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Glasgow welcomes Olympians Thousands of people turn out to great Scottish athletes at homecoming event


Fresh scandal at beleaguered CitySA Latest controversy for union at Glasgow’s largest college, as student leaders accused of oppressing liberation groups, sparking student campaign





Chaos at new Edinburgh College One-horse race for UoE rector JournalMcColl investigation reveals Peter will take overfraying from staffMacWhirter relations and massive cost of Iain on 1 March, ‘model’ further educationelection merger following uncontested

Glasgow unis jump in QS table University of Glasgow up five places, Strathclyde up 16 in latest world university league tables from QS


IN ART / 16

Introducing... Chvrches The Journal’s Harris Brine on the new Glasgow band seemingly intent on defying Nietzsche...

Rembrandt and the Passion A leading art expert tells The Journal about the significance of the Hunterian’s new exhibition



Community backlash against Otago Lane development plans IN COMMENT / Residents and local businesses unite against council decision



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The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012


London Met head to court

Troubled London university will now fight legal action over the UKBA visa decision


Rabbie Denim

Jamie Brotherston meets acclaimed Glasgow designer and ‘tsar of denim’ Robert Watson

Ugo Rondinone: Primitive

10 17

The Common Guild presents the first Scottish solo exhibition by renowned Swiss artist Ugo

Contest launched ahead of George Square transformation Council mourn square’s “loss of status and dignity” as they launch competition for major redevelopment contract Lauren Simpson Staff writer

Glasgow City council have launched

an international design competition to transform George Square into a civic centre expected of an international city. The council have stated that George Square was once regarded as the ‘Grand Palace’ of Glasgow, however with various changes over the years now “its loss of status and dignity is all too apparent.” The project will include a competition to select a designer-led, multi-disciplinary team for the redevelopment which will

cost £15m. With the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow in 2014, the council have taken this opportunity to redevelop the civic square and highlight it as Scotland’s premier urban space. Councillor for the Anderston/City area Gordon Matheson told The Journal: “When looking at such an important site many factors have to be considered such as landscaping and lighting to event infrastructure and services.” “It is important that we find a team that are able to address and deliver these aspects to the highest specifications.”

Matheson further commented that the new design would “celebrate the creativity of the city and its people; provide a context in which a range of organised activities, large and small can occur during all seasons; create an urban space of outstanding design quality; and create a world class tourist destination.” The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland have been appointed by Glasgow City Council to offer advice and support on the design competition and help get the right designers on the team for transforming George Square. Neil Baxter the Secretary and Treas-

urer for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) feels the project is much overdue: “The quality of George Square is very much about the impression that Glasgow creates, particularly with visitors, but also with local people.” “It is the centre of the city, the symbolic centre of the city, in a sense the sort of emotional centre of the city for Glaswegians, it’s where Glaswegians identify with as the centre of their city that they’re so passionate about.” RIAS will be selecting who will work on the design project and Mr Baxter told The Journal: “The advice that we are

giving to the council is very much about assuring that the selection is a quality driven.” “It shouldn’t be a cost driven process, it should be about choosing people who are of appropriate quality, experience and skill. “To undertake what is a pretty complex piece of work but also a piece of work which is hugely important for the identity of the city.” The first phase of work is due to be finished by April 2014, just in time for the Commonwealth Games coming to the city of Glasgow.

Council approves controversial Sighthill regeneration Redevelopment plan is part of Glasgow City Council’s bid for the city to host 2018 Youth Olympic Games Karen Thomson Staff writer

for more than 400 households currently in the area. Concerned residents met with Controversial plans for Glasgow City Council leader Gordon the regeneration of Sighthill have Matheson on 18 September to discuss been brought forward as council- concerns over demolition of Pinkston lors support the bid of Glasgow City high rises. Council for the 2018 Youth Olympic The ambitious plans for the regenGames. eration would include over 700 homes The bid which was approved by which would be a mixture of private Glasgow City Council’s Executive sale, lost-cost ownership and midCommittee last week sets out plans market rent. for a £250 million redevelopment The plans for the 2018 Youth of the area which could see only 130 Games the athletes village would social rent properties being provided provide accommodation for 6,000

athletes and officials and would be on a similar scale to the athletes’ village currently being built in Dalmarnock in the east end of the city for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The Youth Olympic Games bid has provided us with an opportunity to speed up what will be a generational change for Sighthill. “The bid gives us the impetus to work with the local community and our partners - and to lever in private money - to rebuild Sighthill as a

popular and vibrant community. The regeneration of the area was always a priority for the city, but the bid means it can now happen much faster than ever envisaged. “The transformation of the area will bring hundreds of new homes for local people, as well as a new school campus, community facilities and better links for pedestrians to the city centre. It will also create jobs and apprenticeship places, and help unlock the development potential of other areas to the north of the city centre.”

The success of London 2012 and the upcoming Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is hoped to boost Scottish tourism and the minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said: “Bidding for the Youth Olympic Games could not only bring another world class event to Glasgow, it is a huge opportunity to put in place new facilities and infrastructure. “This plan will accelerate the regeneration of Sighthill, whether or not the bid is successful, and create a new community.”

The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

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Tensions simmer between college chiefs and staff unions over redundancies

Allan MacDonald

Staff relations at new Edinburgh College are fraying, as an investigation by The Journal reveals government’s £8m underwriting of merger Marcus Kernohan Editorial director

The formation of Edinburgh’s new

‘super-college’ is being underwritten by millions of pounds in public funds used to pay severance packages, documents obtained by The Journal show, amid an increasingly unhappy response from staff and student representatives to the ongoing merger process. The Scottish Funding Council approved £7.7 million in funding for the amalgamation of Telford, Stevenson and Jewel & Esk colleges into the new Edinburgh College, according to correspondence between college chiefs and the SFC — including £3.8 million earmarked for voluntary severance payments. Edinburgh College, which is to be formally vested next week, will instantly become one of the largest further education institutions in Scotland, with an enrollment of around 35,000 students. The merger plan was earlier hailed by the three participating colleges as an “exciting project to create a dynamic new college for the Edinburgh city region.” The new college is seen by policymakers as a crucial pilot for the Scottish Government’s controversial post-16 education reforms, which seek to ‘regionalise’ FE by reducing the number of colleges in Scotland from 41 to 12. In an interview with The Journal, educa-

tion secretary Michael Russell said that college leaders “have been very positive about making that step, and it’s going to produce big benefits for learners in Edinburgh... there are a lot of different activities going on in colleges, and I think [Edinburgh College] is making sure that those activities are undertaken as efficiently and effectively as possible.” But documents released under freedom of information legislation and interviews with sources at the college suggest a painful, expensive process, marred by uncertainty and significant job losses and set against the backdrop of massive cuts to the further education sector. Days before the merger formally takes place, staff are said to be “disgruntled” with the proces. In a funding application dated 27 February 2012, the principals of the three constituent colleges warned of “the need to rapidly reduce headcount in all areas if the [new] College is to be viable.” The document estimates the total cost of the merger at £17.6 million. Facing a drop in annual grant income of £9 million over the next three years, the college’s strategic plan, as outlined in the funding application, forecasts £10.5 million in voluntary redundancies. A spokesperson for the college told The Journal: “An allocation of funds for this purpose for the year 2013/4 has been agreed with the Scottish Funding Council. But it has to be stressed that these funds have not been drawn down and no final decisions have been taken on how or where these funds will be used.” “Edinburgh College does not come into being until October 1. All decisions on its future direction and strategy will be managed by the Board, who have yet even to meet. “Until then we cannot comment on any future policy or operational decisions involving the College.” John Martin, president of Edinburgh College Student Association, told The Journal: “The voluntary severance

scheme funded by the government has seen us lose 150 staff over the summer. “The staff are dedicated to education and are working hard to minimise the effect of the cuts, but the worry I have is that staff are at risk of becoming increasingly stressed and as morale drops, we need to closely watch the effect on students.” But a leading figure in the Educational Institute of Scotland’s Further Education Lecturers’ Association pegged the number of job losses even higher. Don Gluckstein, convener of the union’s salaries, conditions and services committee, told The Journal that 169 jobs had already been lost, including over 100 teaching staff. The target, he said, was for the college to shed 240 jobs over the next three years. Dr Gluckstein, a lecturer in history at Stevenson College, said: “We have asked from the very start for an educational rationale for the merger, and we’ve never had it. Our view is that the merger is about putting through the cuts. “If there’d been an educational rationale, there would have been much less disquiet, but because that’s missing, we are convinced that it’s really about enabling management to push through the cuts more easily.” On 21 May 2012, in the first of two grant letters to the college principals, SFC chief executive Mark Batho wrote that funds would be made available before the merger date, “to enable the individual colleges to support voluntary severance schemes prior to the planned vesting day”. But the submissions offer few insights into the precise nature of this staff rationalisation process, noting only that “the individual colleges would approach the exercise from different perspectives. Some may reduce management layers; others may have to stop offering areas of curriculum.” Little is yet known the possibility of course cuts, sources said. It is likely to be a year before final decisions are made on curriculum alignment within the

new college. Staff unions at the college are understood to be unhappy about the process: one trade union activist told of a “quiet resignation” among staff. But in the short term, union leader Dr Gluckstein said, a negative impact on teaching was “inevitable”. “They’ve spent a huge amount of money getting rid of people,” he said, “and there’s not a lot left to spend on education.” “Even without the actual fact that it’s taking place in cuts terms, the disruption is inevitably going to be damaging,” he added. The revelation last month that Mandy Exley, the former principal of Jewel & Esk college recently confirmed as the inaugural principal of Edinburgh College, was a leading contender for the job prompted an angry response from a major education sector trade union. In a statement, the Educational Institute of Scotland that they were “gravely concerned that one of the applicants for principal is currently in situ at Jewel & Esk College,” citing Denison survey results that “reported low staff morale, a lack of confidence in operational procedures and leadership, uncertainty as to the future and poor communication on the part of the executive.” Ms Exley’s tenure at the Midlothian college had been marred by morale problems and cutbacks, one Edinburgh trade unionist told The Journal, earning her the derogatory nickname ‘Mandy Axely’. But Ms Exley is not without her admirers: after her appointment earlier this month, college chair-elect Ian McKay said the board were “delighted to have someone of the calibre and pedigree of Mandy Exley lead Edinburgh College at the start of this exciting journey.” The college will be formally vested at a ceremony at the Assembly Rooms on Monday 1 October. Additional reporting by Gareth Llewellyn.

£17m for FE in draft budget Daniel do Rosario Political editor

The Scottish Government has announced its spending plans for 2013/14, in a draft budget which finance secretary John Swinney described as focused on jobs and growth. Mr Swinney announced that he would be investing £17 million into further education, but the announcement has so far received a guarded response from student groups. The National Union of Students Scotland were quick to point out that the figures cover up a cut of around £34.6 million in real terms. NUS Scotland president Robin Parker said, “at a time of incredibly high youth unemployment and in a budget that was billed as focussing on growth, [the cuts] are simply unacceptable.” But he welcomed the continuation of the Education Maintenance Allowance, which provides funding for 16 to 19 year olds in full time education, as well as increased funding to support university students — calling Scotland’s higher education system “the best in the UK”. Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown put the real-term cuts to colleges at £50 million, arguing that Mr Swinney was simply putting back money that he had previously taken away. Local government has also taken a big cut, with £955 million slashed from budgets, while public sector workers only received a 1 per cent pay increase to ease their pay freeze. Other notable elements of the budget include an additional £40 million investment in affordable housing, a three-year, £30 million green investment package for homeowners, and an employer recruitment initiative to encourage businesses to employ young people.

4 / NEWS

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The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

Temporary jobs on the rise across Scotland Second consecutive month of growth in temporary positions suggests green shoots of recovery in jobs market tomyless

Keira Murray Staff writer

billings. According to the report, the only region in Scotland to see a decline in temThe number of temporary jobs in Scot- porary placements was Edinburgh with land increased last month, according to a all other regions posting a rise. survey of recruitment agencies. Recruitment firms in Glasgow and The Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs Dundee saw the sharpest deteriorations figures reveal temporary staff billings have in permanent and temporary candidate increased for the second month in a row. availability respectively. Recruitment agencies in Edinburgh Demand in temporary hourly pay rates saw the highest increase in both per- also rose further with the rate of inflation manent salaries and temporary salaries at a new five month high. during August. The vast majority of employment Aberdeen posted the fastest reduction sectors saw an increase in temporary in permanent placements, with Dundee jobs in August with the exception of Blue achieving the highest rise in temporary Collar workers which maintained the

same level as July. The survey data concluded that the IT & Computing and Secretarial & Clerical sectors maintained their place with the top two highest number of temporary positions available in both July and August while Engineering & Construction also saw a marginal rise. According to The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barmometer, the conditions of the Scottish job market indicated a slight improvement from previous months. At 52.4, the Barometer was the highest in three months with a previous 50.2 average in July.

Donald MacRae, chief economist at Bank of Scotland said: “The Scottish labour market showed a welcome improvement in August with increases in temporary jobs and a rise in vacancies for both permanent and temporary jobs. “However, appointments to permanent jobs fell for the second successive month illustrating the challenge of maintaining the overall trend of increasing employment.” Finance secretary John Swinney added: “The employment rate in Scotland has continued to climb and for the 22nd consecutive monthly statistics release remains higher than the UK rate.

“Our youth employment rate remains above that of the UK and our female employment rate is the highest of any nation within the UK. “The Scottish Government and our agencies are supporting economic recovery by investing every penny we can in capital infrastructure to build houses, schools and roads to create jobs. “Our Opportunities for All programme guarantees every 16-19 year old in Scotland the offer of a place in education or training and our support for Education Maintenance Allowance and free education ensure young people can access the training available.”

