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




DiSAASter: Russell on back foot over loans


Bake in the USSA Societies vow to defy ban on bake sales in the Strathclyde union building



Government IN NEWS / scrabble to respond to second year of student loans chaos


Free speech under fire • Row over Leeds Student Nick Griffin interview • Israeli ambassador’s talk derailed in Edinburgh • NUS v. Galloway update


4-5 18-19



Alt-J’s mercurial rise The Journal sits down with half of Mercury Prize-winning ‘folkstep’ quartet Alt-J

Mr Bissett’s lessons An audience with teacher turned Scots literary superstar Alan Bissett



Kohli flowers

The Journal meets Sanjeev Kohli, star of Still Game and Fags, Mags and Bags



IN NEWS / 3-13

• Strath timetabling debacle • Grameen arrives in Scotland • CitySA elections still opaque • Erasmus cuts start to bite • SNP in turmoil over NATO


@GlasgowJournal /


The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

Billy Connolly receives lifetime achievement gong Glasgow comic to be honoured by Scottish BAFTA for his life’s work Keira Murray Local News editor

Eva Rinaldi

Billy Connolly is being honoured

GCU welcomes new head Nobel laureate and microfi nance pioneer Muhammad Yunus installed as Caley chancellor


with a lifetime achievement award by Scottish BAFTA, it has been revealed. The 69-year-old, most famously known for his comedy, has been deemed as one of Scotland’s greatest talents by the arts organisation. Connolly, who is also an accomplished actor and musician, will also be awarded for his services to television and film. Connolly is not able to attend the ceremony that takes place in Glasgow on Sunday 18 November, but he will visit Glasgow in December to accept his award. Connolly said: “I’m really pleased and proud to receive this trophy from BAFTA in Scotland, because I know you probably think we luvvies get shiny prizes all the time. But actually, sometimes we don’t. “I’m really sorry I can’t be there because I’m in San Francisco doing some prior engagements.” He is busy filming Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut, Quartet, as well as Peter Jackson’s eagerly

anticipated The Hobbit. He added: “but in December I will be in Glasgow, where my heart is all the time, doing a BAFTA Life in Pictures event highlighting my film and television work from over the years, which might be quite

groovy.” The event in December that Connolly is attending will see him discuss his forty years in the industry, including his numerous film appearances and his legendary stand-up tours.

The Hydro: will it live up to Glasgow’s expectations? Kosovo’s renaissance Jon Vrushi on the nascent Balkan state’s long, hard road to ‘supervised’ independence


Glasgow’s newest venue is set to be completed by September 2013 Keira Murray Local News editor

Situated beside one of the city’s most famous attractions, Glasgow’s newest venue will not have any problem attracting visitors. To be completed by September 2013, The Hydro is set to become the top place for people to visit next year. Being built beside the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), this new venue is estimated to hold 12,000 people with over 1,000,000 visitors expected each year. Designed by architects Foster & Partners, the project is expected to cost £125 million. On Tuesday 30 October, the final bolt of the main structure was fitted which marked a massive achievement for Lend Lease, the builders of The Hydro. The building of this

main structure only started in May this year which shows the hard work and dedication that has gone into this project so far. It has been estimated that over 140 events will take place at The Hydro every year, ranging from rock concerts to family friendly shows. Additionally, the venue will also be used when the Commonwealth Games arrive in Glasgow in 2014. The venue is set to become the seventh biggest worldwide arena after the O2 and Wembley arenas in London, MEN arena in Manchester, NIA in Birmingham and Madison Square Garden in New York. Chief Executive of the SECC, John Sharkey, commented that the arena “will feel like the Royal Albert Hall meets the Coliseum.” Even with its large size, The Hydro is being described as an inti-

mate venue for visitors due to the detailed design. The shell structure of the roof allows for a compact atmosphere inside the venue where spectators are able to sit or stand during the event. The designs can be viewed at Foster & Partners website.

For advertising information Paint it All Black Scotland steel themselves for Autumn Test showdown with world champion All Blacks


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

The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

@GlasgowJournal /


Review launched into SAAS loans chaos Student Awards Agency for Scotland responds to criticism from MSPs and NUS Scotland over second year of backlog Aoife Moore & Gareth Llewellyn




announced an independent review on Monday into the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) handling of student funding applications. Commissioned by SAAS, the review comes amid a storm of criticism as thousands of students have still not been awarded or paid their loans. Education secretary, Mike Russell, said: “I understand the concerns raised by students about the time taken to process late and complex funding applications. “This is a critical issue for those concerned and I am therefore pleased that David Wallace will lead an independent review. I believe his experience and expertise from the Student Loans Company (SLC) mean he is ideally placed for this task. “Progress has been made over the last week, while changes to student support for next year will simplify the process for many. However, it is important that any further improvements are identified, especially for the late and complex applications which offer particular challenges. “I can reassure students and their parents that SAAS will continue to work as quickly as possible to deal with all remaining applications for this year, while the review gives a head start on learning and applying lessons for next year.” David Wallace, deputy chief executive of the SLC, will review the processes for dealing with late and complex student funding applications. The review aims to find potential improvements as SAAS considers applications and reprocesses those with changes in circumstance or new information. On 1 November, more than 6,000 higher education funding applications from Scottish students had not been processed, jeopardising their education and wellbeing. SAAS attempted to defend its position saying that the delays were from applications sent after its 30 June guarantee date with many coming in September and October. NUS Scotland president, Robin Parker, had earlier joined calls from opposition parties for an investigation into why students are still awaiting payments in November, saying: “We welcome the Government’s decision to review the delays that have hit processing loans and bursaries at SAAS this year. “We’ve said for some time now that the Government needs to focus on clearing this year’s backlog and then look into what’s happened, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. “Many of these students are depending on the financial support SAAS provide. They’ve given up jobs, or ben-

efits, to go to study. Without it, there’s therefore a real danger that despite these students getting a place, they can’t take it up, or are forced to drop out. This would be a terrible waste of talent, and of public money. Almost 46,000 of the 151,281 applications were made after the cut-off point with staff unable to process applications quickly enough, leaving students unable to pay bills and travel to college or university. SAAS claims that all 105,405 students who applied before July have had their applications processed, but there may still be backlogs in the SLC issuing payments. The Scottish Government have said 95 per cent of the applications received this academic year have already been processed. Students have taken to social media platforms to vent their anger at the Scottish Government and staff at SAAS with some students told to resubmit forms because of minor errors. One student on Twitter said: “Got my form sent away AGAIN for SAAS tomorrow and maybe get it sorted at least for next month.” Labour MSP Neil Findlay branded the situation “rather shambolic.” Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, he said: “It is very disturbing that so far into the university term such a significant number of students still have no money to live on.” Liam McArthur, education spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said: “It is inexcusable that thousands of students do not yet have the loans and bursaries they need to pay for food and rent.” On 1 November, Russell responded to the debacle by asking SAAS to “pull out all the stops and ensure the remaining four per cent of late applications are dealt with urgently.” Russell’s request saw SAAS stay open until 8pm last week with weekend shifts also in operation to try to clear the backlog, claiming more than 1,000 applications were being processed every day. McArthur has since submitted a written question “To ask the Scottish Government how many claims for student funding from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland still to be processed as at 1 November 2012 were received (a) before 30 June 2012 and (b) between 30 June and 1 September 2012.” SAAS’ failure to process applications on time has led to a number of students to explore discretionary fund and crisis loan options with some students forced to leave their course.


NUS Scotland

CASE STUDIES / How SAAS delays affect students

“Everyday I’m Russeling” COMMENT

Are hardship funds abused? Claire McKay

For three years I drank only Frosty

Jack’s; I went to Marks & Spencer only on a Sunday evening when everything had been discounted and I fell prey to countless other student clichés. That was until I discovered Glasgow University’s best kept secret: the Higher Education Institution (HEI) discretionary fund, also known as the hardship fund. For those who have yet to be enlightened, this is a non-repayable grant, courtesy of your university. All you have to do is fill out a few forms (and provide every shred of personal information which testifies that you are enduring financial difficulties) and you are onto a winner. Surely a few eyebrows must have been raised when my bank statement went under the microscope? £355 in Topshop; £50 in Greggs; £120 on Amazon, reducing my once handsome balance to a frightening £-1200. Okay, so ‘student’ doesn’t usually equate to ‘economist’ (even for the economics students) but this was blatant frivolity. When I received a letter in the post a number of weeks later bearing the University of Glasgow stamp I prepared myself for the ‘sorry you’re not a winner’ line, but instead I was informed that I had been awarded precisely £592. And so the vicious spending cycle began again! Only bigger and better! Now, as a graduate, I find the concept of being

handed a gift of £592 to be inconceivable. If that miracle ever were to occur my younger self would surely look on in disgust as I took that money straight to the bank to be devoured by my overdraft. The truth is, there are students who need the HEI discretionary fund. For some it may be the difference between being able to pay rent for the next couple of months and being sent back to mum and dad’s house. However, for many it’s merely a ticket for the ‘banter bus’ to Avoriaz for the uni ski trip, or “necessary beer dollar” as one applicant boasted on Facebook. Certain friends feel very strongly about this misuse of university generosity and despite being eligible candidates, refuse to apply. One postgraduate student told The Journal: “Most people that apply don’t have a job and have never even tried to get a job - it should be a last resort, a lot of them are just expectant and blow it on one big purchase, therefore landing them back to where they started.” At the end of the day, times are hard for students. Fees are constantly rising, SAAS and student loans will one day have to be repaid and competition is fierce for menial part-time jobs. Sometimes it’s difficult not to feel a little short-changed by the institution of education. The HEI discretionary fund is a bit of a hidden gem, a little bit of help with no strings attached. And for those who do spend it all in one shop, they can look forward to months of baked beans after one week of I found out the hard way.

Leigh Douglas was a first year student studying Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen who had to drop out due to funding being held up by SAAS. “I have had to leave my course at university because funding is nonexistent; I was still waiting for money and was struggling without money and the uncertainty. “Trying to get answers about what is going on was impossible, I am now back at square one and having to put off university for another year. “Not even my MP could get answers even after taking it to the Chief Executive of SAAS. “The service from SAAS has been abysmal this year, Although I understand the pressure of trying to get a record number of Scottish students processed in time, there is no excuse for leaving students in the dark. “There needs to be an investigation about what has happened and what lessons can be learned for next year. But I am certainly unhappy at the moment as you can imagine.” Dean Fyffe, an HNC social sciences student at Angus College has been experiencing problems getting his application for funding processed through SAAS. “SAAS hasn’t paid me yet and I am facing homelessness due to my inability to pay board money to my parents, I have been forced to apply for part time night time jobs when I already can’t work on my days off due to care responsibilities. “I submitted all my income details and everything I needed for my SAAS application before I started my course, when I didn’t receive my funding on time I phoned them about it and they promised it would be in my bank account for the next week. “The money never came, and alas I ended up having to phone them back for a few weeks, I kept getting knocked back until they said ‘next month’ around September. “Now in November I got a call saying that due to one of my parents filling in the word ‘zero’ instead of the number ‘0’ my application had been disregarded entirely and now I need to send in a replacement form which could see my funding put back to December at least. “Meanwhile I’ve had to put myself in a lot of debt in my current house hold with having no money at all, had to look for a job and had to apply for several emergency funding options from the college just to be able to afford to get to college and feed myself.”

Postgraduate Open Day

11am-4pm: Friday, 9 November 2012 To register for the event go to: The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401

For further details about postgraduate study opportunities go to:

Leeds S Griffin tudent sp 4 / STUDENT NEWS eaks t , leade o Nick r of th eB NUS condemn student paper over NP Griffin

The Journal

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He mbers fand ppilago hatstule here w g chil alongside not to police what with years nt Student the Griffin interp t of hare t y loin e fe c t i o the sta in who mthree Sinn d r e n , e a ke r eteros rate the fact ly get what t actic and a b had a strate hs WouLeeds, tisview. n s an d F ld t o u t ic e e h dents read; we know that stua BNP candidate was To read the full n r h in x y t g s d e a ’t h e o u y As li t is interview, e re d p show. d w at u ask t al peo wa t t e wou newspapers ef, followin hem tto eoEuropean realso You re to o peare ple - aenough gards elected ple. we find ndents intelligent the go to the paper’s website at www. r g ld be h s h e a f w a e t t c d o e r t u q w h r sa th t e y ou u stio e d to e sight h so b an k r the n? ingof t of it, ethe the H creepymake - buminds. upted id, that B iteParliament. up nly, it e resWhilst of ttheir t EU “ wo m own it w views .T rit shortly w ”, why olocaust as law fo . yea s only poli as an indig asn’t the problem hat’s just a fa en kisswas th r b c e u r id c ? y m n s t s , whic Y M a ny h still for many m ous w onster, but ou may thin. What’s m ed to believ s me to say at? w look a e wasn’t in , a o w ha k n w u pr incip i ll d i s ag re e d y I ld h ’m an d w t racist. of this interview, the ‘Leeds w it le hat I b y I changed t I Britain be in an Isla what your f a hat we b ehind t he h L eed s St Student’ states that the “paper e my li a m . t e e ic v AarontKiely e republi u d e nt now. James for puthat we live in a demomann live in a dem decision to is c of Gre e n proud e r of o p b h r o li in a c s lgh ratic s h gt t t his is f ree i nand o ciety cratic h s i n we can ick Gr pinio We areNappalled byn the deci, and t society, ter vie dom o ithat if f in is and ide as. w ls o‘Leeds hatchallenge f . s H p an ele elec te Student’ openly and debate all sionaof – an we c an e e ch . c te d M d to t h This p owe ve r, t he op enlyand s avoustudent e E of Leeds EP, manner of opinion a official r y to s society chaideas.” t o re llenge p er is prou a y t h e u r o p e a n Pa a n d t h r e e y d le turn electe an d d e University Union – to eBNP le aspublish ars agstands for the elimd mem nge d t t, w he rliament. The b a o in L te a ll Thougof the o ju be t her w ination e e ds, a and an interview with Nick Griffin, h t he democracy e like We w h stif y t heir rs into polit B N v it P ie vie ws, ic o or n ot ws of the Leeds candid le all freedoms that leader of the fascist British h li e ce wh ar tedly includ al of f ice. It t his pa , t he y at e w at is imp hto avesupport. Student claims National Party (BNP), on their suf f icie r ty may b e as own m students re defend Gr if ing t he BNP o r t a nt in . f in a u that all nt lo c We should always remember website. al sup n- inter v i ds. We are a d and b elie v s’ r ig ht to par tie p b e e s a re c p o e ws. A ll s s tu d ap e r w r t an h e that the millions of people who We demand that the Editor a r hald. This e nt s a ith a p s tu d e n d t he f re inte p rou d h re e d om a ts w ho p died at the hands of the Nazis’ of ‘Leeds Student’ remove er is n lligent istor y b elie v to sp e o t e h n o e o f r e a k t he u e r slaughter – in the gas chambers this offensive interview that ir min in t he f re e epor ting co g h to make to p odo ds will nt u and the concentration camps – gives a platform to a fascist supp o m of press, roversial st p t heir o r t t he did not die because their debatimmediately. pr intin t he f re e dom ries and g of t h ing skills or arguments were not In the interview itself Nick is inte to t hin k r vie w. powerful enough. Griffin defends the fact that he

“ ”

We fin d sight o the f men k two is creepy sing

“ ”

Student newspaper published its second interview with Griffin in six years

Don’t w the BN riteThe rationale P off, do n write ’t Nick G riffin

Leeds Student explain their decision to publish

Codemand The NUS call for retraction mme nt

has shared a platform with the Ku Klux Klan – a white supremacist organisation responsible for attacks on and lynching of Black people in the US. The BNP is a fascist organisation which stands for an “all white Britain”, a goal which can only be achieved by violence, the annihilation of entire groups of people and the ending of democracy. Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist BNP is a convicted Holocaust denier. In justifying the publication

They died because once fascism had abused the democratic system to get its grip on power it soon closed down any freedoms to prevent any resistance. That is why we must never give a platform to fascists anywhere in the student movement. In publishing this interview the ‘Leeds Student’ risks giving legitimacy to a fascist organisation, and boosts the BNP’s attempts to join the political mainstream when we should be isolating them.


