53 minutes. Publicity and Alumni Officer for Hare and Hounds Ben Stevenson said the event was a success: “Such a good course, keeps you going, the motivation. There’s a lot of people out here supporting you as well, so it was pretty

good. I think we did pretty well over all, pleased with that.” “We’ve planning this since the committee was re-elected back at the start of the summer so a lot of effort went in, especially from our race organiser Emily Pollock. She’s been the main person behind it all and the club has been helping all together, so a lot of effort’s been put into this. We’ve got quite a few other races on this weekend anyway so we’re pleased with the turn-out.” After the event the club’s twitter feed said “Thanks to everyone who came and supported #Braids2012

Massive success, bring on tonight!” Hare and Hounds’ focus is cross country until February. Rhona Auckland is the only Harie competing in the Euro XC trials next weekend, giving her a chance of making the GB team. Although Auckland didn’t participate at Braids, she did take part in the 4k National XC Championships last weekend and won, making her National Senior and Junior Champion 4k Champion at the age of 19. The rest of the Haries will travel to Livingston on 24 November to compete in the East Districts.


Glasgow athletes deny Edinburgh at Kelvin Hall Ruth Jeffery, Tom Bateson

Glasgow University Athletics

Club won the Spencer French Memorial Trophy last Saturday in a competition against Edinburgh. The annual prize would have been contested at the Freshers Match last month, but Glasgow didn’t attend, postponing the trophy. Napier also attended with a small team of four athletes at Kelvin Hall. Due to time constraints, the competition was structured differently to previous years. The teams competed in a reduced number of events, namely the 60m, 400m, Long Jump, Shot Putt, and the 1500m for the Men and 800m for the Women. Only heats took place in the sprints, with the winners, and thus points for the teams, being decided on who achieved the fastest times across all the heats. The 800m and 1500m were decided by straight finals. Napier did extremely well with

their small team. John Glen came second in the men’s 400m with a time of 53.7 seconds, and third in the men’s 60m with 7.5 seconds. Their other athlete who made it on to the podium was Lauren Stoddart, who came second in the women’s 400m with a time of 1:04.2 minutes and second in the 800m with 2:33.8. Edinburgh men were once again well represented at the event, with the first and third places in the 1500m taken by Stewart Chalmers and Tom Bateson. They achieved times of 4:17.1 and 4:35.2 respectively. James Wade did well to come second in the men’s 60m (7.3 seconds) while Timothy Gray secured third in the 400m with 54 seconds. Claire Taylor, an excellent athlete for Edinburgh who also performed well in the Freshers Match last month, won both the women’s 60m with a time of 7.9 seconds and the shot putt with 9.02 metres.

Edinburgh managed to win three out of the four relays, winning both the men’s and women’s 4x200m and the men’s 4x400m. The men’s 4x400m, consisting of Ross Blair, Tom Bateson, Evan Cornforth and Stewart Chalmers was particularly exciting to watch, as Glasgow got themselves a considerable

lead on the first leg, and it was not until the last 200m of the whole race that Stewart Chalmers was able to catch the Glasgow team and claim victory for Edinburgh. Despite these wins for Edinburgh, Glasgow did enough to secure the trophy and go home winners. The next

competition for the Athletics Clubs is the Scottish University Indoor Championships on 12 January in the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. A BUCS tournament will follow on 22-24 February in the EIS, Sheffield. Aside from these calendar dates, athletes will be taking part in open-graded competitions



BUCS Scottish Conference Women’s 1A P W D L F

A GD Pts

Edinburgh 1st

5 5 0 0 20 4

Aberdeen 1st

5 3 1

Edinburgh 2nd

6 2 1

St Andrews 1st

6 1

Glasgow 1st

4 1

0 3 5



BUCS Scottish Conference Men’s 2A P W D L F

BUCS Scottish Conference Men’s 1A

A GD Pts


A GD Pts


Abertay 1st

4 3 1

0 12 2



St Andrews 1st

5 5 0 0 66 10 56


2 15 14 1


Ed’ Napier 1st

4 3 1

0 10 4



Edinburgh 1st

3 2 0 1 24 13 11


3 13 15 -2


Robert Gordon 1st 4 1


2 9




Aberdeen 1st

3 1

0 2 14 42 -28 3

0 4 15 23 -8


Glasgow Caley 1st

3 0 1

2 3

10 -7


Stirling 1st

4 1

0 3 18 39 -21 3


Edinburgh 2nd

3 0 0 3 1

12 -11


Glasgow 1st

5 1

0 4 24 42 -18 0

12 -7

Full standings available at:

265x340 ilan.pdf












The Journal - Edinburgh Issue 65  
The Journal - Edinburgh Issue 65  

Issue 65 of The Edinburgh Journal, published on Wednesday 21 November 2012.