SLC issues fraud Glasgow student discusses warning to freshers domestic abuse with deputy PM New students warned of phishing scams amid first wave of student loan payments

NSPCC campaigner hails “rewarding” conversation with Clegg after meeting with DPM and Home Office minister in London last week Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

Aoife Moore Staff writer

The fraud protection and detection manager at the Student Loans Company, Heather Laing, said: “FreshNew students are being warned ers are often managing their finances that revealing too much on Facebook for the first time by themselves when could lead to having their student they start university and we want them loans stolen. to make sure they’re keeping their perWith the influx of new Facebook sonal and financial information safe, friends being added during freshers, especially online. email addresses are easily accessed “Students are often targeted at the by con artists; who then go on to send three main instalment dates in Sepconvincing emails “phishing” for per- tember, January and April.” sonal details. The Student Loans Company has In the last year more than 1,600 stu- issued a warning to students to keep dents were targeted by online fraud- their date of birth, relationship status sters attempting to access student and email address hidden on their perloans. sonal networking profiles.

includes different forms of non-violent, coercive behaviour. The change is an issue the NSPCC A Glasgow student and NSPCC and other young people’s groups have young campaigner has met deputy been campaigning for, meaning teenage prime minister to discuss domestic victims of domestic violence and abuse abuse. will not be properly recognised. William Stringer, 20, travelled to Stringer said: “We had an enjoyable London on 19 September to talk about day and it was very rewarding to feel the issue of domestic abuse in teen that our views were being listened to.” relationships. Clegg added: “It was a pleasure The Belfast-born University of to meet and talk with William and Glasgow student was one of 15 young the NSPCC campaigners. I was really NSPCC campaigners who met Nick impressed by the openness and sensiClegg and Home Office minister Jeremy tivity with which all the campaigners Browne at a youth centre in Westminster. talked about such a difficult subject. The main topic of discussion centred “The Government is determined to on the definition change of domes- help expose the true face of domestic tic abuse, which has been widened to violence... include 16 to 18 year olds and also now “We’re saying to youngsters, even if

you are 16 or 17, you can be trapped in that kind of relationship, you don’t need to put up with that kind of abuse, so we’re lowering the age of the Government’s definition of domestic violence. “We’re also saying it’s not just about physical violence, but actually psychological and emotional coercion. Abuse over a long period of time is just as unacceptable and that is why we as a Government are saying we are changing the definition, we are saying it’s not just about an act of violence, but it’s also about coercion over a long period of time.” The NSPCC will be setting up a Young People’s Panel to engage with young people who have suffered domestic abuse about their experiences to help to shape future government policy.

The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

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London Met granted judicial review of UKBA decision Non-EU students at troubled London university will be allowed to continue studies until July 2013 Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

London Metropolitan University (LMU) has been granted permis-

sion to seek a judicial review after the UK Border Agency (UKBA) revoked its licence to sponsor international students. The decision by Mr Justice Irwin in the High Court on 21 September means the university’s non-EU students with valid visas can continue or begin their studies. The judge refused to quash the decision to suspend the licence, preventing further recruitment of non-EU students in January, with the outcome of the judicial review not expected until the new year. London Met sought legal action against the UKBA, despite a report outlining considerable problems monitoring international students at the university. As with the licence revocation decisions against Scottish colleges in February 2012, LMU disputed the decision, but the London university went one step further by challenging the decision through the courts. On 20 September, the National Union of Students (NUS) announced that it had instructed leading law firm Bindmans to file a third party intervention to ensure that students’ voices were heard. The NUS was granted leave to intervene in the case as a third party, and to present evidence at the hearing. At the hearing, Richard Gordon,

QC for London Met, a leading silk in administrative and public law, constitutional law, human rights and civil liberties cases, successfully argued that the decision “was taken pursuant to guidance that was not laid before Parliament and which is referred to nowhere in the immigration rules”. London Met’s case was supported by a previous judgement that such a decision is only lawful if it has been laid before Parliament, which had not happened. Gordon argued that UKBA could neither declare the situation an emergency, nor say that there was “a requirement of fairness to allow the making of informed representations.” He further argued that the UKBA could not say that any current student was such a threat to immigration control that it “justified so draconian a decision as revocation or indeed suspension.” Lisa Giovannetti QC, for the Home Office, countered that fairness did not require the university to be given advance warning and an opportunity to rectify problems prior to revocation. The Journal understands that there are no students studying at London Met without leave to remain, but it was deemed a significant contributing problem in the six months up to August, prompting the licence revocation. A London Met spokesman confirmed to The Journal that its 2,600 non-EU students, including those about to start their course “do so with the assurance that they will be able to complete their current academic year or their course, whichever is the sooner.”

Glasgow universities on the rise in QS rankings University of Glasgow remains city’s highestranked institution, jumping to 54th in list Olivia Pires Managing editor

The University of Glasgow has

recorded its best-ever performance in a global university league table. The higher education institution jumped five places from 59th to 54th in this year’s QS World University Rankings, marking a rise of almost thirty places in the space of five years. It came as the University of Strathclyde experienced similar success, rising 16 places to 254th after three years of successive decline. The set of rankings rate the top 400 universities worldwide, evaluating each institution’s strengths in research, teaching, the employability of its graduates and international outlook. Among the Scots contingent, the University of Edinburgh remained the top-performing institution, albeit slipped outside of the top twenty. University of Glasgow Principal and Vice Chancellor Anton Muscatelli said: “I am delighted that our progress in these rankings over

recent years has continued and whilst we should always be cautious about league tables, this is our best ever showing. “The QS World Rankings are significant as they confirm the reputation of Glasgow as a world leading research intensive university. “It is a tribute to the tremendous hard work and dedication of our staff that Glasgow is recognised through the QS Rankings and other measurements as amongst the best teaching and research environments in the world.” A University of Strathclyde spokesman said: “We are always pleased to see our strong performances in international university rankings. They reflect the high quality of our research and of the overall experience we offer to students, as well as the benefits we bring to society and the global economy. “The criteria of different rankings vary and they are just one indicator of a university’s performance. Economic impact, thought leadership and influence on policy-making are equally important measures and we also excel in these areas.”

Liam Burns, NUS President, said: “We are delighted that as a result of our third party intervention, interim relief has been granted by the High Court to current international students who have been unfairly affected by UKBA’s decision.” Speaking to The Journal, MetSU president, Ayoola Onifade, added: “The Students’ Union is absolutely happy with the decision of the High Court today, we are proud of the UK judiciary system. The system did not fail us. “The Students’ Union will not relent in the campaign to meet the needs of

our students. Our main priority is the overall welfare of our students and we will not fail them with regards to putting them first. “We will be supporting the students who wish to remain at our institution or want to transfer with the guidance from the court and what both parties will agree on. “The international students were overwhelmed. Seeing the radiant smile on their faces gives the execs joy. Even those [students] who had offers from other universities said they will not be leaving London Met again. I confirm

that indeed they ‘are proud to be at London Met’.” The long-term future of non-EU students at London Met remains unclear. Burns added: “The future for international students at London Met after July 2013 is still uncertain and we need clarity as soon as possible.” “This whole ugly episode has also thrown up wider questions about the treatment of international students in this country. Unless these issues are urgently addressed, the UK’s global reputation for higher education will remain tarnished.” Beth Chalmers


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The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

Creative Scotland defends changes to arts funding Allan MacDonald

Planned changes to Creative Scotland arts funding will lead to “wanton destruction” of arts infrastructure, says prominent Scots artist Chloe Duane

Scotland’s art authority, Crea-

tive Scotland, were warned that their planned changes to arts funding will lead to “wanton destruction” of vital arts infrastructure during the Scottish Parliament’s education and culture committee meeting on Tuesday 18 September. The controversy surrounds the decision to move 49 flexibly funded organisations onto project funding through the Lottery, which comes with greater conditions, and by scrapping flexible funding in favour of yearly or project-by-project investment. Scottish artist Matt Baker attended the committee meeting and argued that the body was “parachuting” arts projects onto different communities, and that centralised control would mean that “five people in a room in Edinburgh” were imposing decisions about culture on the country’s artists. Mr Baker, whose work includes

the ‘Three Virtues’ in Inverness city centre, said: “In some of the rural areas we’re really lacking that representation, we’re really lacking a route into that situation to understand what portfolio managers are, how we can contact them.” In a written submission last week, Baker argued for a more devolved structure to harness the “quiet revolution” taking place at the grassroots level all around the country, and that thought should be given to a “percentage for arts” rule in local council funding legislation. Andrew Dixon, chief executive of Creative Scotland, vigorously defended the plans, but admitted that they had not got it right in terms of transparency. “We are doing a brilliant number of things but we have not been good enough in getting information out about the changes,” he said. He went on to say that by placing formerly flexibly funded organisations onto Lottery funding after their two-year commitment to a programme was finished, the organisations were simply being invited to bid for funding from a different programme. Mr Dixon argued that “eighty per cent of what we do is invest in cultural organisations and artists on their own terms but twenty per cent will be done to try and address the gaps and build on our strengths.” Mr Dixon also guaranteed that Creative Scotland would try to ensure that their work will reach all parts of the country.

Government move to close controversial EU fees loophole Applicants will be required to provide proof of domicile in an EU country in order to avoid £9,000 RUK fees, education minister says Maria Carolan Staff writer

The Scottish Government is

set to controversially close a loophole that has allowed students from other parts of the UK to avoid tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year by claiming European Union (EU) citizenship. Currently, Scottish students and those from EU countries receive

free university education in Scotland, while other UK students must pay. This move is to affect thousands of students here in Edinburgh; one example being Northern Irish students who were previously able to avoid UK fees by claiming Republic of Ireland citizenship under the terms of the Good Friday agreement. Under new legislation set to come into place in 2013-14, resi-

dency is to be taken into account and students will have to prove that they have exercised their right to live in an EU state for at least three months before qualifying for free tuition. The Scottish Government have said there is little evidence to suggest the loophole is being exploited and that the change is simply part of a standardisation process across all universities. Education secretary Michael Russell said the move

will “ensure a consistent approach across Scotland and provide clarity for students”. Catriona, who is in her secondyear at the University of Edinburgh, currently benefits from the loophole as a Northern Irish student. She considers the closing of this loophole as a negative move which will prove detrimental to the financial situations of students like herself. She said “As a Catholic, I see

myself as Irish above British so I feel it is wrong that students will no longer be able to receive free university education as a dual citizen of both the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.” She did add, however, that the change was not unexpected, “I am not surprised by this move by the Scottish government. Realistically, I did not expect the loophole to stay around.”

Barroso prompts doubt over independent Scotland’s EU position EU president’s remarks cause fierce debate over whether an independent Scotland would automatically become a member state Daniel do Rosario Political editor

There has been mounting uncer-

tainty in the last few weeks about Scotland’s future in the European Union (EU) should it become independent, leading to further calls for the Scottish National Party (SNP) to disclose details about any legal advice they have received about the issue. The Scottish Government has maintained that Scotland would automatically be a part of the EU under independence. However, unionists claim that certain remarks from the European Commission President, Manuel Barroso, show that Scotland’s future in the EU would be uncertain and subject to negotiations like any other state

wishing to join the EU. In First Minister’s Questions on 13 September, Scottish Labour Party leader Johann Lamont led a heated exchange with first minister Alex Salmond over the interpretation of Barroso’s comments. Lamont introduced the debate by quoting the EU commissioner, reading, “A new state, if it wants to join the European Union, has to apply like any state.” She went on to suggest, “That means that a new state of Scotland would first have to apply to join the European Union and, if successful, would have to adopt the Euro as our currency.” Salmond countered that the Euro was not mentioned in any of Barroso’s interviews, and argued that Scotland was not an “accession state” having

already been a member of the EU for 40 years. While he conceded that there would have to be negotiations, he said these would be taking place in the context of a country already in the EU. Salmond brushed off Lamont’s demand that he publish the details or acknowledge the existence of legal advice that his party has received on the matter of EU membership and the Euro, claiming that such disclosure would breach the ministerial code. However, information commissioner Rosemary Agnew has stated that disclosure is in the public interest. The Scottish Government are appealing against being forced to release information in Edinburgh’s Court of Session. The case is set to be heard on 18 and 19 December.

The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012


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Student campaign highlights inequality concerns at CitySA

Katherina Dziacko

Presidential team at scandal-struck City of Glasgow College union oppress liberation groups Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

City of Glasgow College Students’ Association (CitySA) has rejected moves for better representation for liberation campaigns, The Journal can reveal. Students at the college had hoped to finally have have an LGBT executive, disabled students’ executive, black students’ executive, and women’s executive in place of two generic equalities executive members. However, the CitySA presidential team, led by Mark Farmer, initially outright rejected the idea ahead of October’s executive elections. Speaking to The Journal, Liberate Us campaign leader, Colleen Brandon, said: “Many students have said that they would feel more comfortable talking to someone that faces the problems and situations that they face. “It is time for change and with City of Glasgow College being one of Scotland newest and largest colleges with home to around 32,000 students it’s time we liberated our students.” CitySA is understood to have rejected recommendations for improved repre-

sentation for liberation groups at executive level following a meeting in August between the current presidential team and outgoing vice president for education, John Gaughan, with incumbent president Mark Farmer strongly against the idea of specific representation. Brandon adds: “The reasons for this were they believed two people could represent everyone and that by having specific groups it would label people.” The position taken by the students’ association comes without fresh consultation with students, and goes against the position taken by the 2011/12 presidential team who had committed to improving representation at an executive level, while it has been confirmed to The Journal that the college had been in discussion with external bodies about the creation of such roles. Three students at City of Glasgow College have also expressed concerns about the attitudes of staff members towards the campaign, despite the college’s equality statement on its website commiting to “Advance equality of opportunity for individuals” and “Eliminate harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination”.