As The Journal went to press, sources suggested that the National Union of Students would imminently respond to George Galloway’s claim that a recent NEC motion which branded him a “rape denier” was defamatory. For more on this story, visit the website.

The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012


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Activists block Israeli ambassador’s talk The Journal’s photographers capture tense scenes at Edinburgh University, as protesters derail Israeli diplomat’s lecture Chris Rubey


Tensions were running high between academics, student societies and campus activists at the University of Edinburgh last week, after pro-Palestinian campaigners successfully prevented Israeli ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub from delivering a planned lecture to a select audience of students and staff. The 25 October talk, jointly organised by societies and the university’s politics department, was brought to a halt moments after it began, after protesters from Edinburgh Students for Justice in Palestine gained access to the event, despite unusually tight security at the venue in the Old Medical School. Dozens more staged a protest outside. SJP campaigners argue that Ambassador Taub’s presence at the university risked ‘normalising’ the Israeli government’s controversial policy towards region’s Palestinian population, which they claim amounts to “ethnic cleansing.” Professor Mark Aspinwall, head of the politics department, has publicly condemned the protesters in an email to students. SJP have since demanded that he apologise for the remarks. Photography by Chris Rubey and Malgosia Stelmaszyk.

Students for Justice in Palestine demonstrate vociferously Malgosia Stelmaszyk

Chris Rubey

SJP leader Liam O’Hare (left) and EUSA observer, VP Max Crema (centre)

The protests attracted all age groups

Malgosia Stelmaszyk


Israeli ambassador protest: as it happened The Israeli Ambassador’s talk was heavily policed

For full reporting and analysis of last week’s protest against Ambassador Taub’s visit, log on to the website.

Debate: is speech free? In light of the Taub row, Nick Griffin’s latest controversy and NUS’ faceoff with George Galloway, The Journal explores the limits of free speech.

Profile: Amb. Daniel Taub Callum Leslie meets the controversial diplomat




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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

Erasmus future under Police survey city threat after budget warning student safety fears €9 billion EU budget shortfall may lead to cuts in exchange programme Biggest worry is getting home from a night out Rebecca Day Student News editor

The future of the Erasmus

student exchange programme is under threat as the European Parliament is forced to cover a 9 billion deficit in the 2012 EU budget. If the EU fails to produce this money the future of many of its funding programmes, including Erasmus, will be left at risk. The problem is due to a miscalculation of government funds available for the coming year. The EU budget also has to cover shortfalls of 5 billion left over from the 2011 EU budget. The European Commission, Council and Parliament have all been in talks over how to bridge the deficit, but they are yet to reach an agreement. The budget deficit should not affect students who plan to go abroad in the first semester of 2012-13. However, if the money is not found to cover the shortfall, funds from the 2013 budget will be taken to supplement the loss. If the programme continues to experience shortfalls, universities will be forced to make the choice between limiting the amount of spaces available for students on Erasmus, or reducing the grant on

offer. This would mean students from more disadvantaged backgrounds would struggle to find the means to fund the exchange programme. The president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso (pictured, right), said: “This is not about the Commission asking for more money but about Member States honouring the commitments they have made: to provide uninterrupted funding to students under the Erasmus programme or to poorer regions through the Cohesion Funds. These payments are essential to revive growth and create jobs throughout the EU.” The proposed cuts have triggered an outcry among students across Europe, eager to defend the exchange programme that shaped such happy memories for many. Facebook groups including “Save the Erasmus programme” and “Save Erasmus Project” have promoted petitions and social media protests. Fiona Muirhead, who studied in Valencia, Spain with Erasmus, spoke to the The Journal about her disappointment at the proposed cuts. She said: “I think it would be an awful shame if the Erasmus body cut the number of applicants. “Speaking from experience it was

Guillaume Paumier

Keira Murray Local News editor

Strathclyde Police have con-

the best year of my life, I developed so much culturally and linguistically. I was able to explore Spain, not just as a tourist, but as a resident. The grant which we received really aided that. “You can’t live in a country, you can’t appreciate all that the country has to offer and realise how different it is from your own without financial means. “It saddens me to think that future generations may have to miss out on this opportunity because of money.”

ducted a poll regarding student safety in Glasgow. Released on their Facebook page, the poll asked students living in Glasgow what their fears were regarding their safety. 65 per cent of the participants concluded that their greatest worry was getting home safely from a night out. Also, 13 per cent of participants said that personal safety on a night out was also a worry. This survey is part of the Student Safety Campaign that Strathclyde Police have instigated to help combat crime in Glasgow. The initiative gives advice to students on how to be safe on nights out, at home, online and when they are out and about. With approximately 8,000 police officers and 2,600 police staff working round the clock, Strathclyde Police is Scotland’s largest police force, and one of the biggest in the UK. Information on student safety located in the Keep Safe section of the Strathclyde Police website, gives detailed suggestions to students and people in general on how they are able to stay safe. The website also looks at specific areas in Glasgow and how they have targeted problems that

particularly affect their area. There is also a dedicated section providing advice on how to ‘Party Safe’. Even though safety outwith student halls is the greatest concern of students, the third highest result obtained that 8 per cent of students feel that leaving their personal possessions in their accommodation is a big worry. With the majority of first years choosing to stay in student accommodation, it is a concern leaving hundreds of pounds worth of valuables in a flat with people you do not know very well. The poll also concluded that 7 per cent of students worried about their personal safety when travelling to and from college or university as well as worrying about the safety of their vehicles. Sarah Solaja, a fourth-year Pharmacy student at Strathclyde University said that her biggest worry was regarding the lack of taxis outside clubs after a night out. She said: ‘As a student, my primary concerns are about safety when I leave a club at three in the morning. There are a severe lack of taxis outside so often I have had to walk home alone. Also, even when I am walking down the street near my flat and it is dark, I feel a bit uneasy as the streets are not very well lit.’

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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

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USSA bans bake sales citing ‘commercial interests’ Societies vow to defy ban on fundraising inside the union building, which some say is intended to protect Starbucks profits Gary Paterson Student Politics editor

Students at Strathclyde Univer-

sity have been banned from fundraising on union premises when it conflicts with the student association’s commercial interests. The University of Strathclyde Students’ Association (USSA) confirmed at its sabbatical Question Time event on 25 October that the number of bake sales previously taking place in the union building on John Street was a threat to the association’s Starbucks venture on Level 6. USSA president, Malcolm Moir, responded to questions on the student association’s position on services and society fundraising on its premises including the cake sale ban and the association’s partnership with Starbucks after the coffee giant’s tax avoidance in the UK became public knowledge. Moir said: “Unfortunately we had to take a stance, and I do say unfortunately because I understand a lot of them do generate income from bake sales, that we don’t do this when it’s in direct competition with The Priory. “As far as I am aware there is nothing to say from our use of the contract with Starbucks that we can’t do that, but the association’s stance is that although we are a charity, we need to be smart about our business in order to keep running all of our services. “We need to [be] clever so that we can absolutely continue to survive

so that our commercial services can survive.” Despite the ban, Moir countered that USSA was offering support to facilitate bake sales in other locations and suggested other possible funding opportunities for groups and societies who regularly raise funds to support their activities and end of year social events because of lack of support from the association. He said: “I am also of the opinion that we should be trying to raise money elsewhere other than our own students living off of their student loans, we should be able to go out and generate donations from the public.” Asked whether USSA was losing significant funds through students’ bake sales, Moir indicated it was no longer a problem since the ban was brought in to eradicate “very close to one or two [bake sales] a week”. Students questioned the legitimacy of the union and have predicted a backlash to the decision with a call to continue to raise funds by selling cakes in the union. Stuart Davidson said: “The union hasn’t been for the students since we were in first year, it’s just something for business students to put on their CV. None of them actually give a shit about it at all. Hence why it has dived in popularity in the past 4 years.” He later added: “Rather than getting pissed off about it...hold bake sales every other week, they aren’t gonna stop us, they aren’t gonna kick us out of our own

Students still in the dark over CitySA democracy Full election results remain unpublished John Gaughan

City of Glasgow College Students’ Association (CitySA) continue to keep students in the dark over democracy in student elections. The association announced results for their student executive elections on 26 October but failed to publish the full results amid poor student turnout. Despite the allowance for 15 executive officers, just 11 positions were open for nomination attracting a total of 2,239 ballots. CitySA president Mark Farmer has come under fire from liberation groups and students over a decision to have two general equalities officers rather than specific liberation representative on the executive. Colleen Brandon, leader of the Liberate Us campaign group at City of Glasgow College said: “It would appear that our student president is being directed by management of the college and not by the students. “He was elected to be the voice of students on and off campus, and he

should be working with college management to get things changed for us, to try [to] give us the college that we want, but this is clearly not the case. “I emailed Mark a month ago, saying how strongly myself and our campaign felt about replacing the equalities executive officers with specific liberation executive members, but I am yet to receive a response.” The association has also been dogged by low participation rates in democracy on campus which has also seen little contest for positions, while little appears to have been done to support students attending NUS’ national demo in London later this month. Brandon added: “With a college of 30,000 students I find it quite shocking that only 2,239 votes were received. “I have wrote on the City of Glasgow College Facebook wall a few times now asking if we shall be attending DEMO2012. “A motion was passed at NUS national conference in April this year, but there has been no action

building.” Moir, who has been in position since July, confirmed that students were not consulted with the decision being made by the USSA executive, but offered no evidence to prove it had been a problem in recent years. He said: “It’s not a policy, it’s a decision made by the executive that we will not be doing it. For example if some students came in with a pot of soup and started selling soup when we sold it in The Scene, we would not allow that to be in direct competition with The Scene.” With one of the biggest association buildings in the UK, USSA operates commercial services on several floors ranging from bars to The Priory cafe bar with products bought from Starbucks, a choice reportedly made by students and has proved successful with income of around £800 per day with surplus going back to students.

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Strathclyde student anger over timetabling debacle Students told to change courses to avoid clashes, weeks after term starts Colm Currie

History students at the University of Strathclyde have been told to change courses to avoid timetable clashes. More than a dozen third year history and politics students have been unable to attend lectures due to clashes with compulsory modules despite their course choices being verified in April. The issue was raised at the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association (USSA) Question Time on 25 October with student leaders claiming to be unaware of a problem, despite class representatives contacting the vice president education at the beginning of October and providing follow-up information. At the event, USSA president, Malcolm Moir, said that it was “shocking” and “unacceptable”, but also stated that it was the first time he had heard about the issue. on arranging transport for students to attend the most important activist campaigns this year. “I sincerely hope that I won’t be the City of Glasgow College student attending DEMO2012 and urge CitySA to make it possible for all City students to have their voices heard.” Among the candidates were former executives who won re-election on the executive with Sanjay Lago returning for a second term as an equalities executive with former charities executive Sumbal Yaseen returned as the general executive officer. Former vice president activities Gulnasheen Shahid and former environmental and campaigns executive officer Peter Hobson were both unsuccessful as they stood for events and social and communication and media executive respectively. CitySA maintained their public silence when asked to comment.

Gerry McDonnell, co-convener of the Mature Students’ Association and a class rep for both courses, said: “Class reps are an extension of the union. We bring issues to the executive in the hope that they will do something about them.” McDonnell has had to record the lectures for fellow students who were unable to attend both, but did not expect to be doing it four weeks after the issue was raised. With teaching space diminished as a result of the James Weir fire, timetabling has been a difficult issue for the university with students displaced to Cineworld and the union building on John Street. USSA Vice president education, Rebecca Maxwell Stuart, gave no indication of a response from the university. She said: “Since the James Weir fire, two of our rooms are being used as teaching spaces: Debates chamber and Vertigo.

“I have been working closely with the timetabling team and directing students to talk to them if they have any issues. “I have sent communications to the university, and the student reps of these courses have raised their concerns to the department.” Speaking to The Journal, Moir said: “Although timetabling is a university issue, here at USSA we are determined to help students who are faced with timetabling issues as much as possible. “I would like to take this opportunity to ask that students who are having timetabling issues, and who have spoken to their departments and faculties but not seen any changes, to contact myself or our vice president education so that we can raise problems with senior university staff.” None of the affected students have opted to change courses due to the amount of additional work required to catch up. Katharina Dziacko


Open Day

Friday 23 November 2012 To register online and find out more, please visit:

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336

The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

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Yunus installed as Caledonian chancellor Nobel laureate economist and founder of Grameen Bank is formally appointed to succeed Lord Macdonald of Tradeston Rebecca Day Student News editor

Nobel peace prize laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has been officially installed as Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), succeeding journalist, broadcaster and politician Lord Macdonald of Tradeston. The ceremony was held on 26 Otober and was attended by over 350 guests, including staff and students as well as representatives from international universities and local and national government. The ceremony was held at The Saltire Centre. Yunus’s daughter Monica, a New York-based opera star, also performed at the ceremony, along with musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Yunus won his peace prize for establishing Grameen Bank in 2006. The company developed the concept of micro credit and microfinance; loans which are given to entrepreneurs too poor for traditional bank loans. Micro lending aims at alleviating poverty in the third world. The model has subsequently been copied in 100 countries throughout the world, including the U.S. Prof Yunus said of his new role at GCU: “Being installed as chancellor is a very happy occasion for me. As a teacher and then as founder of Grameen Bank, I have always worked alongside young people. Because of this, I feel I have an easy connection

Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz

with them. “This has been a historic day for Glasgow Caledonian University,” said vice-principal Professor Pamela Gillies. “The appointment of Prof Yunus, who is a world thought-leader in social business and a global anti-poverty campaigner, underlines not only our enduring commitment to the common good, but our status as a globally networked institution”. Yunus already has a well-established business relationship with GCU. In March, Yunus launched Grameen Scotland foundation, a charity aimed at helping those living below the poverty line. In 2010, he opened the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing in Bangladesh, in order to raise training standards of nursing to an International level. “I look forward to building on the fruitful relationship that has already been established and has produced benefits which are helping to improve the quality of life for people in both our countries,” Yunus added. “As Chancellor, I will share my experiences and make them see there’s nothing unusual in what I do and that they can do that too.” Originally from Bangladesh, has long had a fraught relationship with his country’s government, including a 2011 effort by the government to remove him from his position at the Grameen Bank.

Grameen Bank brings Study: exercise before microfinance to Scotland breakfast is better Microcredit bank was founded by new Caledonian chancellor Yunus Ben Cohen Staff writer

Pioneering microfinance specialist Grameen Bank have

announced plans to provide microloans to entrepreneurs in the most deprived areas of Scotland. Tesco Bank will provide £500,000 of the loan capital for what will be Grameen’s first venture in the UK under the guise of the Grameen Scotland Foundation. The Grameen Scotland Foundation will oversee the running of Grameenstyle lending in Scotland, originally devised by Nobel Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus, the new Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University. Prof Yunus said: “I’m not saying change all business – I say give people an option. Poor people need to be given the right opportunities to be able to succeed in their own lives and this is what Grameen helps them to do. “We must encourage people to envision their own futures and once that is done find out how to get there — once a person has a vision, it can be made real, and this is what the Grameen Scotland Foundation will work to achieve.”

The Grameen micro-lending system has helped lift millions of people out of poverty worldwide since its inception in 1983. The idea sprung from an earlier ‘experiment’ when the then university lecturer gave $27 of his own money to 42 workers who were in debt to loan sharks. The loans, which were secured by agreeing social contracts, saved the workers from punitive interest repayments which allowed them to support their families better. The Scottish foundation has already attracted significant backing with £100,000 each from the Scottish Government and philanthropist Ann Gloag (pictured, right) and aims to attract £1 million of funding in its first year. The bank will also offer savings accounts and business support for aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to start businesses. The initial Grameen pilot scheme will serve Glasgow, North Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde, four of the five most deprived communities in Scotland. Dr Martin Cheyne, chair of the Grameen Scotland Foundation, said:

University Glasgow scientists claim exercising on an empty stomach is better for your health Ben Cohen​ Staff writer

Exercising before breakfast is

“Professor Yunus has already demonstrated that this model of microfinance works in many different economies. “It is about more than simply money — Grameen can lift people out of unemployment, improve health and give families a real opportunity to be independent.” Prof Yunus and the Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for the bank’s anti-poverty work. It now operates in 38 countries — with similar models functioning in around 60 more — and has made more than 100 million loans.

better for you than exercising afterwards, scientists at the University of Glasgow have unveiled. Dr Jason Gill and Nor Farah of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences made their findings after a study to compare the effects of exercise performed before and after breakfast on fat loss and metabolic health. Dr Gill said: “Any exercise you do is beneficial, but the indications are that there might be an extra benefit associated with exercising before eating, compared to after. “However, further study is needed to determine whether the present findings extend over the long term. “In the end, we would like to encourage everyone to do some form of exercise everyday – the difference between exercising before compared to after breakfast was much smaller than the difference between exercising at either time compared to not exercising at all.” Ten overweight men who were not

regular exercisers took part in the study. Each man underwent three trials, upto two weeks apart involving performing no exercise then eating breakfast; walking briskly for 60 minutes before eating breakfast; or doing the same walk after eating breakfast. Participants were given lunch threeand-a-half hours after breakfast and the amount of fat their body burned, and the levels of fat, sugars and insulin in the blood were measured over an eight-and-a-half hour period on each occasion. Over the course of the day with no exercise the men were left with an average of 49kcal unburnt fat, while exercising after breakfast burned 216kcal more of fat on average than the control trial. The most effective result was found when exercising before breakfast, which burned 298kcal more than the control results. The results indicated that both timings of exercise increased fat burning over the day and improved the metabolic profile in the blood. But, exercise before breakfast resulted in greater fat loss and larger reductions in the level of fat in the blood.

P R O P E R T Y L I S T I N G S P R O V I D E D BY W W W. C I T Y L E T S . CO. U K


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Govan Napier Place, 395, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 3504 Golspie Street, 450, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 3504 Govan Road, 450, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 3504 Paisley Road West, 475, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Wanlock Street, 495, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 3504 Wanlock Street, 575, , 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 3774

Govanhill Dixon Avenue, 675, , 4, , 0844 635 0300 Dixon Avenue, 575, , 3, , 0844 635 0300 Dixon Avenue, 450, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Eglinton Street, 475, , 2, , 0844 635 9350 Garturk Street, 475, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 9584 Garturk Street, 475, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 9398 Allison Street, 495, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 9584 Bowman Street, 495, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Annette Street, 295, , 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 8716 Govanhill Street, 300, , 1, , 0844 635 9440 Allison Street, 385, , 1, , 0844 635 3894 Calder Street, 395, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Allison Street, 400, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Langside Road, 400, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 0072

Hillhead Oakfield Avenue, 1920, , 6, 6D G CG P, 0844 635 9378 Bank Street, 1300, , 4, 4D G CG O, 0844 635 3504 Kersland Street, 775, , 3, , 0844 635 9350 Gibson Street, 895, , 3, 3D G CG O, 0844 635 3504 Alfred Terrace, 999, , 3, 3D G, 0844 635 9596 Hillpark Drive, 450, , 2, 2D P, 0844 635 8716 Lawrence Street, 750, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9378 Hillhead - Otago Street - Furnished, 795, , 2, , 0844 635 6350 Hillhead - Otago Street - Unfurnsihed, 795, , 2, , 0844 635 6350 Hillhead Street, 795, , 2, , 0844 635 3342 Otago Street, 450, , 1, 1D G CG Z, 0844 635 3504

Hyndland Hyndland Road, 1300, , 4, , 0844 635 9346 Hughenden Gardens, 850, , 3, , 0844 635 9346 Falkland Street, 1095, , 3, , 0844 635 9346 Clarence Gardens, 550, , 2, , 0844 635 1986 Polwarth Street, 625, , 2, , 0844 635 1986 Blairathol Gardens, 725, , 2, 2D G CG Z, 0844 635 9364 Dudley Drive, 750, , 2, 2D G PG O, 0844 635 9446 Dudley Drive, 550, , 1, G CG O, 0844 635 3714 Dudley Drive, 575, , 1, , 0844 635 3342 Airlie Street, 595, , 1, , 0844 635 3342 Chancellor Street, 695, , 1, 2D G, 0844 635 3328 Clarence Drive, 890, , 1, 3D G P, 0844 635 0048 Devonshire Terrace, 895, , 1, , 0844 635 9350


Copland Road, 560, , 3, 3D G O, 0844 635 6372

Agent phone number

Buccleuch Street, 750, 2, 2D W CG Z, 0870 062 9434

Bedrooms Monthly Rent Location

Brand Street, 575, , 3, , 0844 635 9348 Paisley Road West, 395, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 4826 Copland Road, 400, , 1, G O, 0844 635 4826 Merrick Gardens, 450, , 1, CG O, 0844 635 9396 Porter Street, 550, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 6372

Jordanhill Southbrae Drive, 1750, , 5, , 0844 635 1986 Seggielea Road, 550, , 2, , 0844 635 1986 Northland Avenue, 575, , 2, , 0844 635 9346

Kelvindale Kelvindale - Dorchester Avenue - Furnished, 575, , 3, , 0844 635 6350 Chesterfield Avenue, 995, , 3, G PG P, 0844 635 9372 Dorchester Avenue, 475, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 4826 Kelvindale - Fortingall Avenue, 475, , 2, , 0844 635 6350 Fortingall Avenue, 525, , 2, 1S 1D E O, 0844 635 9368 Kelvindale Road, 550, , 2, 2D E CG P, 0844 635 3506 Bellshaugh Road, 875, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 9364 Great Western Road, 1250, , 2, , 0844 635 3342 Fortingall Place, 450, , 1, , 0844 635 9346 Fortingall Avenue, 475, , 1, 1D W CG O, 0844 635 9368

Kelvinside Kelvindale Gardens, 550, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Wyndham Court, 795, , 2, , 0844 635 3342 South Woodside Road, 450, , 1, 1D W O, 0844 635 0274

Kinning Park Plantation Park Gardens, 550, , 3, , 0844 635 9346 Plantation Park Gardens, 675, , 3, , 0844 635 9346 Milnpark Gardens, 475, , 2, 2D E CG P, 0844 635 9226 Milnpark Gardens, 495, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Paisley Road West, 495, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Milnpark Gardens, 525, , 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 0072 Paisley Road, 395, , 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 8716

Langside Millbrae Road, 875, , 3, , 0844 635 9346 Cartside Street, 520, , 2, 2D G, 0844 635 4471 Cartvale Road, 550, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 2154 Overdale Gardens, 575, , 2, , 0844 635 0300 Lochleven Road, 595, , 2, 2D G, 0844 635 9566 Mansionhouse Gardens, 450, , 1, , 0844 635 9346

Linthouse Peninver Drive, 525, , 3, , 0844 635 9346 Drive Road, 550, , 3, G CG O, 0844 635 9232 Hutton Drive, 475, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 8716 Govan Road, 595, , 2, G PG O, 0844 635 9230 Burghead Place, 345, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 4826




Sandbank Avenue, 450, , 2, , 0844 635 9346

Cumlodden Drive, 475, , 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9230 Sandbank Avenue, 495, , 2, , 0844 635 9348 Sandbank Drive, 495, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 2216 Maryhill - Maryhill Road, 525, , 2, , 0844 635 6350 Shuna Street, 550, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Lochburn Gate, 595, , 2, , 0844 635 9348 Firhill Road, 599, , 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 9230

Merchant City

Bedrooms: Heating: Garden: Parking: Furniture:

Stewartville Street, 525, , 1, E P, 0844 635 9372

Pollokshields Mcculloch Street, 725, , 4, , 0844 635 1986 Maxwell Drive, 450, , 3, 1S 2D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Glencairn Drive, 1000, , 3, 3D G CG O, 0844 635 9364 Nithsdale Street, 410, , 1, , 0844 635 9346

Queens Park

Charlotte Street, 550, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9398 South Frederick Street, 695, , 2, W, 0844 635 9372 Montrose Street, 775, , 2, 2D E O, 0844 635 9354 College Street, 850, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Montrose Street, 895, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Blackfriars Court Flat, 505, , 1, W, 0844 635 9396 Blackfriars Road, 525, , 1, 1D E CG, 0844 635 3786 Saltmarket Place, 525, , 1, , 0844 635 1986 Wilson Street, 525, , 1, , 0844 635 9346 Albion Gate, 550, , 1, 1D P, 0844 635 9368 Candleriggs, 560, , 1, , 0844 635 9348 Wilson Street, 575, , 1, 1D E Z, 0844 635 9364 Albion Street, 620, , 1, E, 0844 635 9396 Merchant City, 620, , 1, E, 0844 635 9372 Ingram Street, 625, , 1, , 0844 635 1986 Hutcheson Street, 650, , 1, G, 0844 635 9596 Hutcheson Street, 750, , 1, , 0844 635 1986

Albert Avenue, 395, , 2, , 0844 635 9350 Langside Road, 475, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Pollokshaws Road, 475, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9454 Balvicar Street, 525, , 2, , 0844 635 1986 Albert Avenue, 575, , 2, , 0844 635 1986 Albert Avenue, 600, , 2, , 0844 635 1986 Balvicar Street, 625, , 2, G CG P, 0844 635 9372 Niddrie Road, 330, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 3504 Prince Edward Street, 395, , 1, 1D G PG O, 0844 635 3504 Westmoreland Street, 395, , 1, 1D, 0844 635 9566

Mount Florida

Liddoch Way, 495, , 3, , 0844 635 9348 Cambuslang Road, 395, , 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 9584 Ewing Street, 395, , 1, , 0844 635 9346 Main Street, 395, , 1, G CG Z, 0844 635 9396 Mill Court, 395, , 1, , 0844 635 9348

Prospecthill Road, 450, , 3, 1S 2D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Bolton Drive, 500, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Bolton Drive, 400, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9398 Bolton Drive, 450, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Prospecthill Grove, 520, , 1, PG O, 0844 635 9372

North KelvinPark Lynedoch Place, 1450, , 4, , 0844 635 3342 Thurso Street, 1192, , 2, , 0844 635 9350 Park Circus, 1895, , 2, 2D G PG, 0844 635 2422 Thurso Street, 456, , 1, , 0844 635 9350 Thurso Street, 580, , 1, , 0844 635 9350 Woodlands Gate, 595, , 1, 1D G CG P, 0844 635 3504

Parkhead Burgher Street, 395, , 2, , 0844 635 9348 Quarrybrae Street, 395, , 1, , 0844 635 9348

Partick Lawrie Street, 595, , 2, 2D G PG O, 0844 635 9368 Ferry Road, 600, , 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 9440 Crow Road, 625, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 3506 Beith Street, 645, , 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 4826 Gardner Street, 695, , 2, , 0844 635 3342 Thornwood Avenue, 425, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 3762 Crathie Drive, 430, , 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 0048 Dowanhill Street, 475, , 1, 1D W CG O, 0844 635 3714 Merkland Street, 525, , 1, , 0844 635 9348

Riddrie Gadie Street, 475, , 2, 2D G PG O, 0844 635 9542 Girvan Street, 475, , 2, , 0844 635 9348 Lethamhill Road, 495, , 2, , 0844 635 9348 Loretto Street, 500, , 2, , 0844 635 0830


Scotstoun Dumbarton Road, 450, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Larchfield Avenue, 450, , 2, , 0844 635 9348 Dumbarton Road, 465, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9398 Dumbarton Road, 495, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 3504 Northland Drive, 525, , 2, , 0844 635 9348 Plean Street, 450, , 1, 1D G, 0844 635 4471

Shawlands Pleasance Street, 650, , 3, , 0844 635 1612 Deanston Drive, 475, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9542 Pollokshaws Road, 495, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9440 Skirving Street, 495, , 2, , 0844 635 9350 Woodford Street, 500, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9440 Tantallon Road, 525, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 8716 Mannering Road, 550, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 0012 Strathyre Street, 550, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 8716 Barrland Street, 575, , 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 9470 Waverley Gardens, 575, , 2, 2D G O, 0844 635 9398 Ledard Road, 595, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 3714 Trefoil Avenue, 695, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 9470 Minard Road, 425, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 0072

S Single D Double T Twin B Box G Gas Central W White Meter E Electric PG Private CG Communal Z Zone O On-Street P Private UF Unfurnished

Kilmarnock Road, 430, , 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 8716 Bellwood Street, 450, , 1, , 0844 635 9350 Deanston Drive, 450, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9230 Minard Road, 450, , 1, G CG O, 0844 635 1872 Mannering Court, 475, , 1, , 0844 635 9346 Norham Street, 475, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Strathyre Street, 475, , 1, , 0844 635 9346 Springhill Gardens, 495, , 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 8716 Tassie Street, 495, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Strathyre Street, 500, , 1, 1D O, 0844 635 9364 Old Shettleston Road, 450, , 2, 2D E CG P, 0844 635 9542 Old Shettleston Road, 475, , 2, , 0844 635 9348 Dalveen Street, 500, , 2, G O, 0844 635 5642 Dalveen Street, 400, , 1, , 0844 635 9348