The failure to act on students’ wishes has led Liberate Us to start up a new petition as part of their campaign for appropriate representation for all students at City of Glasgow College. An email sent to Farmer and his presidential team, seen by The Journal said: “[We] are very concerned about how liberation groups will be represented on the Students’ Association Executive as previously there were two general equality executives which we feel can not represent all groups within the college. “We feel that this does not work, as if you are not from a liberation groups you can not represent those students, for example LGBT people should be represented by LGBT people - they know the issues they face and are best placed to run change campaigns, they have the knowledge and the understanding of the issues they face. “We also know that the former presi-

dential team did not think that the two equality executives were effective in dealing with the vast range of issues that students face, as well as the vast liberation groups that students are in.” The Liberate Us email, seen by The Journal, requested a response by 21 September, however, the group has been told that Farmer will not formally respond until 28 September, just four college days before nominations close for executive positions. NUS Scotland women’s officer, Stacey Divine, told The Journal: “NUS Scotland’s liberation officers are always willing to work with students who selfdefine as women’s, black, disabled and LGBT and to support liberation campaigns on their campuses. We believe liberation and self-definition campaigning is the best way to eliminate discrimination from society and empower students. “However, it’s up to students and

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their elected students’ association representatives to organise their democratic structures as they see fit, and we’ll work with them to implement these structures.” LGBT Youth Scotland’s policy director added: “LGBT Youth Scotland worked alongside NUS Scotland to produce a toolkit for college and universities LGBT societies, within this resource we outlined the real need for LGBT specific officers, as this both enables student officers to have an active role representing their LGBT peers as well as LGBT students feeling they have someone to talk to that fully understands their needs. We will continue to work with the City of Glasgow College to help make this role a reality for students.” Despite several requests for comment, both City of Glasgow College and CitySA failed to respond before The Journal went to print.


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The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

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Political apologies

Deputy PM left with Clegg on his face Lampooning Nick Clegg is not the most challenging journalistic undertaking, nor is it particularly original. However, as the Liberal Democrat conference coincides with Clegg’s alreadyinfamous tuition fees apology, there is no better time to tie together the various charges that have been lain at the deputy prime minister’s feet in recent months and years. If ever a conclusive appraisal could be made, it is at this juncture. Nick Clegg’s apology for breaking his promise on tuition fees has been made with a view to the future, not the past. That is why it has taken so long to arrive. Indeed, Clegg only really apologised for poor politicking on his part – for showing naivete in making an empty promise on the basis that the party would never have to follow it through. He never apologised for breaking the pledge; only for making it. The ‘apology’ is so lean on substance that its only rationale could be the potential gains of apparent contrition, rather than actually setting right any wrongs.

The longer the Liberal Democrats have spent in the reality of government, the greater the number of their own flagship policies they have compromised. It took little more than a stiff breeze for them to abandon their fees stance; House of Lords reform failed to endure the merest whiff of Conservative back-bench rebellion; and AV reform fell flat, with the Conservatives overtly campaigning against their coalition partners. The one scrap to which they still cling is the ‘mansion tax’, with the dangling hope of a further ‘wealth tax’. Clegg has been outgunned on every major point of contention – able to exert so little influence that his grandiose job title seems an uncomfortable fit. The one job of the Lib Dems in coalition was to moderate the more destructive tendencies of Conservative government: in that, they – and most particularly their leader – have abjectly failed. But political expediency means that they must appear to be continuing the

good fight, to be diluting the Conservative’s “turbo-charged right-wing agenda,” as Clegg has said. That the party’s form highlights the utter futility of such a stance is incidental; strengthening foundations for the next general election – whoever is at the helm – takes priority. Clegg’s reputation is beyond redemption. In the eyes of many he is a symbol of squandered potential, if not outright treachery. But if he were able to resurrect a measure of popularity for the party, to the extent that the Liberal Democrats might realistically shoot for coalition again in 2015, the achievement could provide as favourable a personal outcome for Clegg as he could reasonably hope. It might have been amusing fodder for the chattering classes, but little worthwhile came from the apology, except the laying-bare for all to see of the Lib Dems’ imminent electoral plight –and a hilarious auto-tuned remix which immeasurably improves a desperately sad bit of political theatre.

College mergers

The local problems of national policy Compulsory government changes

in education rarely sit well with students, lecturers and the support staff integral to day-to-day operation. Despite claims to the contrary, the Scottish government’s determination to slash the number of colleges in Scotland through forced mergers is unequivocal – but at what cost does it come? Cuts to college funding continues to be one of the most talked about issues across the sector, along with mergers and regionalisation, so it is intriguing to see just how much money is being poured into facilitating the implementation of these mergers. Millions of pounds have been thrown at colleges to reduce staff numbers, and in some cases millions more to discharge these mergers. Indeed, documents obtained by The Journal show more than £30 million is being sought by colleges from the £15 million College Transformation Fund, set up last December

to support mergers. If the exorbitant funding acquired by Edinburgh College is anything to go by, some colleges will inevitably miss out, threatening regionalisation. But the CTF is not the only pot of money the government has ringfenced to support its imprudent agenda; indeed, such is the government’s enthusiasm to see it succeed that additional funds will surely be found, even if sector funding cuts continue. The declivity in staff morale at some colleges is also increasingly evident as they worry about their future. More mergers will inexorably drive up unemployment figures, marooning skilled educators with scarcer choices to continue their career doing something they love. Some may even be driven out of Scotland to seek employment. How does that serve our ‘world class’ education sector? Unions representing college employees have good reason to be concerned and angry.


It appears that little consideration has been given to both those taking redundancy, and the remaining staff left to deal with increased workloads and attempts to forcibly alter the terms of their employment. Of those losing their jobs, the majority are not on generous six-figure salaries and will find it tougher to find new employers in the current climate. What these mergers have shown so far is that both the government and colleges are increasingly blind to the day-to-day problems they create for both teachers and students, and for the new Edinburgh College, the real challenges are just beginning. The three-college merger in Glasgow in 2010 is relentlessly championed as a success by senior management; another propaganda attempt to rationalise the enormous sums of money ploughed into it. But these views continue to be out of touch with the reality faced by staff and students; same as they ever were.

Mally Stelmaszyk

REACTIONS A tremendous summer of sport

to be a young, aspiring writer) could in the future do more to recognise those I enjoyed Jak Purkiss’ article on achievements: ten of his twelve chosen snippets from a tremendous sum- snippets were about the achievements mer of sport very much. He noted of men and only one (Jessica Ennis) the way in which the Olympics (and focused exclusively on women. Venus Paralympics) brought the nation Williams won the singles and doubles together, and I would not question at both Wimbledon and the Olymany one of his twelve selections pics. Her compatriot Missy Franklin as being highlights. In addition to won five medals in the pool of which the feelgood factor and (potential) four were gold. 16-year-old Ye Shiwen legacy of increased sporting par- won two golds in the pool and set one ticipation, one of the other notable world and one Olympic record in the positives was the improved level of process. And what of the other British recognition for women in sport. women? Katherine Grainger? Victoria From this perspective, I would Pendleton? Ellie Simmonds? hope that Purkiss (who I would guess - Duncan Fisher, via email

Incensed, interested or confused? Write to us at



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COMMENT Pop goes the weasel: Clegg’s apology was quite the performance...

by Jen Owen

Notes from Obama’s hard-fought 2012 campaign trail A student who travelled from Scotland to America to campaign for the incumbent president offers his view of the 2012 race Alex Paul

In politics, a single event can define a generation. For many young people today, that moment was the election in 2008 of Senator Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. Not only was he the first African-American to be elected president, but his campaign team also rewrote the rule-book for how election campaigns are run. So when I was offered the chance to spend the summer working for Organizing for America (OFA), Obama’s ‘grassroots organisation’, I couldn’t wait to get out there. For ten weeks, I was based in Fort Collins, a college town of 150,000 in northern Colorado, a key Western swing state with 9 Electoral College votes. In 2008, Obama was the first Democrat to win Colorado since Clinton in 1992, and his campaign is determined to do so again in 2012. Indeed, OFA see it as a must-win state if the president is to be reelected in November. Their strategy

for this is simple: to get out there and talk to as many potential voters as possible. As a summer organiser (in effect a full-time volunteer) my role was to work with several neighbourhood teams in helping them run their weekly phonebank and canvassing nights. Once a week, neighbours from one area of town would meet at a volunteer’s home to make calls to or canvass potential supporters and undecided voters in their neighbourhood. I would help the team leader run these events and keep our volunteers on message for that week. These activities are a vital part of the campaign’s outreach efforts – neighbour talking to neighbour, convincing them to re-elect Obama. Alongside this, summer organisers also partake in a great deal of voter registration. In the US, it is the responsibility of the individual voter to ensure that they are registered, and so we would go door to door and try and find those who needed to reregister. The demographics that tend to vote Democrat also tend to move more than those who tend to vote

Republican, and so successful voter registration drives could be vital to the outcome of the election. This was especially true when the 30,000 students of Colorado State University, based in Fort Collins, returned for school in mid-August. I spent a lot of time on campus, registering first-year students to vote and trying to build a ‘Students for Obama’ group to campaign on campus right through to Election Day, something which was helped no end by the President himself paying Fort Collins a visit. Several things really stood out from US campaigning compared to here in the United Kingdom. With budgets for presidential campaigns running into the billions, no expense is spared. OFA has five offices and 15 permanent staff in Fort Collins alone. It is a vast operation. Campaign materials are produced for a wide variety of groups, from ‘rural Americans’ to Latinos. The technology, and the way it is utilised by the campaign to record interactions with every voter, means

that a volunteer walking the street can use their iPhone to canvass with a specific message, tailored to the concerns of the individual they are talking to. This is far beyond anything British parties do, and really helps the campaign find and turn out every single vote, as well as connect the voter to a candidate that may never come within 100 miles of them; such is the size of the USA. It is also striking how friendly the Americans were to me. As a British citizen campaigning for a president I can never vote for, I was met with warmth and kindness by almost every American I met. One middle-aged woman is probably still sheltering in her basement with her dried provisions awaiting the destruction of America by those European socialists, but never mind. All I did was ask if she was registered to vote. Since I got back to Scotland, I’ve been asked by a lot of people who I think is going to win. It’s still looking like it’s going to be very close, but since the conventions Obama has moved into a small but significant

The White House lead in many of the swing states that will decide the election. A combination of Romney’s gaffes, and the biggest-grassroots campaign ever assembled in politics, might just be enough to help see the president re-elected on 6 November, adding another chapter to the remarkable story of Barack Obama. Alex Paul is a third-year student at the University of Edinburgh.


@GlasgowJournal /

The Journal Wednesday 26 October 2012

Into the court of the denim tsar An audience with Glasgow jeans designer Rabbie Denim Jamie Brotherston Comment & Features editor

Robert Watson, also known as

Rabbie Denim, is the self-proclaimed ‘Tsar of Denim’ and the brains behind each and every stitch of the jeans that have garnered him international acclaim. The badge on the back pocket reads “Handmade in Glasgow”, the place from which Rabbie has carved a niche for himself with his unique and innovative designs, in one of the world’s most established industries. Almost as distinctive as the jeans is the man himself. With a strong Glasgow drawl and permanently clad in a baseball cap, and of course, his own hand-made pair of denims, Rabbie is perhaps not the most traditional embodiment of a fashion designer. However, the mind beneath the cap and the hands that whir around the sewing machine are blessed with a talent that has led to his work being described as some of the best of its kind; and from his workshop in the heart of Glasgow he offers a completely custom service. Customers choose everything from the type of denim to the color of stitching, and each pair made is individually unique. The high standard has led to high demand, and Rabbie now has plans to mass produce, with a “Too Sick” range to be sold in selected tailors in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh next year. Full of typically Glaswegian character, Rabbie tells of how his relationship with the needle and thread is a deep-rooted one. He says: “My mum was a tailoress, she’d get me to draw her clothes that I wanted and she would make them for me. This went on till I was about 18, then she told me I was on my own. I knew how to design clothes, but I was bad in school, stole cars and didn’t really know where I was going. My mum told me to stick with the clothing. “I knew the denims were it, and I thought that, if I could make a name for myself, I could make a lot of money. I’ve just about done that, after ten years.” It was then that Rabbie began to con-

centrate solely on his jeans, and, making his base in an abandoned warehouse in the Gorbals called The Chateau, began his pursuit of a denim empire. “It was full of artists, musicians, all that crap, and about a year and a half into it the place collapsed on me and a few of the other guys. We fell two floors, kind of surfed on the debris, and came out without a scratch on us, so that was the end of that. “We moved around, and eventually were the ‘Glasgow Ten’. I was kind of keeping it going alone though and it all fell flat on its face. Since I went on my own, I started becoming more successful. I sorted myself out, got off the drugs and booze and things started happening.” As the Rabbie Denim concept became a singular entity, the jeans evolved alongside it. Besides the distinctive badge, a pair of jeans crafted by Rabbie carry other idiosyncratic traits with unique cuts, mindbending hand stitching and even tweed patches finding their way onto the legs of his customers. Sick of the ripped and stonewashed era of nineties jeans, Rabbie admits he pined for 70s style denims, which provided the inspiration for his work. “I grew up wanting a pair of dark jeans that they had in the seventies, the way jeans were supposed to be. I dreamt up a way of making a beautiful pair of denims that embodied that. Each pair are different, but the base is always the same. It’s all totally spontaneous, every pair just comes off the top of my head. “The jeans haven’t changed much, they’ve become more refined, more beautiful. I’ve only just started realising that I’m the world’s number one. If someone said they were better than me, I’d go and sew them under the table.” His self-belief and confidence in his art is not unearned, and Rabbie found himself in the public eye after rave reviews from the echelons of the fashion world led him to measuring up some A-list waistlines. “I didn’t really get noticed until I started doing celebrities. I did a few Manchester United players, some of the Barcelona management; they were calling me ‘The Gaudi of Denim’, the Barça director compared me to Lionel Messi. Crazy stuff,