Southside Wallace Street, 695, , 3, 3D W CG P, 0844 635 4826 Craigie Street, 450, , 2, 2D, 0844 635 5525 Midlock Street, 475, , 2, 2D G, 0844 635 2422 White Cart Court, 500, , 1, 1D, 0844 635 9364

Springburn Springburn - Lenzie Place - Part Furnished, 495, , 3, , 0844 635 6350 Hillkirk Street Lane, 650, , 3, , 0844 635 9346 Galloway Street, 395, , 2, 2D G PG O, 0844 635 3328 Broomknowes Road, 475, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Spring Burn - Ashvale Crescent, 475, , 2, , 0844 635 6350 Midton Street, 525, , 2, , 0844 635 9348 Springburn Road, 550, , 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 9566 Barclay Street, 315, , 1, CG O, 0844 635 4467 Hillkirk Street Lane, 325, , 1, G O, 0844 635 9232 Springburn - Lenzie Way, 325, , 1, , 0844 635 6350

Strathbungo Nithsdale Drive, 475, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Pollokshaws Road, 495, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 0072 Pollokshaws Road, 595, , 2, , 0844 635 1986 Pollokshaws Road, 645, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Marywood Square, 675, , 2, 2D G PG O, 0844 635 9454 Marywood Square, 750, , 2, , 0844 635 3894

Summerston Tresta Road, 550, , 2, , 0844 635 9348 Lyne Drive, 455, , 1, 1D G PG P, 0844 635 4471

Thornwood Kennoway Drive, 450, , 1, 1D, 0844 635 3357 Kennoway Drive, 475, , 1, , 0844 635 9346 Kennoway Drive, 495, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 1872 Thornwood Avenue, 540, , 1, , 0844 635 9346

Tollcross Eversley Street, 450, , 2, 2D W P, 0844 635 9542

Quarrybrae Street, 450, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Tollcross - Tollcross Road, 450, , 2, , 0844 635 6350 Shettleston Road, 475, , 2, , 0844 635 0830 Tollcross Park View, 495, , 2, 2D G CG P, 0844 635 2287 Eckford Street, 380, , 1, , 0844 635 9350 Maukinfauld Road, 395, , 1, , 0844 635 9350 Tollcross Road, 395, , 1, 1D G O, 0844 635 9542

West End Southpark Avenue, 1575, , 5, 5D E O, 0844 635 9378 Argyle Street, 795, , 3, 3D G CG P, 0844 635 3504 Highburgh Road, 900, , 3, 3D G CG O, 0844 635 4826 North Gardner Street, 999, , 3, G CG O, 0844 635 9232 Kelvinside Terrace South, 1500, , 3, 3D G CG O, 0844 635 9364 Glasgow Harbour Terr, 695, , 2, 2D P, 0844 635 3708 Broomhill Drive, 700, , 2, 2D G, 0844 635 9364 Meadowside Quay Walk, 720, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Crow Road, 775, , 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 4826 Castlebank Drive, 799, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Wyndham Court, 825, , 2, 2D G P, 0844 635 2422 Kent Road, 850, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 3504 Wilton Street, 225, , 1, E, 0844 635 9446 Primrose Street, 425, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9470 Henderson Street, 450, , 1, 1D E CG O, 0844 635 9368 Amisfield Street, 495, , 1, 1D, 0844 635 5525 Caird Drive, 550, , 1, , 0844 635 9350 Kennoway Drive, 550, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 9370

Woodlands Arlington Street, 1500, , 5, 5D E O, 0844 635 9470 Woodlands Road, 1600, , 5, 5D, 0844 635 3357 Willowbank Crescent, 550, , 2, G CG O, 0844 635 9226 Woodlands - West Princes Street Furnished, 625, , 2, , 0844 635 6350 Willowbank Crescent, 675, , 2, 2D O, 0844 635 9364 West Princes Street, 695, , 2, 2D G CG O, 0844 635 3504 West Princes Street, 450, , 1, 1D G CG O, 0844 635 0072

Yorkhill Yorkhill Street, 550, , 2, , 0844 635 9346 Hastie Street, 625, , 2, , 0844 635 9350 Kelvingrove, 775, , 2, G PG O, 0844 635 9372 Kelvin Court, 1032, , 2, , 0844 635 9350 Kelvin Court, 456, , 1, , 0844 635 9350 Yorkhill Street, 525, , 1, , 0844 635 9350 Yorkhill Street, 575, , 1, W O, 0844 635 9372 Kelvin Court, 760, , 1, , 0844 635 9350



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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

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Heriot-Watt wrangle over representation for students on international campuses Rapid growth of university’s campuses in Dubai and Malaysia prompts HWUSU to seek representation reform Greg Bianchi News editor, Edinburgh

Heriot-Watt University Student Union (HWUSU) have

announced that they are to look into the possibility of allowing students at overseas campuses in Dubai and Malaysia to vote in union elections, while also allowing the Malaysia and Dubai presidents to sit on their executive committee in an observational capacity. In a statement to The Journal, Mike Ross, president of HWUSU, said: “In the not-too-distant future Heriot-Watt will have more students studying at overseas campuses than at its main campus in the UK. “If we do not take action to effectively join up student representation across all of our campuses then this will result in a weak student voice within the university at its highest levels.” This will be a novel plan as HeriotWatt seeks to include a number of students on study abroad schemes and also students linked with the university at overseas campuses.

In a set of briefing notes seen by The Journal HWUSU discussed at length the possibility of international representation for students. In the notes HWUSU anticipates that in the next five to eight years there will be more students based at Heriot-Watt international campuses than at UK-based campuses and at the present moment: “students at the Dubai campus are represented in a very informal manner…within the university as a whole.” As a result of these consultations the union has decided to take a number of actions; the student president from Dubai will be encouraged to take part in a live video call to the executive committee in order to “allow the Dubai president to request agenda items and present papers for the Executive to discuss”. Additional actions will be taken by the committee in order to further discuss the implementation of a student union in Malaysia and also to examine further the possibility of international voting across the Heriot-Watt campuses in time for the 2014-15 sabbatical officer elections.

Marcus Kernohan

Row over demolition of Bristol prof in world Sheffield Edwardian hospital record memory bid University of Sheffield in architectural faceoff with Victorian Society Ben Cohen Staff writer

The University of Sheffield’s plans to demolish a wing of a former hospital has been criticised by the Victorian Society. The society has claimed that demolishing the Edwardian wing of the old Jessop hospital will destroy the area’s heritage. James Hughes, a Victorian Society conservation adviser, said: “Not only would it be a great loss in itself, but it would cause substantial harm to the setting of the rest of Jessop Hospital. “This is because the building’s replacement, a new engineering block, fails to relate in scale or design to the listed Victorian building beside it.” Sheffield University has said it had attempted to incorporate the Edwardian wing into its plans. The university’s plan is to build a new £80m, state-of-the-art engineering department on the site on the Grade II listed building. Keith Lilley, the university’s estates director, said: “We simply cannot get the space that we require by retaining the facade and also because the facade is very inflexible. “We are sympathetic to people’s

Cognitive development researcher chasing Guinness World Record for memory game

Ben Cohen Staff writer

A test devised by a university profes-

views, we’ve consulted extensively and it’s important to listen to the views of Sheffield but we have also heard very clearly the arguments about jobs, investment in the economic climate and we think that’s of much greater importance.” In 2007, the university demolished most of the hospital’s 1970s wing to make way for its Jessop West development. University management maintain the redevelopment is needed to accommodate the growth of the engineering faculty and to improve the working environment for students and staff. The university has created a model to indicate how the latest Jessop rede-

velopment would fit into the area. Lilley said: “The exterior will have a diamond grid pattern as part of its design to be a low carbon building. “The different panels, some of which will be opaque, will manage solar gain within the building and the facade will also assist with natural ventilation rather than relying on air conditioning.” The new building would house laboratories and the majority of the university’s engineering plant and equipment. “Most engineering teaching will also be transferred to the new building.” Sheffield City Council’s planning committee will discuss the university’s application next month.

sor has been used in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest memory game. The idea originated from Professor Bruce Hood of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre, who aims to use the information gathered during the event to learn more about ‘false memories’ – when people remember events differently from the way they happened. The test involves telling a group of people a list of related words and then reading those words back to see if the group can remember them. One of the words said afterwards is not originally on the list. If the group believe that the fictitious word was on the original list, the brain has created a ‘false memory.’ Professor Hood said: “This is thought to happen because the list of actual words are all related and so trigger the representation for the false word as if it had been presented. This tells us that memories activate patterns

and are reconstructed and not like a video or tape recording.” Initial results seem to indicate that older participants are more likely to create a false memory, because they have had more time to create links and patterns between words. The experiment itself will generate some useful results, it is also hoped the attention given to it will promote the advancement of neuroscience, hopefully leading to better treatments for conditions such as dementia. Professor Hood added: “I think that [neuroscience] could always benefit from more attention but I am hoping that we can raise its profile even further.” The results of the experiment provide more information about the brain, one of the most complex organs in the body which is still not fully understood. For the experiment to have broken the world record, over 1000 people from 10 different venues needed to take part in the memory test. The university is still awaiting confirmation of the world record, but Prof Hood is confident of success.


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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

SNP rift opens over conference NATO decision Two back-bench MSPs leave the SNP after conference votes to support an independent Scotland joining NATO Jonathan Langley Staff writer

MSPs John Finnie and Jean Urqu-

hart have resigned from the governing Scottish National Party (SNP) in the wake of the party’s U-turn on membership of NATO in the case of independence. The SNP has long opposed NATO membership on the grounds that the defence alliance retains nuclear weapons capability, but delegates passed a resolution reversing that position at the SNP conference in Perth on Friday 19 October, with 426 votes to 332. Arthur West, chair of Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) told The Journal: “Scottish CND were disappointed that the SNP changed their policy on NATO, however, it was clear during the conference debate that the grassroots

of the SNP are strongly opposed to nuclear weapons. “Scottish CND welcome Alex Salmond’s announcement, just before the conference, that there should be a written constitution for an independent Scotland and that the constitution should include a clear prohibition of nuclear weapons.” However, the party reaffirmed its commitment to removing nuclear weapons from Scotland in the wording of the resolution put forward by Angus Robertson MP and Angus MacNeil MP which stated: “On independence Scotland will inherit its treaty obligations with NATO. “An SNP government will maintain NATO membership subject to an agreement that Scotland will not host nuclear weapons and NATO continues to respect the right of members to only take part in UN sanctioned

operations.” The party leadership supported the resolution, with First Minister Alex Salmond arguing that NATO membership is compatible with opposition to nuclear weapons, citing the presence of other countries in the alliance without nuclear weapon stocks. However, eight MSPs including Mr Finnie and Ms Urquhart supported an amendment to the resolution asking the conference to maintain the party’s anti-NATO stance, which was narrowly rejected by 394 votes to 365— emblematic of the tension within the party over the issue. Mr Finnie and Ms Urquhart have stated that they will continue to sit in parliament as independents, leaving the SNP with 65 seats out of a total of 129, meaning the party now has an overall majority of only one.

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

Highland SNP

Fresh renewable Scottish Liberal Democrats energy skills drive back home rule proposals Government to back new education initiatives Benjamin Lebus Staff writer

Indications from an official Scottish Parliament meeting report suggest that the Scottish Government is planning a fresh drive towards renewable energy sector skills through higher education. This comes following the SNP’s promise that an independent Scotland would be a global base for renewable technologies. In response to this topic being raised, Angela Constance, the minister for youth employment, said that: “Creating opportunities for colleges and universities to meet the emerging needs of Scotland’s renewable energy industry and its workforce is a high priority.” Ms Constance went on to say that: “The plan has the full support of industry and the energy advisory board.” This is an encouraging sign for the renewable energy sector and those students hoping to break into that market. This issue has been raised at a time of general concern for the condition of the environment, following the devastation that has resulted from Hurri-

cane Sandy. Concerns were raised, though, by Rhoda Grant, in relation to the cap the government has recently placed on the number of students who can study engineering. Constance revealed, though, that additional funding of£1.9 million had been utilized to create 300 additional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related places. Furthermore, Ms Constance revealed that this funding: “will increase over the next three years” and that there will be an: “additional investment of £2 million in flexible training opportunities”; also an encouraging revelation for the renewable energy sector. In recent weeks it has been suggested that a renewed drive towards renewable energy sector skills is of the utmost importance. Following the release of the meeting report it seems that the government is aiming to ensure that Scotland becomes a major base for renewable technologies, which it has been claimed could have a positive effect both in the development of alternative energy sources and in the employability of students leaving higher education. byronv2 on Flickr

Conference vote endorses former UK party Menzies Campbell’s plan Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Jonathan Langley Staff writer

Party delegates at the Scottish

Liberal Democrats’ conference in Dunfermline have voted to support a motion advocating the transfer of further fiscal and political powers to the Scottish parliament, in a ballot on Saturday 27 October. The ‘Home Rule and Community Rule Commission’, chaired by former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell, outlined their proposals in a report entitled ‘Federalism: the best future for Scotland’. The report argues that home rule powers for Scotland would work best within a restructured, federal UK. David Green, president of Liberal Youth Scotland, welcomed the pro-

posals: “The majority of people wish to see a stronger Scotland which works with the United Kingdom maximising benefits and sharing risks. “That means listening to the needs of people by taking power from the centre and empowering local decision making. Federalism and Home Rule will deliver just that.” The report will be proposed at the UK party’s Federal Conference, where the party will be asked to include the plans in the Liberal Democrat manifesto for the 2015 General Election, assuming Scottish voters reject independence in the forthcoming referendum in 2014. The report was launched on Wednesday 17 October, just two days after the Edinburgh Agreement on the independence referendum for Scot-

land was signed by representatives of the UK government and the Scottish government. It proposes an alternative to independence in which a future Scottish parliament would be given responsibility for generating the majority of its own revenues and controlling subsequent domestic expenditure, while local councils would be allocated greater financial autonomy in an effort to strengthen local democracy. Were the commission’s recommendations to be implemented, the Act of Union between Scotland and England would be replaced by a declaration of federal union. Responsibility for defence, foreign affairs and welfare would remain with a federal UK parliament at Westminster, but the Scottish government would be responsible for most domestic issues.