man.” After a well-documented meeting with Glasgow funnyman, Kevin Bridges, The Sun printed stories that soured the relationship between the pair - the paper misquoting him to Bridges’ offence. A few other wayward facts from the media have resulted in Rabbie maintaining radio silence about his celeb clientele and reluctant to remain in the spotlight. In the wake of this exposure, Rabbie was also wary of becoming exploited by some of the big fashion names that courted him, and vowed to keep things solo unless designers met his standards. His work has included brief collaborations with the likes of Hermès, who produce digitally printed silk scarves fetching around eight hundred pounds each. However, there is an evolution on the horizon. Ever increasing demand has led Rabbie to decide that two hands are not enough, with plans to open a workshop on the banks of the Clyde. After banding together a team of top Glasgow designers, Rabbie Denim will undergo its own alterations, but Rabbie insists that the ethos and standard will remain. “I’m still going to keep things underground, the jeans will still be made to order, so they won’t be cheapened in any way: a cult item to be collected. “The production is staying in Glasgow, so they’ll still be handmade here. That’s what’s most important to me. We thought about mass producing in Japan, but I was losing sleep over it, big time. I’ve met the designers, so now I just have to teach them. “They will be the second best jeans in the world. Second to the ones I make by hand, of course.” It isn’t all plain sailing though, and there have been moments where the don of denim has had to stitch into the wind, at the whims of committees and customers with fashion tastes that border on the blind. “The Commonwealth Games committee got me to design a pair with the Commonwealth tartan [designed by an eight year old and including a medley of violently clashing colors], I had this beautiful pair of jeans and had to work the Rangers and Celtic colors into the badge - it was putrid. But, I did it, and they went on show at the Olympics. “I had a guy from Dubai in that wanted light Levis denim, with white stitching and a white badge. Pure nineties throwbacks. So I had to change quite a lot about the design, and we had a bit of an argument. In the end, I was right, he was wrong, he still ended up with an amazing pair of jeans.” They say great power comes with great responsibility, and Rabbie admits that, as his jeans have brought him increasing fame, he has had to do a bit of growing up. “I need to watch what I say now, especially online; as I forget that my word has become quite influential in the fashion world and to young designers. “I think I sometimes believe I’m still up East Kilbride stealing cars. I’m sick of sewing myself to the bone though, and I really want to see this growing. I want to get a factory going and employ folk and get something that I can be proud of. I need to

be able to support my family, and that’s the most important thing.” Rabbie is very much a man of Glasgow. His jeans have been crafted in the city, and have crept from the shadows of the city to being one of its most fashionable representatives. “I’m one of the only fashion designers that actually sounds like they’re from Glasgow. I’m representing the real Glasgow.” As the sewing machine grinds to a halt,

the needle finally still, Rabbie looks over his work. A quick blast of the machine here, and a thread cut there, the shapeless piece of denim lying next to him will soon be the trophy piece of someone’s wardrobe. He flips up the badge. ‘Handmade In Glasgow’ runs across the cutting. He responds to the mention of rivals Levis and G-Star with a laugh. “Competition? There is no competition, man.”

The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

@GlasgowJournal /


Alien War breaks out at Arches

Twenty years since its conception, the Alien is back... and this time it’s in Glasgow, terrifying punters at The Arches

Tom Collins Music editor

Since its first appearance in Ridley

Scott’s 1979 sci-fi classic, Alien has been terrifying us from beyond the screen. The now infamous scene where the Alien claws itself out of Executive Officer Kane’s stomach will eternally be carved into our memories along with Signourney Weaver’s ever-reducing hair length. Alien became an instant classic and its film franchise still ranks highly with critics, including Rotten Tomtoes, where Alien and Aliens still sit with 97% and 100% approval rate, respectfully. The fear and terror this creature created soon spread globally with fans of the extra-terrestrial hunter popping up all over the place. One of these fans was Gary Gillies, who sought to bring the horror of Alien one step closer. In 1992 Gillies created Alien War, a total reality experience where willing customers would pay to be taken round a set while being chased by the famous creature. After achieving notoriety, Gillies opened up other Alien Wars in Aberdeen, Bournemouth and even managed to make it a permanent attraction at the Trocadero Centre in London, until 1996. Now twenty years later, featuring at its birthplace – The Arches – Gillies talks about what it is like to be home:“We are delighted to return to The Arches with an all-new Alien War which will be more terrifying than ever.” Gillies commented on what one could find if they were to venture down into Alien’s lair: “We’ve located unusual artefacts and strange hieroglyphics. Rumours that live aliens were discovered there are true, but it’s all under control. There is nothing to fear

and nothing can go wrong. We will not put you in any danger...” At first, you might muse over why people would pay good money to be terrorised and chased around what is essentially a pitch black disused basement but Gillies explains: “The idea behind the show was to take those people who had been fans of the films, to pull them out of their armchairs and into the terror, and that’s what we did. So for 15 minutes you’re in there with the action... and the Alien!” Originally, Gillies worked with 20th Century Fox to produce an even more authentic experience but both parties have since parted ways giving Gillies complete creative freedom: “When we first started doing the show, we worked with 20th Century Fox but we felt a bit restrained. They wanted us to take out some of the scares, petrified that someone would have a heart attack or something. So this time we’re doing our own show, and we’ve really beefed up the scares and gone to town on some of the effects. It’s going to be really fun.” With such a successful run of shows in and beyond Glasgow, Alien Wars could have gone anywhere, however, Gillies explains why he wanted to bring the show back to Scotland: “The Arches is where it all began, 20 years ago, with the very first Alien War. Since then the show has travelled all around the world, but it’s fantastic that for our 20th anniversary we’ve been able to come home to Glasgow and The Arches. “This is our second week back at the Arches and we’ve been adding new scares every day! So far nearly 2,000 people have been running for their lives through the Arches and we’re making the experience even more terrifying all the time.” Alien War will run from September till April. Tickets can be bought from The Arches’ box office or online.

Win tickets to Alien War at The Arches You can win two tickets to experience Alien War at The Arches. Just answer the following question:

Alien has been scarring our screens since 1979 but can you tell us what is the most recent film where Ridley Scott’s creature features?

Answers should be emailed to: with the subject line ‘ALIEN’.

Entries close on 7 October. Entries submitted after this date will not be counted. A winner will be picked at random and announced on 9 October.

12 / A&E

@GlasgowJournal /

The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

Is this farewell to Otago Lane?

The West End’s oasis-like street out of time may be running out of time, if a community campaign can’t halt development Rachael McHard

Charming, quaint and tranquil

are among words commonly used to describe Otago Lane in the city’s West End. With its old-fashioned cobbled street, array of unusual but long-standing shops and very own House of Tea, it is no wonder that the lane holds such a close place in so many residents’ hearts. However, the approval of a 49-dwelling development by Glasgow City Council’s planning department has left these residents in despair. The development, which will consist of 45 flats and four townhouses, has been approved for construction on a site at 65-77 Otago Street. The Otago Lane Community Association campaigned against the development for three years before the final decision was made on 29 August following a three-hour meeting at Glasgow City Chambers. Nine Labour councillors voted for the development while six non-Labour councillors voted against. The Community Association continue to campaign through their ‘Save Otago Lane’ website despite the decision, eager to show that they still stand united in opposing the construction of the 49 dwellings. Many believe that the development will maim the character of the area. However, Nick Domminney, director at the proposed architects for the project, Gareth Hoskins Architects,

claimed that “the proposals recognise the context of the Lane and the buildings which previously occupied the site.” He was unable to comment further. Another concern is the harm the development may cause to well-known businesses that have inhabited the lane for years. Martin Fell, owner of Tchai-Ovna House of Tea, explained that the period of construction will hinder access to his business in terms of both customers and deliveries. He said: “It is a catch 22 situation. The planners have assured us that there will be access to the lane throughout construction but to guarantee this would mean not building half of the development.” Yet, the report on the Otago Lane Development by the Planning Applications Committee states that: “the proposal does not preclude access to existing commercial premises. Vehicles can access the lane if necessary and the access to the parking area used as a turning area.” There are currently only eight people living on Otago Lane but this number could potentially rocket to almost 200 if the new dwellings are full to capacity. Despite the fact that the original plans for the development proposed 163 dwellings, the size of the dwellings have increased, therefore the capacity for tenants remains high. Several of Otago Lane’s residents have lived there for decades and are

Beth Chalmers

accustomed to the tranquil atmosphere in the area. It is understandable why they are now concerned about over-crowding. Martin Fell added: “The Lane is special in its quietness… it differs from the busyness of the main street.” Again, the report by the Planning Applications Committee disagreed with this concern stating that “while the proposal would substantially increase the

number of residents using the lane it will only introduce residential development which is the established use in the wider vicinity. It would be inappropriate in land use planning terms to resist a residential use in a residential area on the basis of potential noise.” Residents and business owners feel extremely let down by Glasgow City Council’s planning department stating that the system is “completely and

Holy Motors

utterly flawed.” Furthermore, Otago Lane’s official campaign website describes the Council as having “ignored its own planning regulations and 1,000s of objections.” All efforts aside, residents may only have a limited amount of time left to enjoy their beloved lane as they wish it to remain before it becomes overshadowed and over-crowded by the unwanted development.


It was the talk of the town in Cannes this year, but Leos Carax’s film is baffling to the point of frustration Blair Dingwall Film editor

It was Cannes’ most talked about

film, yet it seemed nobody knew what to make of Leos Carax’s Holy Motors – so unconventional, unpredictable and absurd that it’s barely recognisable as a film at all. Although there are times that Holy Motors does feel like a two hour-long art experiment, it is nonetheless an enjoyable piece of cinema mostly through its quirky nature and a terrific central performance from actor Denis Lavant. It is not a traditional film, following a standard 3-act structure and A-B plot. Carax must be bored of such things. Denis Lavant’s Monsieur Oscar begins as a businessman enters his limousine and is chauffeured to Paris by devoted driver Celine (Edith Scob). He has nine appointments scheduled and for each one he dons a different persona – using makeup and costumes prepared from the backseat of his limo. For his first he becomes an old beggar woman, his second he dons a motion-capture suit and indulges in a cross between Tron:Legacy and latex porn. Other ‘appointments’ include Monsieur Oscar stealing Eva Mendes from a graveyard photo shoot – then taking her to a cave, wrapping her in a burka made from her own dress and stripping completely naked –

and travelling to a suburban home to a family of apes. He also crashes into Kylie Minogue’s limo (which then, naturally, leads to a musical number from the A-lister). It’s a mad film but so strange that watching its events unfold becomes oddly addictive. Some may be annoyed by the movie’s lack of a central plot but there are mini-plots pinned to every one of Lavant’s characters; some are bizarre, others quite heart-felt. In short Holy Motors is a moviecritic banquet, with subtext to be found in every frame – even if it is accidental. Carax has said that is about “life”; but watching it, it feels more a film about film itself. It’s also a film about performance – the act, the beauty and, perhaps, the death of it. It is Denis Lavant’s film though; Carax has harvested every ounce of acting ability from him and exploited it to his advantage. Lavant’s character of Monsieur Oscar, like himself, is a performer, so the role feels very personal and natural at times. Carax converted from the film to digital format; a conversion which suits his style well. Holy Motors is well-filmed, with great camera work and no obvious technical flaws. Carax’s direction and Lavant’s acting complement each other brilliantly, with a sense of commitment felt from both men in the finished film. However, the film requires

patience; and it’s because of this that it probably won’t sit well with the average cinema-goer. Though it is interesting in its own weird way, there’s often the feeling that Carax was simply dreaming up ideas and adding them to the film. Some may find this approach as an advancement, others as vain. By not adhering to the basic principles of filmmaking, Holy Motors

is dependent on laughs and shocks grasped through its eccentricity to keep us hooked. That said, Carax has made an interesting indefinable film, and there’s no doubting the skills of the director (or for that matter anyone else involved). It intelligently passes through film genres from drama, to crime, fantasy and romance without pinning itself to one.

The general message of Holy Motors is that life is an act; our environments are our stages. Performance is an art, and Carax channels these messages terrifically through his leading man. It’s by no means a classic, but Holy Motors is strange enough to remain watchable, and different enough from any film you’ll have ever seen to keep you talking about it for years to come.

The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

A&E / 13

@GlasgowJournal /

Introducing... Chvrches ZZ Top In praise of the Glasgow supergroup which features members of Aereogramme and The Twilight Sad

La Futura



Harris Brine Assistant music editor

When Friedrich Nietzsche declared

that ‘God is dead’ in Thus Spoke Zarathustra nearly 130 years ago, he unleashed a devastating tsunami of unapologetically controversial philosophical ideals concerning the existence of a supreme being. His unrelenting, nihilistic waves crashed down upon Western theology and precipitated the slow demise of the church, with the power its religious doctrine held over society slowly drowned in the meaningless void of mere existence. Or something like that. Fortunately, Nietzsche was wrong. Sort of. Being a resident of Glasgow, you’ll know that on one day every week, thousands of devotees still religiously descend on their chosen place of worship, congregating in their masses to sing undying thanks to their own personal gods. However, Ibrox and Parkhead aside, the people of Glasgow have actually started flocking to Chvrches. Only this time it isn’t to say thanks to Him for selflessly overseeing our measly moral choices in four of the reputed eleven dimensions; it’s to see just exactly what happens when you throw former members of The Twilight Sad, Aereogramme and Blue Sky Archives right through the 1980s in a mass of synth-induced sleaze only to come to a violent stop on a neon-glittered computersoftware crash-pad.

Stock offerings from Texas' venerable trio Liam O’Neill Lauren Mayberry and Iain Cook Despite being somewhat of a revelation recently, Chvrches (pronounced ‘Churches’) boast only two songs as of yet in the stupendous ‘Lies’ and new single ‘The Mother We Share’, but after listening to the beautifully-penetrating lollipop vocals of lead singer Lauren Mayberry pierce through dysfunctional electro, we’re posi-

Walk the MUSIC Moon Walk the Moon Debut album is more radio-friendly indie rock Jonathan Whitelaw Staff writer

Supporting the likes of Weezer

and Panic at the Disco, Walk the Moon are the latest in a long line of radio friendly, studio-backed indie rock bands plying their trade. Their debut eponymous album arrives with all the soft strumming, teenage heart-melting vocals and electro-infused harmonies that would make the BBC Radiophonic Workshop jealous. Walk the Moon has been preceded by the single “Anna Sun,” having released album track “Tightrope” as a free download in July. The music video for “Anna Sun” recently crossed the 4 million play mark on VEVO proving just how effective mass marketing and venerable this brand of indie music is. As an album, the eleven tracks offer listeners a contemporary, crowd pleasing mix of the usual indie fare. All the major boxes are ticked here.

Tales of heart broken, maudlin feelings we’re all supposed to feel are countered with the happy go lucky, life isn’t actually that bad down on the fringes of society after all. Lead single “Anna Sun,” is the catchy, softly spoken driving anthem that aptly sets the tone and feel of the band as a whole. “Next in Line,” “Shiver Shiver” and “Lions,” have that familiar and done to death indie sound. Walk the Moon feels like it is permanently stuck in 2007, incapable of escaping the sights, sounds and styles of that year in a plot worthy of the very best Doctor Who can offer. It all feels a little hackneyed and old and distinctly unoriginal. There is nothing here on the album that could not be found in local, emerging bands in a bar or open mic night. The difference being, live, unsigned artists plying their wares on the indie circuit have a edgier, rawer edge that oozes into their music. Walk the Moon on the other hand feels distinctly flat by comparison.

tive their jump from the speakers of the Art School to the feature pages of NME will be as quick as the cries to reveal plans of a debut album. It says on their Facebook page that there’s 233 people talking about them but The Journal have already spoken to at least triple that number in the last week. Even

The Guardian - when we had our backs turned of course - sang their praises after only hearing ‘Lies’. It seems that in the bleak times of our nihilistic and cataclysmic existence, there is in fact light at the end of the tunnel. Nietzsche might not have had faith in Chvrches - but, by God, we do.

Not even a nine-year absence from the

studio is enough to allow for any sort of deviation or departure for one of rock’s most formulaic, yet enduring acts; La Futura, the Texas trio’s fifteenth studio offering, supplies more of the blues soaked, American heartland guitar rock that has for more than forty years now formed a standard, staple diet for ZZ Top. The opener, ‘I Gotsta Get Paid’, and the album’s flagship single, which also appears on the soundtrack to the 2012 sci-fi action flick Battleship, is itself a slight move away from the ZZ Top template, harking back to a rootsier invocation of the blues spirit of Muddy Waters, with a more raucous and unruly guitar opening, and Billy Gibbons’ gravelly growl about ’25 lighters on my dresser, yessir’, sounding every inch like Gibbons goes through about 25 lighters a day. If ‘I Gotsta Get Paid’ does indeed signal a slight departure, normal service resumes immediately after the opener with Chartreuse and Consumption, with Gibbons bringing us back to familiar territory by stepping on the overdrive pedal, and Frank Beard (that’s right, the only one without a beard) and Dusty Hill resuming their no-thrills rhythm section, facilitating the sound completed by the vigour of Gibbons’ guitar phrases. ‘Over You’ hits the brakes, with its steady blues ballad tempo, and adds a peppering of orchestrals for a more Aerosmith or Fleetwood Mac feel, while ‘Heartache in Blue’ reintroduces the spirit of Muddy, not only through blues guitar phrasing, and harmonica, but through lyrics and subject matter too; if anyone’s gonna keep peddling platitudes like ‘I got it bad’ and ‘she done me wrong’, it’s these guys. ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose, Lose, You’ and ‘Flyin’ High’ bring La Futura back up to full speed with all the pomp and strut of AC/DC at their most vigorous, and ‘It’s Too Easy Mañana’ is another slowed bluesy lament, Gibbons here counting the high cost of low living. Needless to say, long-time fans will be content with La Futura’s stock offerings, drawn up using the ZZ Top blueprint that’s been stringently stuck to for the last four decades.

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The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012


The Killers - Battle Born

No killer, no battle, nothing born; the indie superstars of yesteryear have delivered up a bland, unoriginal fourth album Jonathan Whitelaw Staff writer

Bursting onto the scene in 2004

with the irrepressible student club anthem ‘Mr. Brightside’, it is difficult to think that The Killers formed over a decade ago. For those of a certain age, the memories of long, glowing summers, boozy nights out and the impending pressure of a uni deadline will forever be accompanied by the vocals of Brandon Flowers et al and

the band’s inaugural album Hot Fuss. The crow’s feet may be a bit more prominent and the hell-raising altogether stumped in favour of soya milk and an early night. But The Killers seem ready to make another generation of fresh faced, first-year students fall in love with them with new album Battle Born. Their first release since 2008’s Day & Age, The Killers deliver another accomplished album that reiterates the band’s fundamental

Last Dinosaurs In a Million Years

ethos. Battle Born is more of what we have come to expect: massive sound; glossy production and an indefatigable knack for never really making any single instrument seem louder than the rest. Battle Born feels like a greatest hits compilation. Titular track ‘Battle Born’ which closes the album is the anthemic, blustering crowd pleaser. ‘Be Still’ is the ever-so-heartfelt ballad; Flowers’ vocals bemoaning yet another heartbreak.

Elsewhere, ‘Flesh and Bone’, ‘From Here on Out’ and ‘Miss Atomic Bomb’ are the usual album filler material to bolster the 12-track demands from the studio. ‘Runaways’ provides what will undoubtedly be the highlight and crowd-pleasing track of the whole work. There is nothing remotely original about Battle Born. Deliberately evocative lyricism and fuzzy guitars intact, this is a by-the-numbers Killers’ album. For some that

will seem like a repetitive cop out. For others it will no doubt feel like Christmas has come early. Either way, expect it to sell by the truckload and be the soundtrack to the autumn. So ready your highlighters, dig out the dictaphones and prepare to cop a feel in the Friday night union. Battle Born has you covered. Battle Born is available now. The Killers will be touring this October. Tickets are on sale now.

Henry Lee

Fresh-faced Brisbane band delivers the summer after the sunshine is gone

MUSIC Elizabeth Morrison

Given the UK press’ habit of

hyping every young indie hope into oblivion, it’s refreshing when bands like Australia’s Last Dinosaurs wash up on our shores without any overblown fanfare to kill the mood. With an EP and a respectable amount of touring already under their belts, the Brisbane quartet have managed to produce a debut album of beach friendly tunes without falling into the all too familiar surf band pitfall of being fun but forgettable. On ‘Andy’, jangly riffs and carefree optimism come packaged with enough self-assurance to make it sound like a viable candidate for armfuls of radio-play, while lead single ‘Honolulu’ lives up to its sunny title with lazy guitar slides and lyrics like ‘the story only just began’ to casually champion the band’s youth; all four members are in their teens or early twenties. It’s this freshness that provides the appeal on In A Million Years, so unashamedly ‘poppy’ that it sidesteps completely the overly introspective emo of fellow surfworshippers The Drums and dives


wholeheartedly into the wall-ofsound production of psychedelic rock. Admittedly, all the youthful excitement in the world can’t quite disguise the fact that nothing completely original is being brought to the table by the Aussies. Lovers of anything from Tame Impala to Two Door Cinema Club will find plenty that they’re already at ease with, and lyrics that abound with lines of ‘woooooah’s’ don’t herald the arrival of the new Morrissey. But you get the sense that shameless good fun under cloudless skies are more what Last Dinosaurs are about, and it’s hard to begrudge them that when it’s done with such zest. Slower moments on the record are handled equally well. ‘Used To Be Mine’ sees heartbroken verses swelling into sonic-boom choruses, heavy guitar waves breaking over a prominent drum line and vocals set low down in the mix, showcasing an impressive aptitude for instrumental arrangement. If there is a fault to be found with the record, it’s the timing. Why-ohwhy schedule such a summer-loving album to be released in the UK just when all hope of warm weather is officially ending? Then again, In A Million Years is an album with enough sunshine to share.

The View from underneath the lights Never failing to surprise, The View take it down a notch with intimate acoustic set at USC’s flagship Glasgow store on Buchanan Street

MUSIC Harris Brine Assistant music editor

“No pal, thanks”, a timid Kyle Falconer says, emitting a nauseating look as he declines the offer of a beer from a member of the crowd. “Not tonight. We’ve got another gig to go to”. Kyle’s restrained behaviour comes as much of a surprise as the event itself. fashion company USC, in association with Firetrap, had secured The View to perform to 50 lucky fans in their flagship Glasgow store. Tickets to the show, which was to celebrate the re-launch of the aforementioned shop, were acquired through a discrete competition process. After receiving a fortunate phone call merely two hours before the event started, The Journal tailed it down to Buchanan Street to be handed a golden ticket and informed that it would only be the band’s lead singer Falconer and

guitarist Pete Reilly featuring in a tender acoustic set replete with numbers spanning the normally notoriously wild Dundonian outfit’s four albums. Roused by Dan South’s DJ set and complimentary Corona, the chattering crowd fell silent as Kyle and Pete took to the stage looking mousy and slightly dishevelled. Breaking the silence with a typical wisecrack of “Dinny aw speak at once eh”, the duo eased through opener ‘Grace’ only to forget the chords of ‘Gem Of A Bird’, forcing Pete to jest that the new album should be called “Winging It” instead of Cheeky For A Reason. Bunker’s laid-back, harmonious melody showcased the slight change in direction The View have openly admitted to taking with their new release, an album which has been heralded by some in the media as their best yet. Revealing they were both choked up with the cold might have been Kyle’s self-conscious way of excusing any issues with his voice on new single ‘The Clock’, but it seems influenza is complementary to acoustic versions of The View’s numbers. Kyle delivered “There’s no fighting and no hiding/Now my pain

is gone/And oh the clock, the clock has no sympathy/Oh the clock, the clock’s had its way with me” in a somewhat wounded yet mellow manner, and it was notably more impressionable without the audio-polish studio production can bring. Perhaps it was simply the endless free beer being supplied, but as Kyle refused the offer of a drink to move into ‘Wasted Little DJ’s’, the audience became as animated as far as possible for an acoustic show, and retained their liveliness through ‘Underneath The Lights’ until an unusually down-tempo rendition of ‘Wasteland’. The bright spotlights burned down on both Pete and Kyle, who were quick to complain, but any ironical “The View Are On Fire” quips were lacking from the lairy crowd. Finishing up on ‘Superstar Tradesman’, the unusually sober duo quietly nipped off, leaving a spoiled crowd longing for more. It might not have been The View everyone is used to, but like the lucky attendee who won flights, accommodation and a shopping spree courtesy of USC on the night, it’s nice to be treated once in a while, isn’t it?

The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

Recommendation: Alan Morrison

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Unplugged, QMU

The Herald & Times Group’s arts editor offers The Journal heads down to the QMU for the union’s regular open mic night - and finds a pleasant surprise upon arrival The Journal his musical ones-to-watch...


- The Damned, The Ramones, The Gaslight Anthem - but they’ve got melodies to match the swagger and Alan Morrison energy. Like The Vaccines, these Glasgow boys have retooled rock’s Chris Devotion And The past to make the present a better Expectations place to be. You don’t have to do something new; just do it well. Chris Devotion and the Expectations push Their debut album, Amalgamation every punk button on the machine and Capital, is out now.

Alan Morrison

MUSIC Hannah McAvoy Staff writer

The fashionably late arrival

of the hosts of the Queen Margaret Union’s first Unplugged night was no hindrance to the first performer who was raring to go. 19-yearold student Chris Gagnon opened his set with his own composition, ‘Merry Go Round’ and from the first chord struck, it was clear that this was to be a night of real musical talent and originality. Unplugged hosts Kat Mundill and Nick Lauener finally took to the stage, drawing the audience in with pop cover-versions including a smooth acoustic cover of Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. The lively pair animated both audience and performers in between acts, while encouraging the more reluctant in Jim’s Bar to have a go on stage. And they did so very successfully: while the night got off to a mellow start, contributions from the hosts were the vital catalyst for

the unveiling of some superb talent. Equally impressive was the pursuit of originality in the remainder of performances. Hannah Jackson began her set with Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison’, managing to hit Cash’s characteristic lownotes. She then changed direction with an acoustic cover of Jessie J’s ‘Domino’ and maintained a controlled, soulful vocal through to her final rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’. Katie Irvine and Suki McFarlund initially sang individually, but towards the end of the night collaborated on a version of ‘Lion Man’ by Mumford and Sons, accompanied by host Lauener, capturing the convivial, laid-back spirit of Unplugged with their collaboration. When asked what she thought of this open mic night, Classics and English Literature student Suki replied: “some open mic nights you go to are very professional and here people turn up and are improvising on stage”, which she believes dissipates any nerves performers may have. The hosts Kat and Nick created

a friendly atmosphere, welcoming everyone to the event. “There’s no sense of being judged, or trying to pick a winner and that makes people want to give it a go and not take it too seriously”. QMU Social Convenor James Ansell was largely responsible for the organisation of this Unplugged and, despite some minor teething problems, the night was a great success. When asked why he wanted to take on the role of Social Convenor, he replied “this union has given me so much. When you come to university you might find that it’s difficult to make friends, and I made the majority of mine through this union.” In short, Unplugged is the perfect student night out. With the usual cheap drinks on offer, lots of laughs and some real entertainment, it’s a wonder that the entrance is free. Unplugged runs every Tuesday evening from 8pm in Jim’s Bar in the Queen Margaret Union, so if you’re looking to break the ice with your new classmates and flatmates, this is the place to be.