The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

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Light-fingered physicists in e-crime breakthrough Researchers at Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt pioneer new ways to secure internet transactions using quantum physics Ben Cohen Staff writer

Physicists at two Scottish universities have made a breakthrough in fighting e-crime which costs companies millions in lost revenue. The new technology sees light particles manipulated to verify internet transactions online. The team is made up of researchers from Heriott-Watt University and the University of Strathclyde, including quantum optics specialist Dr John Jeffers. The team believes their discovery could help tackle the huge burden of e-crime, which is estimated to cost £205 million in the UK retail sector alone. Dr Jeffers said: “The systems which currently underpin the security and authentication of internet transactions — founded on complex mathematical formulae — can be cracked and are therefore vulnerable to e-crime, such as fraud. “Our research represents a major breakthrough by demonstrating — via the laws of quantum physics — how the security of online transactions and communications can be virtually

guaranteed.” Quantum-based secure signatures mean that an eavesdropper — a malevolent third party listening in — cannot fake a signed message being sent to multiple recipients. The new technology sends signatures with encoded light particles and sends it to the receiver, but the receiver cannot yet read the signature. However, it can be sure it received an authentic signature. To confirm a message is authentic and to also read it, the receiver has to receive both the message plus additional information required to decipher it. The multiple receivers confirm that they have received identical signatures - only then does the sender provide the additional information required to read the signature. This process takes place without the user, usually a shopper, being required to do anything differently than with current security methods. The sudy, published with free open access in the journal Nature Communications, shows how photons - fundamental particles of light can be used to verify the security and authenticity of any transaction or communication

with a digital signature. Digital signatures currently underpin internet shopping, electronic banking, electronic voting and many software updates — when a padlock symbol is displayed in a web browser, digital signatures are in use. The problem with traditional online security has been that these signatures are based on mathematical formulae and can be cracked. Very often this leads to fraud and other online security breaches. The new technology sees quantum digital signatures which guarantees the authenticity and origin of messages. Heriot-Watt University’s Professor Gerald Buller said: “Computer virus attacks have shown that signatures or specific codes can be hijacked, potentially causing chaos with systems being crippled, accounts hacked, and industry and consumers losing millions of pounds. “Our new approach, using quantum mechanics rather than just maths to create signatures for multiple recipients or customers, could make hacking, fraud and theft near-impossible.” A recent estimate from the Office of National Statistics placed the value of 2011 online UK retail sales

at a minimum of £25 billion with the Centre for Retail Research suggesting it could be as high as high as £50 billion. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) recently reported that the biggest emerging threat to the retail sector is e-crime. BRC director general, Stephen Robertson, said: “The rapid growth of e-commerce in the UK shows it

offers great benefits for customers but also new opportunities for criminals... resources must be directed to e-crime in line with the emerging threat. “This will encourage retailers to report more offences and allow the police to better identify and combat new threats.” The research was funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

UHI launches online Scottish scientists set to improve Gaelic study resource accuracy of carbon dating process Toolkit to encourage uni staff to learn Gaelic Molly Hunt Staff writer

The University of the Highlands and Islands and Scottish Government quango Bòrd na Gàidhlig have launched a new online toolkit to encourage and fund organisations promoting the use of Scottish Gaelic in the workplace and at home. Bòrd na Gàidhlig is a government body established in 2003 and based in Inverness set up to advocate the use of Scottish Gaelic. The development of the online toolkit is part of the board’s strategic Gaelic Language Plan . Joanne Stephen, Gaelic officer at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), told The Journal: “I’d seen the toolkit produced for Scottish Natural Heritage staff, and realised it would be a great way to tell staff a bit more about Gaelic and our commitment to it, and to help them begin to learn a little of the language. “It’s dynamic, interactive and divided into small sections so that people can spend as much time as they want on a particular section, revisit areas for reference and just learn at their own pace. It contains lots of sound files too, which I think is really, really important to those not learning in a face-to-face situation. “Ultimately, we hope that staff will feel more confident in using the language in the office and at home, and that they feel able to go on to further language training.” UHI demonstrated their commitment to Gaelic as the first higher education institution to produce a Gaelic

Researchers from Edinburgh and Glasgow involved in pioneering project

itmpa on Flickr

Language Plan, a requirement by the Scottish Government for all public sector organisations. Staff at the university are encouraged to learn Gaelic as part of their professional and personal development. The toolkit comprises of audio files, animations, puzzles and word lists to aid staff learning to read, write and speak the language in an interactive and modern way. Brian Boag, a member of staff at UHI, said on the university’s website: “As a fairly new learner, I find the toolkit concept to be really helpful, accessible and enjoyable - it certainly keeps me engaged.” The toolkit creates and encourages interest in the Gaelic language and demonstrates the importance placed on Gaelic in Scottish culture and heritage.

Double-H on Flickr

Mike Walmsley

A team of researchers, including scientists from the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, have successfully used samples taken from Lake Suigetsu in Japan to dramatically increase the accuracy of carbon dating, a technique used to identify the age of ancient artefacts. Analysis of cores taken from Lake Suigetsu has revealed some of the best data yet on how the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere varies with time, allowing carbon-dating techniques to be calibrated more precisely. Professor Christopher Ramsey of Oxford University, part of the research team, is confident that the new data: “will help us to understand better both human behaviour and the processes of climate change in the

last ice age.” Carbon-14, a rare, faintly radioactive isotope of carbon, mixes with the far more common carbon-12 in a particular ratio. Living organisms ingest both types of carbon in this ratio until they die. The carbon-14 slowly decays, so by measuring the ratio of remaining carbon-14 against carbon-12 in a dead organism it is possible to calculate how long it has been dead for. But to do this, you must know what the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 was in the first place. This is challenging because the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 present in the atmosphere varies over time. To overcome this problem, researchers measure the ratio in samples of an already-known age to find out what the initial ratio was at given times. Unfortunately, many of

the most reliable samples are only useful back to around 12,500 years ago whereas carbon dating could potentially be used to date samples up to 50,000-years-old. For the remaining time, the initial ratio had to be calculated using less accurate methods. The plant fragments from the Lake Suigetsu cores provide a new and more accurate source to establish how the initial ratio varied past 12,500 years ago. The lakebed contains alternating layers of algae and sediment as well as preserved plant fragments. The age of the plant fragments can be worked out by counting the layers, much like counting tree rings. The initial ratio of carbon-14 present in the atmosphere at the time the plant fragment was deposited in the lake can then be calculated from the carbon-14 remaining in the fragment.


The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

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Puzzle 1 (Very hard, difficulty rating 0.82)

Student Awards Agency for Scotland

A vested interest in student loans The irony of a new system, osten-

sibly implemented in the name of efficiency, actually making matters far less straightforward would be comical if there wasn’t so much on the line. The desperate scramble by the Scottish Government to address the farcical situation of thousands of students left without funding months after the start of term reminds one of an adage involving gates and bolting horses. It is the most vulnerable students, who rely on significant financial aid from SAAS, who have been most shamefully let down. Thousands have been left relying on bank overdrafts and private loans to get by, because for many the ‘bank of mum and dad’ is simply not an option. The failure of the Scottish Government to provide an infrastructure which properly and reliably supports these students beggars belief. But what truly astounds is the sense of history repeating itself. This isn’t

the first time SAAS has dramatically failed to fulfil its purpose to a satisfactory standard. Last year saw a similar mess, and we were told that procedures would be put in place to prevent such a breakdown happening again. The agency must have known that it was likely to see an increase in applicant numbers this year; if its executives didn’t, they have clearly been deaf to the prevailing political conversation in the education sector over the last eighteen months. SAAS should have adjusted its processes to meet that demand without a complete breakdown—and that adjustment should not take the form of closing for one day a week to deal with the backlog, or forcing its staff to work through weekends, all under heavy political pressure. This isn’t the first issues that the public and private bodies responsible for administering student loans have had, and it is sure not to be the last. In 2009, Student Finance England under-

went a complete restructuring after a government inquiry deemed it not fit for purpose; plagued by understaffing, lost documentation, equipment failures and persistent difficulties with its online applications system. SAAS seems to be running afoul of many of the same problems, and now its institutional incompetence is taking itstoll on students, in an unforgiving economic climate. SAAS were, as The Journal went to press, making progress in clearing the backlog, but the political fallout is only just beginning, with a full review of this year’s chaos promised by education secretary Michael Russell. But we are dubious of the appointment of a senior manager in the Student Loans Company—the private company which pays out student loans—to oversee the review. The danger is a quick whitewash which fixes absolutely nothing. We are not demanding scalps; only a loans system that works for students.

Freedom of speech

Free speech must not be held cheap We are fortunate in the UK to

be able to treat as a given our right to freedom of speech; that barring extreme circumstances, our freedom of expression is a right generally treated as inalienable. But is that true security, or a comforting mirage? There is much discussion in these pages today of free speech—and of the complexities and caveats to which civil society and the law make that right subject. NUS find themselves on the wrong end of Britain’s byzantine and anachronistic libel laws, as George Galloway’s wrath bears down—in defence of his reputation. An Israeli diplomat visiting the University of Edinburgh is prevented from speaking by protests— orchestrated by campaigners acting in solidarity with those his government renders voiceless. And a student newspaper is at the eye of a firestorm of criticism

and threats bordering on censorship— because they published an interview with a politician who has little or no respect for the rights of those not like him. There is nothing simple or clear-cut about any of these cases. Some are silly— this editorial page has previously been clear in its view of George Galloway’s bizarre legal pursuit of NUS. But some are more serious—the Leeds Student, whose interview with British National Party leader Nick Griffin has seen them roundly criticised by the Leeds University Students’ Union and liberation officers of the NUS. Whether we agree or disagree with why they chose to publish the interview, or how it was presented, is irrelevant; all are free to their personal opinions on those points, and that is a debate worth having. The Journal does, however, defend wholeheartedly their fundamental right to do it.

The GOP make a bid for the Scottish student vote...

We have seen hamfisted efforts to strongarm the paper: that is unacceptable. The freedom of the press is sacrosanct in our democracy, but it is rarely threatened there. On campus, it is more often in jeopardy. Student politicians interfering in the affairs of campus publications—a trend sadly on the increase—is utterly inappropriate, even in publications owned by unions. Editorial autonomy is the price you pay for a publication worth reading. Such a busy news week does offer a rare chance to reflect on the nature of some of the rights we view as crucial to our society. We should debate these issues—as two of The Journal’s top editors do in these pages today—not simply vie to control the rhetorical high ground. And before we ever think to deny another their rights, we must consider whether we would be happy to see that right taken from us.

by Jen Owen










8 7

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4 6















Generated by on Fri Nov 2 20:53:50 2012 GMT. Enjoy!

LGBT rights in Scotland Cardinal Keith O’Brien has oft expressed his animus against homosexuals who offend against the instructions he claims to receive from his imaginary friend. Whilst he should be free to believe and say what he likes, other people’s mileage varies and many think he’s a sanctimonious fool who should be pitied rather than respected. Stonewall may see fit to label him as “Bigot of the Year”. Whilst my label is more succinct, it is one with which I am

sure he would have no dispute: “Christian”. Such gay (and, to some, offensive) badinage is part and parcel of everyday debate and nobody should be immune. Especially the Cardinal! - John Hein, editor & publisher, Scotsgay magazine, via email. Galloway-NUS defamation fight Galloway should just admit he is wrong and move on. He has nothing to prove through any legal action. - ‘Omniogignes’, via web.

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COMMENT The Journal considers the present state of postindependence Kosovo

A ‘supervised’ rebirth?

Jon Vrushi Comment editor, Edinburgh

Jul 1992

Addresses and postal codes don’t

quite work, as of yet, in Kosovo. Instead it is customary to write addresses and give directions using landmarks and points of orientation. One particular landmark that I almost always heard when getting directions to places near the city centre is the Newborn obelisk. This sculpture was unveiled during the celebrations of the declaration of independence on 17 February 2008. It is an imposing sculpture with hefty concrete letters, over 2 metres tall each. This obelisk represents the resilience of the people of Kosovo, whilst its imposing nature seems to represent the irreversibility of Kosovo’s independence. Since the day the Newborn was unveiled, 93 out of 193 members of the UN, including 22 EU member states and the US, have recognised Kosovo’s independence. Part of the deal with the new country’s Western backers was that its authorities would submit to the supervision of an International Civilian Office (ICO). Only last month, amid nationalist cries for the end of the so-called ‘supervised independence’, the ICO closed its doors. The institution has contributed a great deal to the state’s consolidation in Kosovo. A plan drawn by Martii Ahtisaari, the ex-Finnish president and Nobel prize laureate, was implemented and achievements include the setting up of new municipalities which give Serbs in southern and central Kosovo some control over their own affairs. However, the shortcomings of the ICO are rather difficult to overlook. Levels of corruption are still very high, with an incredibly intricate culture of bribery, sofa politics, and intrusion from foreign embassies. The latter is particularly problematic as it sets the wrong tone for the consolidation of the Kosovo state. It is often ironically said the most powerful person in Kosovar politics is neither the PM nor the president; it is the American ambassador. The institutional frameworks give excessive leverage to international officials. However, more than the institutional framework, the main problems stem from the culture of heavy intervention in Kosovar affairs and a game of playing God. The former US ambassador, Christopher Dell, is infamously known for sending text messages in the premises of the Kosovar Parliament during the process of the election of the President, allegedly directly. During my last visit to Pristina in October 2012 I came across the rumour that Dell texted the president-elect, congratulating him before the speaker of the parliament announced the voting results. When asked to explain the existence of that text message, Dell avoided answering the main question and stated that the text was a private communication and that the newspapers, which

TIMELINE / Kosovo’s long, hard road to statehood

Dr Ibrahim Rugova elected president of the selfproclaimed Republic of Kosovo.

Mar 1998 Start of six month conflict between Serbian police and Kosovar Liberation Army (KLA). Violent crackdown of civilians followed by mass exodus.