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The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

Rembrandt and the Passion: Is it only a sketch? A leading art expert tells The Journal about the lingering questions behind one of Rembrandt’s most important collections

Visual Art Katharina Dziacko Art editor

Currently on display at the Hunte-

rian Art Gallery is ‘Rembrandt and the Passion’, an exhibition which reveals the story of Rembrandt’s Entombment Sketch, one of gallery’s most significant paintings. “This painting comes from our founder William Hunter. He bought it in London in 1771, and when the Museum opened in 1807 this was the first Rembrandt on public display in Britain,” curator Peter Black explained. “It is a small, very well preserved painting. The research for the exhibition sets out to discover, as far as we can tell, when Rembrandt painted it and why he painted it. There is also technical research, which explores how the painting is made.” Part of the exhibition is a short film which shows the technical investigation of the Entombment Sketch. This film, as well as other detailed commentaries, illustrate how through different scientific methods, such as X-radiography, infrared imaging, paint analysis and polynomial texture mapping, a team of interdisciplinary researchers examined the painting in minute detail. The Entombment Sketch stands in relation to one of Rembrandt’s most important collections, a series of six paintings known as the Passion collection. This collection of very dramatic images presents Christ’s suffering just before and after his crucifixion. According to Black there are two images by Rembrandt which the Entombment Sketch reveals a particular connection to, one of which is the Entombment painting, which is currently on loan from the Alte Pinakothek in Munich and on display at the Hunterian. It belongs to the Passion series of paintings, which Rembrandt worked on “between 1632 and 1654”, according to Black, and in first place gives the impression of being a larger version of the Entombment Sketch. “There is also a later etching of the entombment subject which is usually dated by scholars to 1654,” said Black. “Our painting is unsigned and undated. “One of the extraordinary things about it is that nobody has ever doubted that it is by Rembrandt, but because it is not signed we can’t , without further research, place it in Rembrandt’s work, as it is difficult to say what the relationship is with the larger version of the image. So the question was: ‘Is it a sketch for the larger painting?’“ Dr Marcus Dekiert, curator of Dutch and German Baroque at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, said the Entombment painting has been in the ownership of the House of Wittelsbach for a long period of time. Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine, purchased it along with six related paintings by Rembrandt for his famous gallery in Dusseldorf in the early 18th century. In 1806, the gallery of the Wittelsbach from Palatine moved to Munich, where

the Entombment painting was put on exhibition at the Hofgarten. When the Alte Pinakothek opened in 1836 the Entombment was put on display there. Today there are only six of the seven paintings of Rembrandt’s famous Passion collection available. Those paintings belong to the great treasures of the Alte Pinakothek – along with other works of art by Durer, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens and many other artists, said Dr Dekiert. According to Dr Dekiert the similarities between Rembrandt’s Entombment painting and the Entombment Sketch are, in first place, of a thematic and motivic nature. The use of light might also be very comparable. The Entombment sketch’s construction, on the other hand, has led to different assumptions about the function of this sketch, Dr Dekiert explained. With reference to their research findings, Peter Black explained that a particularly interesting aspect of the

“One of the extraordinary things about it is that nobody has ever doubted that it is by Rembrandt, but because it is not signed we can’t place it in his work.”

Entombment Sketch is the combination of “Rembrandt’s early smooth painting style”, known as Rembrandt’s style in the 1930s, with “a more sketchy treatment that is characteristic of a different phase of Rembrandt’s work”. Black described coming to an understanding of why Rembrandt chose to combine these different styles in the Entombment sketch as a major challenge of the research. He shared the conclusion that different methods of technical investigation, the comparison of different images, as well as evidence gained from art history encouraged him and his team to believe that “there were at least two campaigns of painting”. This led to the conclusion that the Entombment Sketch is a finished painting, with some seemingly unfinished characteristics to it which can no longer be seen as a monochrome sketch for an etching. This exhibition is the first ever opportunity to view the ‘Entombment Sketch’

alongside the great painter’s ‘Entombment’ painting from the earlier mentioned Passion collection, allowing the viewer to make up their own mind about the relations of the two images by Rembrandt. Dr Dekiert said the Alte Pinakothek is careful when asked to loan a great work of art like the Entombment painting and it does not come to an agreement very often, but in this case the concept was convincing, especially the opportunity to see the painting from Munich next to Hunterian’s Entombment Sketch. This gives the opportunity to draw specific comparisons and gain significant scientific findings, explained Dr Dekiert. On display are also other paintings like The Descent from the Cross, by Peter Paul Rubens, as well as different works by Jan Lievens. Wall texts in the gallery describe similarities between images of those three artists, intending to demonstrate how Rembrandt made use of other artist’s work to develop his own artistic style.

The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

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Ugo Rondinone: Primitive The Common Guild presents the first Scottish solo exhibition by renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone

Visual Art Olivia Pires Managing editor

Renowned visual art gallery The

Common Guild hosts primitive, a purposely reconfigured exhibition of New York-based Swiss mixed media artist Ugo Rondinone – the first of its kind in Scotland and only the second public exhibition of Rondinone’s work in the UK. The 59 birds are unexpectedly imposing for their diminutive stature, commanding the rooms of The Common Guild’s handsome Victorian townhouse and are an amusing discovery behind the large front doors warmly welcoming the viewer. Despite being bronze cast, the artist has given the sculptures a soft organic appearance rather than a smooth polished exterior, his fingerprints clear as if freshly moulded from clay, like anthropomorphic golem, glistening gently in the dappled light; all are unique yet bearing no distinctive markings or features, each bird holds its own observable personality and peculiar expressions. Each sculpture is named after a natural element or phenomena, referencing the natural world beyond the gallery; the monumental titles also

allude to the small scale of the sculptures in comparison to the vastness of their namesakes such as ‘the universe’, ‘the lightning’ and ‘the earthquake’, subsequently evoking questions of a wider spiritual context. Their strength is in sheer numbers, enforcing their presence on the two exhibition floors transforming the interior space into an outdoor environment, the birds are scattered throughout the main showrooms, climbing the magnificent staircase with the odd independent bird loitering inconspicuously under a desk (‘the pebble’) in the office or nesting atop the fire surround (‘the seasons’). Just inside the second main show space ‘the snow’ – a minute slender bird – cocks its head around the door jamb inquisitively, welcoming the viewer into the bright room to contemplate the small flocks adorning the sanded floors. The show also features new projects by the artist entitled ‘clockwork without arms’: pendant stained glass clock faces missing their hands tenderly illuminated by natural light filtering in representative of the passage of time and providing a central point around which the birds of primitive orbit. The exhibition provokes a serene reflective almost meditative mood and in previous London gallery shows at Sadie Coles HQ his work has been described as possessing “...sense of time

Ruth Clark

suspended and death held at bay, almost like an intake of breath that remains perpetually and impossibly withheld”. Ugo Rondinone rose to fame in the early 1990s with a series of mixed media installations combining video, photography, painting, sculpture, drawing

and sound – his works reflective of the conflict between reality and a world of artifice. He is most famous for his large enigmatic rainbow signs portraying phrases such as ‘Hell, Yes!’ and ‘Dog Days Are Over’. Rondinone currently lives and

Glasgow School of Art Graduate Degree Show 2012

works in New York and Zürich with an upcoming exhibition at the Rockerfeller Plaza in New York City in 2013. The Common Guild, Glasgow 8 September - 17 November 2012 Katharina Dziacko

The Journal meets some of this year’s crop of graduate designers from GSA

Visual Art Kathairina Dziacko Art editor

Glasgow School of Art presents

its first Graduate Degree Show, which will be open to the public from 15 until 29 September. It will be staged over two levels of the Lighthouse gallery in central Glasgow. Jenny Brownrigg, exhibition director of the Glasgow School of Art, said: “It’s very exciting. It’s the first inaugural graduate degree show of the wider Masters one-year courses at the Glasgow School of Art, so we wanted to take the opportunity to show the whole portfolio of courses that are available across design, architecture and art.” Designers from the MDes courses in Sound for Moving Image, Design Innovation, Communication Design, Interior Design, Fashion + Textiles, Graphics/Illustration and Photography, as well as the MSc Medical Visu-

alisation & Human Anatomy present their works in different areas across level one of the gallery. Projects by artists following MLitt Fine Art Practice courses as well as final projects by Architects are installed on level five. On 27 September there will be an additional Fashion and Textile Promenade, which will be staged on level one and open to the public. It will highlight the final results and collections of the actual designing process, which on the other hand will be on display over the full three weeks in form of written works and different samples of their drawings and designs. According to Beca Lipscombe, programme coordinator of the Fashion and Textile course, it is their intention to display the actual part of the process because a lot of people think that in fashion “there isn’t very much written content”. Beca Lipscombe said: “We want to show people that our students have to research and they have to sample.

We want to show them the rigour they have to go through in order to produce a collection. Lipscombe described the designing process as evident and work-securing. “Nobody is really interested in the end result. It’s how they get to that. How they research, how they draw. These are all key skills,” Lipscombe explained. Craig Kirk, one of the nominees for the most innovative project, is the

winner of the prize of £2,000 offered by the headline sponsor of the graduate degree show SPIE. Kirk’s project uses animated projections within a real-world filmed setting. “The film ‘Apron Strings’ showcases this potential within character animation and short film. Bespoke characters from an idiosyncratic puppet world interact with both real spaces and a set-designed space.

The film is a snapshot of a day in the life of a young puppet made of light, an adolescent named ‘Pipette’. Her dad had always strung her apron strings tightly, but its time she cut her strings and explored the spaces around her for herself. The film brings the digital world into the real world via the ‘analogue’ technology of film – projection,” explained designer Kirk.

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The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

Topshop’s Fifty Shades of Gray Topshop’s most dazzling collaboration to date

Fashion Nadine Walker Fashion editor




never fails to disappoint with impeccable collaboration ideas – a sparkly neon collection from Louise Gray is a fabulous reality in stores this September. The Scottish designer and Scottish Fashion Awards regular has embarked on a wonderful mainstream journey with the high-street chain. The collection launched in stores earlier this month is a poptastic array of bold accessories, embellished pieces and out-there make-up. Gray, known for her dangerous style decisions, is an avid Topshop fan: “I’m really girlie so I’ve always

loved hair and makeup and the products at Topshop are really good. “I already bought Topshop’s makeup because it’s so colourful. It’s all stuff I want to wear. I never do stuff that I don’t. I wouldn’t want to do it otherwise.” With fashion-pals such as Henry Holland, the Scottish designer is anything but fashion-shy. Her London Fashion Week show on 17 September was typically Gray. Although anything but grey in colour, the show featured trademark clashing prints and shades. Bright blues, oranges and reds remained a focus throughout the pieces, with bold graphic prints flowing throughout the collection. Thanks to another well-received collection under its belt, Topshop can sit back and reap the benefits of happy twenty-something’s up and down the UK. It is without a doubt its most dazzling collaboration to date.

The fortnight in fashion The Journal recaps a busy couple of weeks in the UK fashion industry

Fashion Laurie Goodman Fashion editor, Edinburgh

A hectic week of pre-filming

for the creative team at Edinburgh Online Fashion Week culminated on 7 September with a closing show at Quartermile One. The event, set to be Edinburgh’s first ever ‘digital fashion event’, will broadcast over five days from 22-26 October and showcase a mix of established designers, graduate collections and independent boutiques. Event director Gary Anderson told The Journal: “The closing catwalk show was really well received by a 250-guest audience, many of whom emailed us congratulating the team on how professional the finale show was, and how they cant wait for the full broadcast in October. “It’s now all go in the cutting room editing the footage we recorded in secret over the five days earlier in the month, and we just cant wait to

Books agenda

share it with Scotland and a potential global audience. Plans for next season are already in full swing.” Meanwhile at London Fashion Week (LFW), Scottish regulars Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Holly Fulton showed their collections, and Glasgow School of Art graduate Louise Gray debuted her first make-up and accessories collaboration with Topshop. After winning Young Designer of the Year at the 2011 Scottish Fashion Awards, Henrietta Ludgate presented her futuristic spring/ summer 2013 collection Super Nova in an interactive pop-up show and tea party at Somerset House. With scattered teacups and intermittent bursts of bubbles, the show was a theatrical display of sci-fi glamour. The designer described her brand’s mantra to LFW: “We believe in supporting British craftsmanship, with fabrics sourced from mills within the British Isles and all pieces produced locally. On launching my own label, my priority was to illustrate a sense of my Scottish heritage. “Whether through the fabrics,

cuts or colours, this idea of work inspired by my Highland background runs through all my designs.” Elsewhere, luxury knitwear brand Pringle of Scotland showed their collection at an intimate presentation in the Roosevelt Suite at Brown’s Hotel. The collection was a display of sharp, brightly highlighted knitwear with a sporting edge, featuring modern updates on the Argyle sweater in aquamarine and royal blue. Overall, a luxurious and incredibly wearable selection of looks, but lacking in artistic cohesion and any strong creative vision. The collection follows a tumultuous year for the design team after director Alistair Carr parted ways with the brand after a short tenure in April. Speculation about the direction of the brand followed, with The Scotsman recently reporting that Pringle were ‘suffering from an identity crisis’ and were ‘struggling to stand out’ without a creative director. CEO Jean Fang told Vogue that “the collection was a soul-searching mission and we delved back into our heritage.”

by Vivek Santayana

McEwan’s complex narrative explores the duality of human existence through the prism of espionage IAN MCEWAN SWEET TOOTH

the life of a Cambridge-educated girl who is recruited by MI5 as part of a covert (Jonathan Cape, £18.99) propaganda programme to support prodemocracy writers and intellectuals. Set in the 1970s during the tumultuSerena Frome (“rhymes with Plume”), ous political and economic climate of who is trapped beneath a glass ceiling Edward Heath’s government, Ian McE- of male chauvinism in the Intelligence wan’s new novel Sweet Tooth explores Service, sees her career advance rapidly

because of her interest in literature: she is tation, espionage is not a storyline, rather sent to liaise with a prospective author for a metaphor for several layers of deception, the operation, codenamed ‘Sweet Tooth’, ranging from the unreliable narrator to with whom she has an affair. The events Frome’s relationships. The novel interthat subsequently unfold constitute a rogates the need for ideological secrecy compelling test of the fictions and façades. in government and explores the tension Whilst this novel is set against the between the individual’s real and fictive backdrop of political and ideological agi- sense of self.

The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

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FOOTBALL Carl Kiksen

Scotland and Germany: a match-day appraisal A poor match-day experience for fans is damaging Scottish football. We should look to the continent... Michael Diamond

Not long ago, it would have been dif-

ficult to replicate the atmosphere at Scottish football matches, with Hampden seeing attendances soar in to the 100,000s and fans that were renowned all over the world for their passion. The picture now, however, is rather different. In recent years, much has been made of Scotland’s poor football product being offered to fans. In an attempt to rectify this on-field problem, Scotland has looked to the European footballing model and, in 2011, the Scottish FA appointed Dutchman Mark Wotte as Performance Director in a bid to improve our national sport for the future.

Could it also be said that the problem in the Scottish game spills over from the on-field problems onto the terraces in the form of a poor, overpriced match-day experience? If so, where do we look for inspiration? The paradise of European football puritans is Germany. The German football model is purely centred around the fans as all German clubs must grant their members 51% ownership as per the Bundesliga’s regulations. The league association president, Dr Reinhard Rauball, said that this regulation allowed the Bundesliga to remain “true to its principles” and granted the clubs “stability, continuity and proximity to fans.”

In the same way that British managers must perform to keep the owners happy, the manager, team and the boardroom must endeavour to keep their potent support happy at all times — and there is no better way to keep fans happy than to offer them match tickets at excellent value. The Allianz Arena, home of Bundesliga superpower Bayern Munich, is seen as being one of the most modern and beautiful stadiums in the world. It is also a showcase of glorious football with Bayern boasting names like Mario Gomez, Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery amongst their starstudded squad. If one followed British football keenly, it could be easily suggested that in order to see some of the world’s finest players in one of the world’s finest arenas, match tickets could cost an arm and a leg. This is simply not the case. If you take a trip to the Allianz, you can expect to pay as little as 15 (£12) to

watch Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and in European competitions. Young members aged 18-25, who can join for 40, will pay just 12.50 (£10) to see one of Europe’s finest teams playing their brand of beautiful football. But it gets better — included in this price, Bundesliga match tickets also double as tickets for rail travel, meaning fans don’t have to spend extra money getting to and from the match. If we return our focus to Scotland, a ticket for recent SFL Division One tie between Falkirk and Airdrie United would cost an adult £18 just for admission. With all due respect to the great footballing institution that is Airdrie United, their footballing product can hardly compare to that offered by Bayern Munich and is, rather incredibly, more expensive to watch. This is only one of many ways in which German football firmly sticks to its traditions and puts fans ahead of all

else. Once you have paid your value for money admission fee, you can expect an unmistakeable, colourful, vocal and vibrant atmosphere on the terraces; like the fortnightly aura that can be experienced at Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion, which boasts a capacity of 80,700 and is often referred to as the ‘opera house of world football’ on account of the noise created within. The main contributing factor to this is German football’s acceptance of standing areas. These standing areas facilitate beautifully choreographed fan movement and equally breathtaking, colourful displays of flags and banners. Lord Taylor’s report in 1990, in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, recommended the introduction of allseated stadiums in the top two divisions of English football. As much as this was introduced for safety reasons, many now feel that it detracts so much from the traditional match-day experience, and makes for a dreary atmosphere. German football, again, boasts its superiority and offers standing and seating areas which caters to the needs of all and, yet again, reinforces the idea that football is definitely for the fans. In recent years in Scotland, we have seen the emergence of ‘ultra’ movements within clubs which was previously unheard of in Britain. Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Motherwell now have their own effervescent ‘singing sections’ who demand to stand up for the duration of the matches. This has seen the SPL give the green light to pilot safe standing areas at forthcoming fixtures. Incredibly, this forward movement by fans seems to be blocked by stadium security at many grounds throughout the country who deny fans entry to the stadium with certain flags, branding them a ‘fire hazard’. This is something which would leave German football fans amazed. It is tragic that the fans’ efforts to make the atmosphere more exciting and colourful is being quashed by dogmatic, unnecessary regulations. It is highly encouraging to see these moves being made by football fans in Scotland as they try to breathe new life into the beautiful game. These types of moves should be encouraged by all, despite the occasional controversy. Scottish football must also take a comprehensive look at its ticket pricing and consider the fans’ desires at all times. It is high time football returns to its roots and offers the exciting, intense atmosphere of previous years for a fair cost.


Hoops set to take on the big boys in Europe again

Neil Lennon’s young team has its work cut out as it returns to the European stage after four years away Gary Paul Staff writer

This season sees Celtic return to

the Champions League for the first time in four years, giving Neil Lennon his first taste of managing at European football’s top table. In Spartak Moscow they face the Russian runners-up and will find a familiar face in Aiden McGeady, the Irish winger who swapped George Square for Red Square in 2010; his £9.5 million transfer fee remains a Scottish record.

They also face Benfica, who topped their group last year before succumbing to defeat against eventual winners Chelsea in the last eight. The departures of Axel Witsel and Javi Garcia have weakened the Portuguese side but they continue to tap into the South American talent that has sustained their past European exploits. Then there is Barcelona. The greatest team of a generation, who continue to be inspired by the greatest player of a generation — Lionel Messi. His supporting cast of Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas and co. can win games on their own

but it is as a team that they truly thrive; victory in two of the last four Champions Leagues is testament to that. So despite being the only champions in their group, Celtic face an exacting task if they hold hopes of progression. Being optimistic, their home record in this competition is admirable, losing just two of 20 matches. Both were against Barcelona. More realistically, however, Celtic have a squad with next to no Champions League experience. Only Scott Brown has any real pedigree at this level and Lennon will need his captain

to stir some big performances from a raw young side. Their first match saw a packed Celtic Park host Benfica but, despite the hype, the game was rather forgettable and ended 0-0. Having toyed with a 3-5-2 formation in the league, Lennon settled for a fairly flat 4-4-1-1 in this opening tie. Maybe seeing Man City throw away the lead against Real Madrid with three at the back was enough to frighten him into a more familiar set up. Five years ago, Lennon played in a Celtic side that held AC Milan to a

draw over two legs, before falling to a Kaka goal in extra time. AC Milan would go on to win the competition that year, while Celtic have never again reached such heights. As a manager, his poor record in big matches has seen many brand him a ‘bottler’, but he has earned this opportunity to test himself and his side on a dauntingly large stage. They may be grateful for a point from their opening fixture, but it means results will be needed in Moscow and Lisbon - unless they fancy their chances when Barcelona visit Glasgow in November.

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The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

Abusive chants turn the beautiful game ugly The disrespectful behaviour of a small section of football fans across Europe is tarnishing the reputation of the sport Ruth Jeffery Sport editor, Edinburgh

When the Hillsborough report

was released last week, attentions should have firmly focused on the families of those killed receiving closure. Instead, a tidal wave of offensive chanting has dominated both terrace and press, causing the focus to shift to negativity and abuse. Let the point not be misunderstood; whilst Liverpool fans have been on the receiving end of ugly chanting, they have also been the proprietors. Manchester United and Liverpool fans have equally besmirched their clubs with taunting shouts about both Hillsborough and the Munich air crash of 1958. Both tragedies had casualties which shocked the footballing world and both sets of fans

deserve to mourn the losses without jeering or sneering. In regards to the Hillsborough disaster, 23 years of misplaced blame had left a hole in a community which is still struggling to come to terms with the 96 deaths. Even the inquest, which revealed an excess of policing errors, has not cured that hurt. And the abusive chanting by a select number of fans is not a form of football rivalry; it is ignorance harming both a city and the sport. Hooliganism has long been a byproduct of football and the offensive songs heard over the last couple of weeks are certainly not a new phenomenon. Another recent example was the racist ‘monkey’ chants heard during the Tottenham and Lazio game mid-week. Aiming their chants at Jermain Defoe,

If you sing about Hillsborough or the Munich air crash, the real damage is being done to the sport that we all love. Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend, the Italian fans were also seen making fascist salutes outside the stadium. Racism in football has been all too prominent in recent months, with the Terry

and Suarez sagas hanging over the pitch like a dark cloud. Calls to stop derogatory actions and chants have been to no avail. A minority of fans exploit matches in order to cause trouble and in the process exploit the very sport they profess to support. Recent attempts to criminalise such activity in Scotland have shown the sheer scale of even constituting what is freedom of speech and what is an act of public disorder. Alex Salmond was forced this week to delay a bill relating to sectarian chanting at Scottish football matches because of adverse reaction towards the definition of criminal activity. This week Scottish police are said to be on the hunt for train-loads of fans who were singing sectarian songs on their way back from the St Johnstone v Celtic and

Inverness v Aberdeen matches. It seems the saddening truth that these kinds of chants have become so ingrained in the football hustle and bustle that enforcing laws against them is nigh impossible. That is not to say that efforts should not be made, however. Increasingly in the footballing world, off-pitch activity seems to get more camera time and column inches than the game itself. Just like the violent behaviour of ‘football firms’, offensive chanting and abusive gestures are becoming more widely reported than the 90 minutes of action which should really matter. Sing ‘the reds go marching on’, if you will. Sing ‘you’ll never walk alone’. But sing about Hillsborough or the Munich air crash and the real damage is being done to the sport we all love.


There are some knocks you just can’t shake off The formality of pre-match handshakes has assumed a disproportionate importance that the game can do without Sean Gibson Editor-in-chief, Edinburgh

It is worth noting the disbelieving

snort with which the writer begins this piece – dedicating column inch after column inch to subject matter the calibre of pre-match handshakes. The tedious persistence of the issue itself has proven almost as annoying as the continual presence of a cast of contemptible characters in the national media’s football coverage. Nothing new there, but the usual vague stab at variety is suddenly and sorely missed as the same players occupy the headlines once more. One might hope that the futility of attempting to institutionalise a concept so individual, so tied to personal conduct, as sportsmanship would be clear to the governing powers of any sport. Of course, The Journal is not so naive as to presume ignorance of this on the part of football’s elite; until recently the handshakes were a benign public relations exercise. The FA, as much as FIFA and UEFA, likes to appear proactive in moulding the role models of the national game. Present circumstances shatter this idyllic nonsense; the benign formality has assumed a clear negative dimension. Sweep aside the specifics of their case – there are various reasons why Anton Ferdinand, John Terry and Ashley Cole should be leaving last season’s racism issue behind them and moving forward. However, it seems that every time the elephant in the stadium is close to being ushered out quietly through a service gate, a pre-match handshake in a Chel-

sea-QPR game brings it charging headlong back into the centre-circle. In almost every other working environment people who establish a mutual dislike are able to keep negativity to a minimum, interactions can become purely functional. Ferdinand, Terry and Cole will not be allowed to just do their marking and tackling on autopilot though – the drama demanded of a league such as the English Premier means that, as long as those players are obliged to shake hands before a match, they will struggle to leave past

Remove the handshake and you remove the problem. events behind them. Head north 250 miles and observe the frenzy preceding the LiverpoolManchester United match. The latter club spent a great deal of time trying to contain the fallout from the previous week’s distasteful Old Trafford chanting, to foster a respectful solidarity ahead of the first match at Anfield since the recent Hillsborough revelations. Of course, all these painstaking efforts could potentially have been undone –the poignancy of the day trampled over – had Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez refused to shake hands before the match, in the wake of their own racism spat from last season. If only the football world could

stop getting itself in a lather about such pointless exercises then we might be able to regain some perspective. Quite how matters have degraded to the point where the cursed handshake threatened to overshadow a weekend of poignant reflection on something so incomprehensibly traumatic as the Hillsborough disaster beggars belief. Image, though, is everything to football authorities; in this case the obsession with minutia such as the illusion of reconciliation blinded them to the absurdity of the matter as a whole. Remove the handshake and you remove the problem. That is assuming, of course, that you accept how utterly meaningless a choreographed handshake is in the cause of resolving a problem as serious as racial discrimination. Even had Suarez and Evra only fallen out over who ate the last pie in the players’ lounge before the game, it is doubtful how far such a gesture would have gone towards rebuilding the bridge. Win or lose the game – whether two players have been beating all hell out of each other for 90 minutes or a centreforward has dived over a centre-half to win a decisive penalty – it is between the players if they want to leave it all on the pitch or take it off with them. That is the time for either shaking hands or quietly avoiding one another. Either way, there is minimum fuss; the matter of sportsmanship remains the responsibility of each player and is not foisted upon them by a nanny-state football association. Even in the age of spoilt-rotten superstars, surely we can trust the players to sort out the handshakes amongst themselves.