Jon Worth published it, should be liable for breach of privacy and their journalists could be jailed for up to one year. The decision of the ICO to terminate its mandate is indicative of the trust the international community has bestowed upon Kosovo’s government. Officially the ICO’s doors have been closed, but does that ensure that the likes of Dell will not, unofficially, run the country from their smartphones? In terms of finding a working settlement between Kosovo and Serbia, the international community’s contribution has been indispensable. Last weekend, the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton reiterated her country’s position that the territorial integrity of Kosovo is not up for discussion. Mrs Clinton was accompanied by chief of EU Foreign Affairs, Baroness Ashton, who brokered the first talk between the two leaders last month. Baroness Ashton said that she and the two prime ministers would, “meet again improve the lives of people and help solve problems and, in so doing, bring Serbia and Kosovo closer.” The next meeting is scheduled on 7 November, and all eyes are now on Brussels. Normalising relations will be a gradual process but the cooperation of both sides is necessary. A lot of progress has occurred since the declaration of independence. The two countries have thus far reached agreements on freedom of movement, trade, university diplomas, regional representation and the integrated border crossing point management. Also, finally, Serbia has dropped objections to Kosovo’s participation in international meetings. However, these achievements must have looked trifling for the witnesses, when 20 members of the Serb gendarmerie illegally entered Kosovar territory. The gendarmes, in five jeeps and an ambulance, kidnapped a Kosovar citizen, Slavoljub Joviq, from a hospital in north

Mitrovica in daylight, just hours before Hillary Clinton set foot in Pristina for her state visit. Mitrovica represents the focal point of ethnic divide in the region. River Iber (Serb:Ibar) divides the ethnic Serb north and ethnic Albanian south. Parallel structures of government, backed by Serbian authorities, run the local schools, hospitals and other aspects of life in the northern part of this ‘Belfast of the Balkans’. Fears that the Serb minority living in this area will be prosecuted is the main concern of Serbian authorities, or at least the official position. The Kosovar government has promised to respect the rights of the Serbian minorities in Mitrovica, just like it is doing in other Serbian pockets in the south and central Kosovo. However, parallel structures and continuous violence instigated by the presence of military forces makes it a very difficult task for the Kosovar government to bring stability and reconcile the different ethnicities on opposite sides of the river. The Kosovar prime minister, Mr Thaci, told the New York Times that, “The presence of illegal structures financed by Serbia makes our work very difficult there.” Kosovo’s commitment to respect the minorities is reflected in its flag, which features a yellow map of Kosovo and 6 stars on top of it — each representing a constituent ethnicity of the population. I have had the unique opportunity of being involved with the European Youth Parliament in Kosovo. Over the last two years or so, I have assisted them in gaining full membership of the EYP. The charter of the EYP dictates that for a new country to join, they need the endorsement of three out of five of the existing members. The potentially contentious meeting, where the recognition of the Kosovar branch was on top of the agenda, was held in Berlin in May this year. I remember being very anxious to hear the outcome as I was unwinding after a long exams

season. As the meeting finished, the head of EYP Kosvo, Saranda Hajdari, telephoned me and said, “We made it, no one voted against our recognition, not even Serbia”. This is what gives us all hope that one day the generations to come will be able to reconcile and leave behind the blood-and-gore-filled history, the legends of sacred monasteries and battle sites and other desperate nation-building myths. The EU membership card has served as a caveat against the non-constructive approach that Serbia has taken up-todate. Prime minister Ivica Da?i? clearly stated that Serbia will never recognise the independence of Kosovo, but that is not what anyone is expecting Serbia to do at the moment. This will be a gradual process, facilitated by convergence into the European Union. At a dinner party, Stefan Füle, didn’t make his most circumspect statement when he said that he looks forward to the celebrations of Kosovo’s EU membership. While that is a somewhat far-fetched declaration, and possibly wine-fuelled given the setting of a dinner party, it should not come as a surprise if the Commission on Enlargement recommends the EU to start the Stabilisation and Association pact with Kosovo. Currently Kosovo is receiving aid and funding, under the Instrument of Pre-Accession (IPA). As for Serbia, it finally received candidate member status in June at an EU summit in Brussels. The European Commission has not asked for Serbia to recognise Kosovo’s independence, however a working relationship between the two entities must be found before any further accession procedures take place. The future of the Western Balkans is in the EU, without borders, without barriers, without parallel overlapping institutions and with a greater solidarity towards the European project, rather than with narrow, archaic patriotic interests. Or at least, one hopes so.


NATO airstrikes as result of ethnic Albanian’s persecution.

Jun 1999 UN takes over the administration of Kosovo.

Feb 2008 Kosovo declares unilateral independence from Serbia. Serbia considers it illegal. Europe’s major powers and the United States recognise independence.


International Court of Justice rules the declaration of independence not incompatible with international law.

Feb 2012

Serbia allows Kosovo to use its name in international meetings with an explanatory footnote.

Oct 2012

Serbian and Kosovar PMs meet for the first time since the declaration of independence in 2008.


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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

Sanjeev Kohli: corner-shop comedy king The star of cult classic sitcom Still Game and Radio 4 hit Fags, Mags and Bags talks about early successes and future aspirations Michael Diamond

Michael Diamond Staff writer

This week, I met up with actor, writer and national treasure, Sanjeev Kohli. Kohli is prominent in his field of work, and is perhaps best known for his role as Navid Harrid in Still Game and his radio sitcom Fags, Mags and Bags which earned Kohli and cowriter Donald McLeary the Writer’s Guild Award in 2008. How did you decide that you wanted to go into writing and comedy? I didn’t decide. It always sounds pretentious, but I didn’t choose the path, the path chose me. When I went to St. Aloysius’, I decided that I wanted to be a doctor. When I got into medical school, I hated it...I then got a maths degree and didn’t know what to do with that! Then, I got a call from a friend of mine who was a radio producer...I then got the job and realised that it felt really natural and that it was what I wanted to do. What were your favourite comedies and biggest comic influences when you were growing up? As a family, we did used to like having a laugh. With my mum and dad, I used to watch the really quite badly dated 70s comedies. Me and my brothers...watched The Kenny Everett Television Show and The Young Ones. What is your daily routine? Would you say that you have one at all? Really, my routine is set by my kids! Right now, I’m lucky enough to be quite busy. I’m writing a romantic comedy for Sky just now so I’m constantly doing rewrites for that. I’m also in a band at the moment and we’re gigging in London this week so I’ve been practicing my songs for that. There are, however, weeks where I have very little to do and I tend to go a bit mad on Twitter! How did you get your big break in your career? Writing wise, I’d have to say it was ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ which was an all-Asian sketch show back in the 90s on Radio 4...I’d definitely say that this was my big writing break. In terms of acting: it’s Navid...I absolutely adore the character and I would even if I didn’t play him. That was a total gift for me. He was a very well-written Asian character. In earlier TV, we were always portrayed as throwing bricks through people’s windows on Eastenders, but I felt that Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill got Navid spot on and it really gave me the chance for my big acting breakout. What would you say has been the biggest achievement of your career? ‘Fags, Mags and Bags’ is my baby. It’s me and Donald’s own house style, nobody else could have done it and we’re both very proud of it…We really wanted to point out the surreal nature of a really mundane situation i.e. a corner shop. Nobody ever questions why crisps are shaped as UFOs and why a gorilla answering a phone in an office says ‘happy birthday’ on these knockoff greetings cards. We had a lot of fun with things like this.

What would you say is the biggest disappointment of your career? I was involved in ‘Meet the Magoons’ which was my brother’s sitcom and I think I was just disappointed that everyone in Scotland was expecting a new Still Game and it just wasn’t that. Donald and I also wrote a sitcom called ‘Overnight Express’ set on the overnight bus from Glasgow to London...Sadly, the director didn’t quite get it. What is your favourite comedy on TV just now? The Thick of It. I really can’t fault it...I’m also a big fan of Peep Show and Burnistoun. It would be impossible not to talk about Still Game. The first series is really quite different from the rest in terms of the characters’ personalities and appearance. Why? Comedy is commissioned in different ways. Normally, Still Game would have been given a 30 minute pilot show but..the BBC commissioned a whole series. Most of the time, after the pilot, things are changed; so, because of the way Still Game was commissioned, the whole first series could be viewed as a pilot. What is your favourite episode of Still Game? I don’t know. I tend to have favourite moments instead of having favourite episodes. Things like getting off with Isa and Navid going to Jack and Victor’s flat…I also loved the pub quiz.

“As an Asian actor, I think you’re immediately typecast.... my philosophy is that I don’t mind being typecast as long as I can celebrate the stereotype and then have fun with the character.” What is your favourite Still Game quote? In the first series, when Harry showed up, Victor says: “you just showed up. Boof!”. Then I say: “Aye everything is going along nicely and then…” and then I hit the till and it goes ‘bing bang bong boo’ then I say: “boof.” What were your biggest influences for the character of Navid? Physically, it was my dad. My dad is a big guy and I realised that I even walked like my dad when I played Navid. Were you ever apprehensive

about playing the very stereotypical role of the Asian shopkeeper? I wasn’t too apprehensive. I knew I brought authenticity to the role and I’ve seen it when it wasn’t authentic, so I knew it would work. Considering the popularity of Still Game and Navid, how do you feel it affected the attitudes of the majority of the population towards the Asian community? I think it had a big effect. You can preach to people endlessly about equality and all of that, but they just get bored. Comedy is the best way to teach people things. How well did playing the part of Navid set you up for future roles? Do you feel that it held you back? That’s probably quite difficult to answer. As an Asian actor, I think you’re immediately typecast. There’s a lot of my Asian friends who are actors always telling me that they’re auditioning for another role as a terrorist! My philosophy is that I don’t mind being typecast as long as I can celebrate the stereotype and then have fun with the character. Were your influences different for Ramesh Majhu than they were for Navid?


Yes, they were different. Navid actually indirectly influenced Ramesh in the sense that I had to make sure he was nothing like Navid! What are the challenges of doing a radio comedy? Actually, radio offers you no challenges...The radio actually has its benefits. It would be impossible to memorise the amount of dialogue we have in Fags, Mags and Bags. With Fags, Mags and Bags now being in its fifth series, do you see a big future for radio comedy? Yes. The media has just exploded everywhere. Radio Scotland is doing comedy, in fact, I’m writing one. However, in terms of network profile, Radio 4 is the place to be. What is the future for Sanjeev Kohli? A: The ideal future would be to get Fags, Mags and Bags on the TV and for me to be in it...I’ve done lots of little jobs this year and these will all be broadcast in the next year. I’m also going to continue to tweet because I have a feeling that my tweets will be going somewhere...Who knows? It may lead to something or it may lead to nothing!

Still game? Read the full interview with Kohli on the website

The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012


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Abu Dhabi: a new experience in a changing city Rachael McHard retraces her steps in unfamiliar surroundings, as she revisits the city in the midst of its renaissance as a world city Rachael McHard Staff writer

Abu Dhabi has a smell. It engulfs your senses the minute you step from the plane. The sweet, hot scent shimmering with remnants of spice sends waves of nostalgia through my body. It had been almost 12 years since I last visited Abu Dhabi, capital Emirate of the seven that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Tourism in the UAE has grown rapidly in the last decade with the most popular destination being Abu Dhabi’s neighbour Emirate, Dubai. But with major developments taking place in Abu Dhabi and a designated ‘Tourist Club Area’, visitors are flooding to the city being dubbed as the ‘new Dubai’. Compared to the glitz and glamour of Dubai, Abu Dhabi always appeared more traditional. However, there are now signs of change, with swathes of luxury Western brands creeping into the city’s numerous shopping malls and popping up between Arabic retailers. Unlike the Deira area of Dubai, rife with every type of stall imaginable, Abu Dhabi now seems to lack some of the ‘Arabic marketplace’ personality it once had. Visiting my dwelling on my previous visits to the city, I was saddened to see that the souk [traditional open-air marketplace] which was situated across the road had been replaced by enormous and imposing glass skyscrapers.

I recalled how my brother and I had been amazed as we wandered through the underpass where merchants set up stalls selling everything from colourful fabric, gold jewellery, fresh produce and our favourite toys. As children, it had been like a scene from Aladdin. Now it was gone. It is difficult to decide if Abu Dhabi is becoming more westernised to cater for its growing tourism industry or simply fulfilling the need to become a more dynamic city as it heads into the future. Despite its welcoming approach to travellers, Abu Dhabi is a strict Muslim state with expectations for the requirements of its culture to be respected and met. The sound of the imam calling Muslims to prayer echoes throughout the city, drifting down to the beachfront where sun worshippers bask in a stark reminder that despite Abu Dhabi’s more lenient regulations on beachwear, religion and the culture surrounding it is still a priority to Abu Dhabi and its residents. There are mosques everywhere you turn, each one more beautiful than the last, their minarets the stars of the city’s skyline. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must for any visitor. With breathtaking architecture and intricate interior design, it gives non-Muslims a rare opportunity to explore Islam’s place of worship. Abu Dhabi also holds many annual events attracting visitors and locals alike. These include the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, HSBC Abu

Eddy H. on Flickr

Dhabi Open Golf Championships and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. According to the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, there has been a 29% rise in hotel guests in 2012 compared to last year. This figure now stands at just under 200,000, which is an enormous increase from the 96,000 hotel guests when the authority formed in 2004. The UK provides the Emirate with the most hotel guests, with over 37,000 Britons staying in Abu Dhabi’s hotels in the first quarter of this year. Abu Dhabi also welcomes many travellers from its neighbouring

Gulf-Cooperation Countries, especially around October due to the Eid holiday. This also ties in with many European half-term breaks, and a cooler climate means that October is an extremely busy time for the emirates in terms of tourism. There is nothing short of things to do. Ferrari World on Yas Island has been marketed as the world’s largest indoor theme park and is the number one tourist attraction in Abu Dhabi, proving a popular choice for families. But, with major plans for a Universal Studios and Legoland to open in Dubai’s tourist destination, ‘Dubai-

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land’, Abu Dhabi may find itself under pressure to compete. In what is seemingly a grotesquely grandiose slug fest where the winner provides visitors with a dream destination experience, I can’t claim to not be in awe of the first class developments taking place in both of these fascinating cities. Thankfully however, visitors to Abu Dhabi can still rely on the beauty of Arabic traditions; and become so immersed in the culture of this wonderful place amongst the bustling souks and vibrant streets, that the modern additions pale into insignificance.

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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012


BNP’s exceptionalism warrants No Platform Fascism’s faults do not shine undistorted through the media prism, and our culture of overreaction obscures its unique threat

Sean Gibson Editor-in-chief, Edinburgh

People are easily offended these

days. Given the effects of mass media, where at once we are presented with all of life’s extremities as well as the means by which to cast in our tuppence-worth, this is hardly a surprise. A person has the right to be offended, of course, but that right is static – it does not legitimise anything further. There are greater bones of contention that warrant attention and discussion, yet the sanctimony which greets major and minor issues alike serves only to hinder the identification of genuine threats to the structures of society. The recent appearances of Messers Galloway, Griffin and Taub in the local and national press demonstrate clearly the validity of this assertion. In the case of the Leeds Student interview with Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party (BNP), there has been a far too extensive deployment of emotive language in the critics’ condemnations and demands for retraction. Proclamations of disgust are constructive of nothing – they are the fruits of self-indulgence. More than that, they steer us in the direction of that same superficial level of attention-seeking which Nick Griffin and the Leeds Student’s editorial team occupy. These emotional projections personalise the issue and obscure the grave truth; the advocacy of fascism is fundamentally wrong. Leeds Student and its defenders have countered criticism by stressing, quite rightly, that the right to freedom of speech supersedes people’s sensibilities. However, it is


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the dimension of hateful dogma which carries fascism (here embodied by the BNP) beyond the plane on which such an ideal can be applied. The medium of conversation and the relationship between interviewer and subject can nullify the broader context of the situation. It is all very well espousing freedom of speech, but in those moments of interview there are myriad distortions which can contaminate the purity which Leeds Student evidently expect will shine through. Notions of challenging racist opinions with ‘truths’ and ‘facts’ within the democratic framework can thus be seen as laughably distant from the constructed world of the interview, in which the skills of each protagonist dictate play. Specifically, to take but one example, how can anyone be sure of the number of people that will see in Nick Griffin’s answers the clear sidestepping of awkward questions – the deflection of all his own faults through parallels with those currently in government? Lucy Snow, editor of Leeds Student, has said that sheltering students from extreme views would be an insult to their intelligence. This implies, though, that students’ intelligence should lead inevitably to the dismissal of such views as objectionable – an assumption which underestimates both students’ dynamism and their capacity for broad interpretation. There is also an inherent underestimation of fascism and its adherents within Snow’s statement. We may well presumptuously and arrogantly dismiss these ‘unenlightened’ promoters of racist dogma from up on our glorious democratic pedestal, but in so

doing we leave ourselves vulnerable to their manipulation. This is politics for goodness’ sake – what depths of demagoguery cannot be plumbed? Yes, it is important not to drive these forces underground; to keep them in check, everyone must be vigilant to their movements. Such personal public platforms are non-essential to this, however, and indeed represent an unwarranted luxury. By law, quite rightly, all opinions are equal and permissible for expression. But that puts the burden of responsibility upon society to identify and remove those views which threaten its own foundations. This is why George Galloway, Member of Parliament for the Respect Party, should not be no-platformed; as contemptible an individual as he may be, he is little more than a roving antagonistic bungler – an oddity whose views lack the magnitude of threat carried by those of the BNP. A no-platform stance should be an extreme measure, employed sparingly and as the reserve of such threatening forces. Inclusion of this-or-that objectionable figure in such a bracket risks a dangerous dilution of the alarm with which we should all perceive fascism. The BNP and fascism within our country are issues which we have the power to affect and control. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though, is outwith our sphere of influence. Clearly the conflict cannot be done justice in such a short aside; however, from the perspective of the pro-Palestinian lobby, crushing the Israeli presence in this country will not greatly aid the Palestinians at ground zero; merely it will deprive us of a conduit through

Malgosia Stelmaszyk

which we can engage and learn. A noplatform stance in this case will not help quash the problem, rather it will remove us from a position where we might contribute to a solution. On the one hand, we must end the interminable bleating that renders each new moot point indistinguishable from the last. Too many seek to shut down an issue without sufficiently challenging themselves to rise and defeat it. That is undoubtedly a dangerous road, narrowing of our perspective and diminishing of our poten-

tial for growth. On the other hand, a great number of naïve people need to wake up, realise the vulnerability of the warm, cosy democratic bubble which they so revere, and appreciate that fascists are not so beneath them, intellectually, as they might like to think. Fascism is not some quaint concept consigned to a high-school history course, it is a real and present threat. Society cannot give platforms to such acidic forces – there is nothing to be gained but misguided self-congratulation.

No Platform policy is flawed beyond belief Trust is the key to fighting facism, trust in future generations and the tools they have to engage in competent debate

Jamie Timson Deputy editor, Edinburgh

Griffin and Israeli ambassador

Daniel Taub. An interesting, if slightly egocentric, dream dinner party. However, not one you could have on a NUS affiliated University campus. The National Union of Students’ (NUS) “No Platform” policy is flawed. It treats students as vulnerable naïve children and allows the NUS to become the moral arbiter of all the Universities affiliated with it. By deciding which views students can and can’t listen to, the NUS is in danger of treading the same lines of free speech oppression that those it so clearly denounces espouse. In a hypothetical but not too estranged world, imagine a fascist state that believes in all the views the BNP and other extremist organisations advocate. A fascist state where the majority believes that homosexuality should be outlawed and that immigration should be forbidden, the

borders closed. Now imagine if within that state anyone who disagreed with these views, who perhaps preached tolerance and multiculturalism, were refused the opportunity to debate them. That’s oppression and one in which, many claim would be the case were the BNP in power. Just because we - the “educated and enlightened” believe ourselves right, doesn’t mean other opinions shouldn’t be heard or indeed forcibly repressed. It is in John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty” that the greatest argument for the dispensing of the ‘No Platform’ policy occurs. It is only in conflict with opposing views, Mill argued, that we fully understand and refine what we ourselves believe. After all it is only through argument and debate that we keep our principles - those ideas and concepts we hold dearest - dynamic and evolving. It is not the job of those arguing with Nick Griffin and others on the ‘No Platform’ list, to change their views; Griffin will forever be entrenched in his right wing ideology. However, it does have a purpose

in educating those who are unsure, or those who are feeling disenchanted with ‘traditional’ politics and political figures. Society can never ensure that everyone who listens to a debate involving Nick Griffin will come out seeing him for the repugnant individual he is. However, he is an elected member of the European Parliament and as such should be challenged on his views, not ignored. After all the ‘No Platform’ policy hasn’t stopped people voting for him. We have to trust our society, we cannot have democracy by half, yes Nick Griffin isn’t as stupid as he looks but that doesn’t mean we’ll all suddenly fall under his spell of fascism. We need to learn from the past, society in 21st century Britain should be fully aware of the dangers posed by economic depression and the rise of European far-right parties such as Golden Dawn in Greece. Trust is the key, trust that teachers and educators and those in power, will show 1930’s Germany for what it was, and the Nazi’s for what they were.

Trust that parents will bring up their children to observe tolerance - there is no valid argument to suggest that Britain as a nation has become less tolerant since the 1930’s – and trust ultimately in future generations starting with university students. Trust that they will listen to Nick Griffin’s argument that “the sight of two men kissing (is) creepy” and immediately list the range of arguments that show this viewpoint as part of the odious homophobic ideology that it is. It is disingenuous to claim that support for fascism comes without reason, the people who join the English Defence League have their reason for doing so. They have opinions as members of society, which may be based on falsehoods or direct fallacies, but these should be exposed as exactly that, lies and untruths. As Britain moves through the 21st century, as every aspect of society evolves, so too must future generations be allowed to evolve to make their own decisions about every facet of society. Giving a platform to someone does not imply

any sense of agreement or endorsement of his or her views. The law still remains on incitement of racial hatred as well as intimidation and physical violence, and these platforms do not make them immune or unaccountable for their words in the eyes of the law. Those deemed to have ‘unacceptable’ opinions need to have those opinions heard so they can be discredited if we see fit. In the day and age of the Internet and instant worldwide communication, we cannot pretend the arguments of the extremists will not exist in the consciousness of university students even if they never come into direct contact with them on campus. If we see universities as the place to educate students about the world ahead of them, censorship is not the answer. It is time the adults of tomorrow were treated like adults, today. Give them the tools to challenge and engage with opinions of all agendas, be it the BNP, the EDL or even the Monster Raving Looney Party.

The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012


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Negotiating the right to live Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub, talks to The Journal as his visit to Edinburgh is disrupted by protesters claiming that the diplomat represents a regime which ignores Palestinian human rights Chris Rubey

Callum Leslie Student Politics editor

“I think it’s terribly sad,” says Daniel Taub, sitting in an ornate room at the University of Edinburgh a few minutes before he is due to address a select audience of students and academics. “The fact is that a university is a space for exchanging ideas. If people have something they want to say, ideas they want to share — we have an open discussion, they should come in and share them with us.” This isn’t a regular guest lecture, however: Taub is the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, and his arrival in Edinburgh for talks with first minister Alex Salmond was met with predictable outrage from Scotland’s vocal pro-Palestinian lobby, who quickly demanded that his invitation to speak at the university be withdrawn. Outside, dozens of protesters from campus activist group Students for Justice in Palestine and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign are being held back by police, and Taub seems frustrated. “As far as our region is concerned, an important academic institution like Edinburgh University should be exporting a lesson of tolerance and listening to our region, not the opposite,” he says, eager to emphasise his openness to dialogue. “Anybody who has issues or concerns they would like to raise will have time to discuss it,” he adds. Taub grew up in south-east London, studying at Oxford and University College London, and in June 2011 was asked to take over the diplomatic mission to the Court of St James after his predecessor, Ron Prosor, was appointed Israel’s envoy to the United Nations. Taub is regarded as one of the Israeli foreign ministry’s foremost authorities in the often-conflicting fields of counterterrorism and humanitarian policy; an experienced negotiator, he previously served as the ministry’s number-two legal adviser. It is these credentials

which were to inform his speech today, he says — he was “involved in Israel’s peace negotiations with its neighbours over the past 20 years, particularly with the Palestinians and the Syrians, so I thought it would be interesting to maybe share some of my experiences from inside the negotiation room.” But while he is a career diplomat, his role as one of Israel’s counterterrorism czars has made him personally controversial, because terrorism policy in Israel is inextricably bound up in their troubled and bloody relations with the region’s Palestinian population. Taub has been dogged by claims that he defends the use of white phosphorous, the notorious incendiary weapon which came to international notoriety following its


Read the full open letter from Professor Mark Aspinwall, head of the university’s politics and international relations department, which has prompted a tense detente between student activists and academic leaders.

use in the Vietnam war. He says that he has “no idea what they’re talking about. I can’t think what reference they’re talking about.” I quote to him a 2009 interview he gave to a Swiss newspaper, in which he said that white phosphorous “was not used as a weapon,” but that Israeli reports recommend “other operational modes be used in the future.” It’s a quote frequently cited by his critics, and was referenced in the letter sent by SJP demanding that his lecture today be cancelled. “The only reference I can remember having made to white phosphorous,” he replies, “is in relation to its use as a method of lighting during combat, and the point that I made is that it is in the use of the militaries of many western countries. “But I know Israel, in the course of its use, discovered it was combustible, so adopted particularly stringent regulations when it discovered this, but beyond that I don’t remember having made any reference.” As Israel’s ambassador in the UK — and thus, the human embodiment of the Israeli state — Taub is an obvious target for the ire of Palestinian solidarity campaigners, who have for many years maintained that Israeli policy towards the Palestinian community is inhumane, illegal under international law; that it amounts to ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘apartheid’. The question of Palestinian statehood — on which there is no consensus to be found within Palestine’s competing factions; between Israel and the Palestinian Authority; or in the international sphere — is a political obstacle fraught with ideological, ethnic and humanitarian implications. And on this, Taub toes the line set by the present centre-right Netanyahu administration: “The current Israeli government has talked openly about our hope that there will be a viable state of Palestine living side-by-side with a secure state of Israel. That’s an

“The current Israeli government has talked openly about our hope that there will be a viable state of Palestine living side-by-side with a secure state of Israel. That’s an important statement in favour of the two-state solution..” important statement in favour of the two-state solution.” But, he says, progress is unlikely without similar commitment from the Palestinian leadership to “the right of a Jewish state to live side-byside with the state of Palestine... that would be a big step forward.” Pressed again on why he thinks that he and his government attract such vitriolic opposition wherever they go, Taub deflects, coolly. “My concern is that for people who can’t articulate a positive vision for what they would like to see in the future, campaigning against something and raising their voice in a negative way is a way of avoiding some of those tough questions. “People who really want to support moderation and support progress towards the future, they have to ask themselves more difficult questions and construct a more positive vision.”

RESPONSE Sarah Mohtaseb, SJP

ON 24 OCTOBER, Palestinians peacefully protesting at a supermarket frequented by those from the nearby settlement of Sha’ar Benyamin were violently arrested; respected journalist Bassem Tamimi had five ribs broken.. Also on this day, it was announced that three Palestinians in Gaza had been killed, days after the revelation of an Israeli policy permitting 2,279 calories into Gaza for each resident in order to bring them just over the point of starvation. On the same day, the University of Edinburgh hosted Daniel Taub to speak to a select few societies. His chosen topic: negotiating peace. Palestinians have been systematically humiliated and degraded to the point of dehumanization. These examples are not isolated cases: 1,417 Palestinians were massacred in Gaza, including 352 children, during Operation Cast Lead. Taub claims the lives of these civilians as Hamas’ use of ‘human shields’, condones the massacre, and refutes the use of white phosphorus during this time as illegal. Yet it is apparent that the politics department and various societies have deemed the voice of this official representing a state that has for 64 years enacted a policy of ethnic cleansing and absolute degradation to be somehow superior to those hundreds of thousands who have been made voiceless. It is for this reason that the idea that the protesters were breaching the sacred notion of ‘freedom of speech’ is ludicrous. This man represents a violent regime that breaches any number of fundamental human rights alongside that of the freedom of speech of Palestinians. The protesters who disrupted Taub were in solidarity with those without a voice: his presence sought to legitimise Israel’s actions through the semblance of dialogue. This idea that Daniel Taub would engage in debate is embarrassingly naïve for the kind of educational institution that the university supposedly represents: the ambassador is employed by Israel to express the beliefs and policies of the state, no matter the number of contentious questions he may be asked. This spectacle of dialogue was not the sole premise for shutting down the lecture. As a Palestinian, even if I had been given the chance, I would not engage in ‘dialogue’ with the ambassador for the simple reason that I reject this ‘normalisation’, the attempt to create ‘two sides’ when only one has dispossessed, occupied, and ethnically cleansed the other. I will not accept the erasure of decades of massacres, colonial incarceration, torture, house demolitions, and oppressive policies limiting freedom movement and the right of return. I will no longer stand for the degradation of my people, and I have an obligation to raise my voice while those still in Palestine are silenced. Supporting the call for boycott from Palestinian civil society, an act that echoes the resistance to apartheid South Africa, encompasses the rejection of state figures such as Daniel Taub. Despite the backlash from certain sections of the university, including Professor Mark Aspinwall who inappropriately publicly labelled our actions as ‘extremist’, confrontation in this form was necessary. Those unsettled by our vocal opposition should perhaps question their own acceptance of him and aim to understand the unsettling reality of apartheid. History will be the judge of those who today stand up for universal princples of human rights and justice. It will also be the judge of those who remain ‘neutral’ and attempt to defend the status quo.

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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012



Allan MacDonald

Out of the classroom, into the library The Journal meets Scotland’s literary superstar-in-waiting, novelist and playwright Alan Bissett

John Hewitt Jones Literary editor

Alan Bissett bounds up to the National Library of Scotland, sparkly purple scarf around his neck, bright blue suitcase in hand. His easy-going amicability seems a long way from the character of Moira, the feisty workingclass protagonist of his most well known piece for stage The Moira Monologues. “I wish I’d dressed more like a student”, he jokes, as he poses for a photo. He explains with enthusiasm that he has just come from doing a talk at a school in Leith and is about to head off on tour. This week sees the final performances of his most recent play The Red Hourglass in Glasgow, which premiered this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe to widespread critical acclaim. The hour-long show, a series of erotic arachnid monologues, is performed entirely by the author who takes on the parts of both male and female spiders. It’s fairly unusual for a writer to have such a hand in acting out his work, and Bissett posits that much of this desire to act as well as write comes from his teaching experience: “Teaching is an elaborate acting job. You have maybe thirty kids in front of you…you have to learn how to play them; you have to make them laugh, discipline them, inspire them, and the only way you can do that is by being a performer. I think that’s how I ended up doing it.” Having studied English and Education at the University of Stirling, Bissett undertook a short spell as a secondary school teacher before returning to university to study for a PhD. “I enjoyed it,” he explains, “but realised I would never be a writer if I stayed a secondary school

teacher.” Bissett published his first novel, Boyracers, at the age of 25. With a wry smile he recounts that the same week it was published he failed his PhD viva exam: “I went back to university…but writing novels was just much more fun.” Boyracers was well received, propelling Bissett to the forefront of the Scottish literary scene. Since then he has written three further novels, numerous plays, as well as scripting and narrating The Shutdown, a film documentary about his upbringing by the Grangemouth oil refinery and the incident that occurred there in 1987 in which his father was injured. Class is a central theme of Bissett’s writing, drawing on his own experience growing up in a working class family in Falkirk. Does he think that part of a writer’s job is to give voice to people who otherwise might not be heard? “That’s absolutely the case. The working classes in Britain are essentially marginalised; their voices are marginalised, patronised, sneered at. Workingclass women are one of the most marginalised voices in the UK. That’s where The Moira Monologues came from, and I think that’s why it connected with audiences.” A firm sense of place is key to the author’s work, and he expresses the connection that he feels with his home town: “I was dying to get away from Falkirk when I was seventeen… but the further away I got from Falkirk, eventually you look back and you realise what you’ve lost.” He is especially fond of the people: “It’s a place where people are trying to go about their lives as best they can, often against tremendous economic pressures…there’s a lot of dignity in that.”