Julian Mason

The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012

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Glasgow welcomes back sporting heroes in Olympic homecoming Thousands of Glaswegians turn out to George Square to welcome Scots Olympians and Paralympians

Jassy Earl Karen Thomson Staff writer

Flags were raised high in the air as

deafening cheers welcomed home the Scottish Olympic and Paralympic team to Glasgow’s George Square. Thousands of excited sporting fans attended the free event in George Square to get a glimpse of their heroes, which included six time Olympic champion, Sir Chris Hoy, who described the event as ‘overwhelming’. Receiving the loudest cheers of the day Hoy said: “What an incredible welcome. I just want to say thank you to everyone that came out today to support us. It has been a day to remember. It’s overwhelming how much support the home team has been getting. “I think to see this now you realise it’s not just been about London. It illustrates that it has been about the whole of the UK getting together and enjoying it from the very north to the very south of the country.” The celebrations began in Glasgow’s West End at the Kelvingrove Museum, where hundreds of fans gathered to cheer on medallists. Glasgow-born medallists Katherine Grainger and Michael Jamieson, who won gold in rowing and silver in the 200 metre breaststroke respectively, were included in the line-up. Aberdonian Paralympian cycling champion Neil Fachie was also cheered on. Crowds lined the Glasgow streets as sunshine greeted Scotland’s heroes travelling through the city on floats. People leaned out from balconies and school children chanted their heroes names as a

17,000 capacity crowd waited in anticipation at the civic square in the city centre. As the two mile route came to a close on Buchanan Street the crowd were packed in up to 18 deep as excited supporters from all over the country tried to get a glimpse of their sporting heroes. In the midst of all the cheers Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, was booed by the crowd as he took to the stage in what was described as a ‘George Osborne moment’. Grainger spoke of her joy at being welcomed back to her home town, now an Olympic champion at her fourth attempt, after secuing silver in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Following the event, she said: “The enthusiasm, the energy and the excitement from the people has been completely sensational. “We started in Kelvingrove and the whole way through the city the crowd built and built until we came here in George Square where it just went absolutely insane.” Gymnastics team bronze medallist Daniel Purvis, whose mother is from Dundee, spoke about his joy at winning and his future competition plans. He said: “It was amazing. It was a big shock especially for the team medal, we were not expecting it. I think that’s what made it even better. It was a dream come true. “I am taking one year at a time. My next big event will be the Commonwealth games next year in Scotland. I have just come back from holiday and went back to training yesterday which was a bit of a struggle, but I should be alright soon

“The enthusiasm, the energy and the excitement from the people has been completely sensational.” hopefully.” The day closed with athletes attending a reception hosted by Salmond in the Old Fruitmarket. He said: “This has been an inspirational day in many ways. The spectacular events in Glasgow recognised the truly awe-inspiring performance of all of Scotland’s athletes at this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics. “The celebrations also highlighted the breathtaking achievements of our many medal winners, all of whom have shown what heights can be reached when talent is allied to sheer dedication and hard work. “Scotland has immense pride in each one of our athletes on Team GB and Paralympics GB, and it is absolutely fitting that many thousands of people of all ages from every part of the country have lined the streets of Glasgow today to cheer them on. “The warmth and enthusiasm shown by the vast crowds towards the athletes also bears testament to the passionate love of sport in Scotland, and I am sure that the excitement will be carried through to the Commonwealth Games when it begins in the city in 2014.”

Jassy Earl

Jassy Earl

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The Journal Wednesday 26 September 2012


Andy Murray proves his doubters wrong analyses the significance of the Scots tennis superstar’s historic first grand slam win Stuart Findlay Staff writer

He’s done it. At last. It has been a

long and painful road, but at last Andy Murray has done it. Not only has he become the first British male tennis player to win a grand slam title since 1936 but he has also managed to shut people up. At least temporarily, until his next major defeat perhaps. Or maybe it will last for the rest of his career. After all, the Scot has now joined the elite in many people’s eyes. Scotland was a nation of half-awake zombies on 11 September after Murray kept us up until 2.06am before clinching his maiden grand slam victory. Given the emotion that poured out of Murray after his Wimbledon final loss to Federer (and his Australian Open defeat to the same man in 2010) it was surprising that at his crowning moment he seemed so low-key. He said afterwards that his overwhelming feeling after clinching the US Open title was one of relief more than anything else. Someone as ambitious as Murray will put a lot of pressure on themselves, but you can’t help feel that Murray’s remarks show a lot about what is wrong about how fans perceive individual sportsmen. There seems to be an idea that you’re somehow incomplete if you don’t land a major title. We’ve seen it with Colin Montgomerie, and after a couple of defeats at the final hurdle it did look like Murray might be fated to join the same club. Sure, there are plenty of people who always believed that he would win one. But they seemed to be outnumbered by another group who were unconvinced by Murray’s claim as a world-class sportsman and that he couldn’t possibly be considered a



Jonathan McIntosh

Medinah Country Club in Illi-

nois will host golf ’s most prestigious team competition for the first time in her history, as USA will be looking to take back the trophy from their European counterparts. Running between 28 and 30 September, the biannual Ryder Cup is set to be as competitive as ever.

have been a straight-forward contest. But things didn’t go to plan. Cilic raced to 6-3 5-1 lead and it looked like the Scot’s grand slam hopes were about to be dealt another hammer blow. From somewhere though, Murray summoned the strength and belief to haul himself back into it. He fought back to take the second set in a tiebreak and in the process broke Cilic’s spirit; the Croat’s mind was elsewhere in sets three and four and Murray cruised into the semifinal against the odds. It wasn’t the first time either. Two sets and a break down to Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon 2008 and Murray still believed, eventually coming through in five sets and winning the hearts of the nation in the process. At the US Open in 2008 Murray was two sets and a match point down to Jurgen Melzer, but two hours later the big serving Austrian was the one who exited the tournament after another remarkable comeback from Murray. With the monkey now off his back the sky is the limit for Murray. He will hopefully go on to win a few more grand slam titles but whether he does or not, his place as the greatest male British tennis player of all time and as one of the greatest Scottish athletes of all time is assured. He has already played a huge part in turning tennis from an upper-class minority sport to one that kids on the street want to pick up and play. His stated desire to reinvest some of his cash in helping sport in Scotland is an exciting thing, and if plans to create a new tennis academy in Edinburgh with his financial help get the green light then we might just be at the start of the greatest Scottish sporting legacy ever. SuperGolfDude

Defending champions breeze into the Windy City for Ryder Cup Ryder Cup action in Chicago as Europe tries to hold onto trophy

sporting great without a major. This is a man, prior to his gold medal triumph and US Open title, who was already the most successful male British tennis player in seven decades, was sitting fifth on the all-time list of ATP Masters titles won, and had reached eight consecutive grand slam quarter-finals. When Djokovic brought the match back to two sets the whole nation felt the same gut punch and worried that they had seen this movie before. The gallant Scot was on the cusp of victory but was about to be denied yet again, and this time in an even more cruel fashion. You can imagine what the headlines would have been like. And the stream of nonsense that would pepper social media for days about how Murray is a choker who always blows it and can only dream of being a champion. But the boy who has had nearly every aspect of his game criticised since he burst on to the scene at Wimbledon 2005 came through the match and silenced the doubters. For once, a major tournament would end and there would no mention of his first serve percentage, his reluctance to approach the net, his fitness or his mental strength. His mental strength seems to be a particular bugbear for a lot of people. But in reality it’s something he should be lauded for. Murray has, in fact, come back from two sets behind to win more matches than any of the other big three. Just look at his quarter-final against Marin Cilic. Murray had thumped Milos Raonic in straight sets in the previous round with one of his finest ever showings, while the lanky Croat had stumbled into the last eight and was just glad to be there. It should

Davis Love III has the honour of taking charge of the American team. The 48 year old won four of the six Ryder Cups he played in and was the 1997 PGA Championship winner. Opposing him as European Captain is Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal. He formerly won two Masters tournaments and has competed in eight Ryder Cups. He was part of the team that won the trophy in 1987, 1997 and 2006. The European squad is largely dominated by Brits. World number one Rory McIlroy and resurgent Aberdonian Paul Lawrie both feature, with Nicolas Colsaerts as the only Ryder Cup rookie. He was selected as a Captain’s pick, along with Ian Poulter. Team USA is littered with a good

balance of rookie golfers and experience. No less than four players are competing in their first Ryder Cup, but Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk have all been regulars in the competition throughout the past 20 years. The tournament tees off on the morning of 28 September. Four foursome matches in the morning will be followed by four fourballs matches in the afternoon. The same format follows on the Saturday and the tournament culminates with 12 singles matches on the Sunday. One point is awarded for a win and half a point for a draw. 14 points are required for Europe to retain the trophy and 14.5 points are required for either team to win the trophy outright.

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Glasgow gears up for 10th annual Freshers’ Cup University sports societies from across Glasgow compete in an exciting Freshers tournament Jack McLuckie Staff writer

Freshers’ Week and hangovers

done (for now), lectures started; it’s time for the first intervarsity competition of the year. The annual City of Glasgow Freshers’ Intervarsity Sports Day returned for its 10th running on Wednesday 26 September, surrounded by much anticipation. For the first time, City of Glasgow College joined the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Strathclyde in a showcase of fresher sporting talent across five venues around the city. The event gives new university students a taste of the rivalry these institutions share, and by bringing in Glasgow’s largest college, extends that opportunity further. Chris Millar, president of the Glasgow University Sports Association, believes that the day offers “something for everyone, much like the standard of sport represented within this competition.” He has tipped the Glasgow University men’s basketball as potential stars, both in the intervarsity competitions and BUCS leagues when the season gets under way, saying “It will be great to see what they could bring to the table.” Millar mentioned the possibility of events added merely for

exhibition and not competition – anything to involve as many freshers as possible. PR company The Big Partnership had a hand in helping to advertise the event, not only among students, but across the whole city. This media coverage was coupled with promotions by all sporting unions in every institution involved, as well as help from sponsors Glasgow Taxis, who also sponsor the main cup between the universities in March. The involvement of these companies has seen the event grow immensely over the past couple of years. Both Lowden and Colin Evans share the view that the day is being promoted more effectively with each year gone by. This has the additional benefit beyond the tournament itself of promoting games during the rest of the season. What has been highlighted by all three universities is the impact that including City of Glasgow College would have. Nick Lowden, Vice President Activities at Glasgow Caledonian University reiterated this point, adding: “It would be good to see City of Glasgow College do well”. Colin Evans, Vice President Sport and Development at the University of Strathclyde Sports Association said “it’s brilliant even just to see them with some teams competing for the first time”. The addition can only strengthen the popularity of the

event, and push the publicity of the sports societies even further. The university representatives also spoke of how the event could be improved. The addition of more sports certainly would raise the scale, a point noted by Lowden. Evans even pointed out the possibility of making use of the 2014 Commonwealth Games facilities in the future, with track cycling in the Chris Hoy Velodrome a possibility. As each of the four universities and colleges prepare for Wednesday, there is little doubt that the event has gained substantial momentum. With 500 students expected to take part across seven events, it will certainly be a day to remember for all that come along, spectators or competitors.

In Brief Date: Wednesday 26 September 2012 Time: 12-5pm Competing: University of Glasgow, City of Glasgow College, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University Events: Men’s and Women’s Hockey, Men’s and Women’s Football, Men’s Rugby, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Volleyball, Swimming, Netball


Scotland’s women reach Euro play-offs For the second time in four years, Scotland’s illustratious female footballers are European contenders Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

Scotland women reached the play-

offs of the European Champions for the second time in four years. Anna Signeul’s side finished second in their qualifying group behind world cup and Olympic semi-finalists France to book their place. Scotland now take on Spain over two legs with the winners set to play in their first major tournament finals in Sweden next summer. Needing only a draw to guarantee a place in the play-offs with two games remaining, Scotland came from 1-0 down to defeat Wales 2-1 at Llanelli’s Parc y Scarlets on 15 September. Chelsea forward Helen Lander gave Wales the lead eight minutes before the break, before Glasgow City midfielder Jo Love equalised just before half-time. Arsenal star Kim Little made sure of second place at 68 minutes, giving Scotland an outside chance of qualifying automatically as best runners-up with a comprehensive win over France at Tynecastle in their final qualifier four days later. However, Bruno Bini’s side ensured they finished the campaign unbeaten with a crushing 5-0 win. The draw for the play-offs made at

UEFA HQ in Nyon on 21 September paired Scotland with a potentially tricky tie against one of Europe’s emerging sides. Speaking after the draw, Signeul said: “This will be a new and very interesting challenge for us. In all honesty they are the one team in the draw that we know least about. “We have had them scouted recently and will do more analysis in the run-up to the play-offs. “What we do know is that they are a technically gifted side. We can expect them to have a lot of ball possession and we will have to be at the top of our game to get the better of them. “We go into this play-off in a positive frame of mind and will approach it in the same way that we have every one of our qualifying matches so far - determined to win and with belief that we can do so. “The players are very much looking forward to playing the home leg at Hampden Park. They are immensely proud to have the opportunity to showcase the women’s game at the home of Scottish football.” Scotland last came close to reaching a major final in 2008 as they went out on away goals to Russia in Euro 2009 playoffs after a 3-2 defeat at home, and a 2-1 win in Russia.


Hacker: Beautiful game, ugly chanting

Offensive fan minority risk damage to football’s reputation


Scottish Government

Freshers fight it out



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The Journal - Glasgow Issue 14  

Issue 14 of The Glasgow Journal, published on Wednesday 26 September 2012.