“Scottish writers are keeping the idea of Scottish identity alive, because Scotland, as far as I’m concerned, is politically marginalised, colonised...Scotland is and always has been viewed as a colony by the South” Bissett is determined that authors have a central role to play in maintaining the visibility of Scotland’s cultural roots, particularly at a time when the question of independence is at the top of the agenda: “Scottish writers are keeping the idea of Scottish identity alive, because Scotland, as far as I’m concerned, is politically marginalised, colonised… Scotland is and always has been viewed as a colony by the South.” So how does the notion of a uniquely Scottish writer square with the idea that literature is a communal art form? Isn’t it somewhat contradictory? His reply is unequivocal: “No. Something can be of its culture

and of its nation, but still communicate beyond it. You make certain connections between certain cultures by being specific…Scottish literature goes beyond the tartan and heather clichés that pass for a culture. You start to see the country in 3D; its psychological depth. When I read an Alasdair Gray novel, I start to feel my own country; it takes the reader beyond the kitsch, to the full, real people that we refuse to see.” Bissett has previously struck out against the propensity for commentators to use Irvine Welsh as a yardstick for all writing in Scots vernacular, but he cites the author of Trainspotting as an important literary influence, alongside the likes of Alasdair Gray and James Kelman: “Trainspotting was like The Sex Pistols’ first album for the previous generation…it was raw and it was vital…it was like a bomb going off.” Outside Scots literature, the author expresses admiration for authors who have an uncompromising honesty to the style, including Orwell, Steinbeck and Fitzgerald; “writers who you recognise are fearless. Not just doing it because it will sell.” Can we talk about politics? “Do it. Yeah.” Bissett has played an active role as part of the Yes campaign, arguing that Scotland would be better off as a separate nation. How does he see the debate shaping up? “The mainstream media is not with the Scottish independence campaign, so we’ve actually got to get creative and get out there and actually speak to people.” “Over the summer you had the jubilee, you had the Olympics − the Union Jack was everywhere; there was this massive propaganda campaign…what I’m trying to say to people is that a man running very fast is not the entire future of the Scottish economy.”

Despite being fierce in his criticism of Scottish labour, Bissett expresses concern that people often regard the pro-independence campaign as ‘antiEnglish’. He explains: “Nobody wants to be rid of the English working classes; we want to be rid of the English ruling classes.” When it comes to discussions about politics, he is keen that people sit up and listen: “Students have to start getting political again…we were told communism was the enemy and that if we just trusted free market capitalism the world would be a better place…communism has gone and the world is more unstable than it’s ever been, and there’s only one place you can put the blame and that is free market capitalism. We are all getting shafted by very very rich people who don’t care about us, and we have to wake up to that. Even if you vote ‘no’ to Scottish independence, you still have to keep your eyes open to what the problem is. The occupy movement is right.” So what projects does the future hold? Bissett has scripted an adaptation of The Moira Monologues for the BBC, and is optimistic about getting a film of Boyracers made — the screenplay is already written. Another book is brewing, but he explains “there’s no point in writing another novel about contemporary Scotland before 2014…I’ll have to assess the lie of the land afterwards and try and come up with a narrative that deals with it, whatever the vote is.” In the meantime, there’s lots more writing for the stage to be getting on with. The Red Hourglass is playing at The Arches, Glasgow Tuesday 13 - Wednesday 14 November.

The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

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Five minutes with... Alt-J

A&E / 21 blikeng on Flickr

Prior to their win at the Mercury Music Prize, The Journal caught up with English indie pop quartet Alt-J to talk supergroups, first album purchases and Glasgow’s mean streets

MUSIC Tom Collins Music editor

Days before they won this year’s Mercury Music Prize, we sat down and spoke to Gus Unger-Hamilton and Gwil Sainsbury from Alt-J ahead of their gig at Oran Mor, about fighting, stabbing and Steve Jobs in a band. Your third time in Glasgow, how are you enjoying it? Gus: It’s cool, I saw a fight earlier. We were on our way to the radio station and saw a couple of guys rolling around on the pavement. Gwil: Was there not a stabbing recently too? Gus: No, that was Cave Painting. They were stuck here for hours after someone got stabbed. Well, good luck for tonight anyway. There is a lot of hype surrounding you and the Mercury Prize, has it had its toll on you yet? Gwil: It’s amazing, but we are in a weird situation because the bookmakers, Paddy Power, had us as the favourites to win even before the

nominations were announced. So when the nominations did come out it was an odd sense of relief, just because of the pressure. Gus: There was definitely elation there as well. There was a lot of hugging and high-fiving, right in the middle of Starbucks in Manhattan, with everyone looking at us. During a previous interview with your band mate, Joe Newman, he stated that one of his favourite albums growing up was the Spice Girls. What were yours? Gus: I was really into The Beatles. I remember being on holiday with my family and listening to lots of their music. So they were my first favourite band. Gwil: I didn’t really do music as a kid. My first album was either Dr. Dre’s 2001 or The Marshall Mathers LP. That got me really into it. It was just so angry and I was at the right age to be angry. Before Alt-J, you were known as FILMS. The process of finding a new name took you some time. Does this meticulous approach apply to everything you do? Gwil: Yeah, we’re an absolute nightmare to work with.

Gus: We insist on approving everything, but then we never get back to anyone. So the label is not allowed to do any artwork or any videos without us approving it. We actually had a crisis moment a few months ago when our manager called and said ‘the label are feeling very demoralised. You need to give them some feedback.’ If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Gus: Yeah, I think partly we’re excited at the prospect of getting to do artwork and music videos which is all really cool. We wouldn’t ever want to relinquish that power to anyone else. At least if we approve it and it turns out to be rubbish, we can just blame ourselves. Gwil: Yeah, rather than get annoyed at some designer. Finally, we have a question from fellow nominees from this year’s Best Breakthrough at the Live Music Awards, Brother & Bones. They ask: who would your super group consist of ? Gus: Drums, Dave Grohl. He is a great drummer. Gwil: Great bassists? Probably Paul Simonon.

MUSIC Introducing...

Ruaraigh Chapman

If you enjoy the soothing sounds of

Boards of Canada and have already made your way through their whole back-catalogue, you will be well versed in the art of patience. Six years have now passed since the mesmerizing Trans Canada Highway and there doesn’t even seem to be a glimmer of hope for its successor’s expected release. Endless nights trolling through old songs and live performances on YouTube provide marginal consolation, and with many under our belts, The Journal are well aware of how painful such a wait can be. Fortunately, in a year where Sigur Ros finally relinquished the outstanding Valtari and Godspeed You! Black Emperor dropped (quite literally onto their merch stall) Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! after a decade of longing, we’ve recovered a sense of faith for musicians. Such blind optimism is now being adopted for Glasgow-based three-piece Friends In America in the hope that their much-anticipated debut record What It Is To Be reaches our headphones by the throes of winter. At the turn of the year, prolific blogger The Pop Cop hilariously declared, “I have relatives I don’t love half as much as that band”, and upon further inspection,

The Journal discovered exactly why. Lying in wait on SoundCloud were three beautifully composed musings in ‘I’m No Captain’, ‘Gaffe’ and ‘You’re’. On all three tracks, vocalist Michael Rawlings’ yearnings seamlessly slalom through honey-dipped guitar-riffs and effortlessly amble downstream until they reach a cascading waterfall of sound, in a manner slightly reminiscent of There Will Be Fireworks. ‘Gaffe’ – produced by founding Errors’ member Simon Ward – and ‘You’re’ are particularly incredible demos, with the latter revealing both the accuracy of the band’s own wonderful analogy of their music (“Our songs start

have a MacBook Pro. Gwil: Steve Jobs on the MacBook Pro making music algorithms. What would you call this band? Gus: Oh don’t get us started. That will be another long process!

MUSIC Recommendations

Friends in America Harris Brine Assistant music editor

Gus: I’ll go for Ol’ Dirty Bastard as lead singer. Gwil: Can we have a hype man? John Snow. Gus: What about guitar? Gwil: Fuck guitar. Gus: Yeah, fuck guitar. We’ll just

as little sparks here and there, then grow to fires”) and Rawlings’ poetical lyrical prowess (“dusting off all of my doubts in cantankerous back-roads”). With ‘Sparks’ and a beautiful cover of Josh Ritter’s ‘Idaho’ the only other numbers available from the band, the excitement stirring from such limited exposure is telling. Short of a bass player and having only played one gig since April, the year hasn’t been too kind to Friends In America, but the band’s debut EP is believed to be finished and out soon. With its release, we’re absolutely certain that one old axiom will prove to be correct: good things do indeed come to those who wait.

This fortnight The Journal pesters a productive online music blogger, an idiosyncratic pedal-loop specialist and the lead singer of Kilmarnock’s second best export (behind Biffy Clyro, of course) for their personal recommendations. We’ve diverted the attention of anonymous music blogger Kowalskiy away from intoducing new Scottish bands to the public so he can, well, introduce a new Scottish band to the public: “Edinburgh’s dark cello pop noiseniks Letters appeared out of nowhere early last year with their debut double A-side ‘The Grand National’/‘Pipe Dreams’, possibly the most exciting debut I’ve heard. A tongue-in-cheek first interview and that misconstrued boast may have singed a few bridges but it’s hard to deny their credentials as one of Scotland’s most exciting new bands. Credentials bolstered by follow-up single ‘Flash! Lights’, third single ‘The Halfway House’ and debut EP Older Motion Pictures. Be prepared to hear a lot more from this belligerent, but brilliant bunch”. Multi-talented, multi-titled and multi-instrumentalist musician, filmmaker and founder of Wise Blood Industries Adam Stafford reveals who he’s been listening to when he eventually sits down to relax: “Like all great music, The One Ensemble Orchestra is strange and hard to categorise. At times overwhelmingly cinematic, they utilise experimental classical composition with free jazz breakdowns, group-folk singing and Romany-Gypsy waltzes. Their leader and founder Daniel Padden is some-

what of a quiet genius, having written and scored most of the group’s music and his own stunning solo LP Pause For The Jet which gives ultimate definition to the Woozy Haunted-Ship Wonk Folk genre. It’s no surprise then that Daniel has written extensively for film and The One Ensemble Orchestra have scored the period-documentary Dummy Jim. You could do a lot worse than purchasing their 2010 masterpiece Other Thunders.” And last but by no means least, Fatherson’s charismatic lead singer Ross Leighton reveals it may have been the Beatles who are responsible for the Time Capsule in Coatbridge: “Pronto Mama are one of the most exciting new Scottish bands in my opinion. They have the songwriting prowess of a young Lennon & McCartney (if Lennon & McCartney were from Coatbridge). They’re hard working and very prolific, with singers Marc Rooney and Ciaran McEneny fronting the band with impeccable harmonies and a nonchalant bravado that makes their live show and general presence endearing.”

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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

Ten minutes with... Among Brothers

Rob Hollamby

Harris Brine meets the Cardiff indie pop sextet

MUSIC Harris Brine Assistant music editor

Cardiff-based six piece Among Brothers speak to the The Journal ahead of the release of their new single later this month. First off, concisely describe to our readers what and who Among Brothers are. We’re five friends who met whilst attending Cardiff university. We started messing around recording songs in our wasn’t until about three years later that we decided to start playing music a bit more seriously...We started writing songs and practising in our living room for about a year before we played our first show. Your new single ‘I Am Certain/I Do Not Believe’ is lifted from Yevgeny Zamyatin’s ‘We’. What connections have you made with the novel and how has it seeped into your song-writing? Before we started writing the songs we had an idea for a story involving a teenage cult in a boarding school...At

the time of writing the songs, Matt was reading ‘We’ and pointed out a lot of similarities between our narrative and that of Zamyatin’s novel. One of the underlying themes was the sense of isolation that the main character experienced, and that was something we wanted to emphasise in the music. Are there any other books that’ve had an effect on your music, or even way of thinking? Most of our songs start off with some form of theme or narrative and usually we take influence from whatever we’re reading or watching at the time. For example, the song ‘Sam, Isaiah, and the Wolf ’ off our EP borrows elements from a novel by Reif Larsen called ‘The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet’...We’ve all got quite varied taste between us when it comes to reading, one of mine and John’s personal favourites is the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy by Philip Pullman. There are six of you, and there’s a lot going on in the songs at the one time. Has a mass brawl broken out yet over who gets to write the lyrics? The songs usually start off on a computer, we write a lot of the arrangements using software instru-

ments...Once the skeleton of the song has got to a stage that we’re happy with, we take it into the practice room and play it out, tweaking parts that don’t work as well in a live setting. John and I (although everyone contributes) tend to write lyrics when the music is done. You released debut EP Homes back in 2011 and your new single is out soon. Is a debut album on its way? That’s next on our list! We’re still not sure on the details as we’re in the very early stages of talking about it. You’ve toured a number of times now, and seeing as there’s



six of you, the van must be a little crowded (either that or a very large van). Any hilarious tour stories you wish to share? When this question came up we immediately thought of the same thing: On our last tour, we played a date in Sunderland and it just so happened that the guy who was promoting the show also owned the club which was going to host a ‘rock’ night after our gig, so after we played, the promoter let us know that we could have drinks on the house for the night. Things got pretty silly. John managed to slip up and dislocate his knee...we ended up in the attic of the club spray painting things on the wall with the promoter...John limped for the rest of

the tour. Okay, Among Brothers, thanks for your time. Recently Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space, broke the speed of sound and landed in the desert as graceful as a butterfly. What’s the greatest thing you’ve achieved in the last seven days? We played our 50th show as Among Brothers. I thought I was going to have to resort to some sort of witty anecdote for this question but I think that’s pretty cool! ‘I Am Certain/I Do Not Believe’ is released on 19 November 2012 via Too Pure Singles Club.

The Killers

Oran Mor traverses magical lands thanks to the mystical and mesmerizing Katzenjammer

Battle Born tour inaugurated at SECC

Jamie Brotherston Comment & Features editor

Harris Brine Assistant music editor

A gloomy night at the Oran Mor bears witness to mass abduction as Norwegian fairies Katzenjammer spirit the crowd away on a magical adventure. The mischievous group of Anne Marit Bergheim, Marianne Sveen, Solveig Heilo and Turid Jørgensen spring on to the stage and immerse themselves in an instant; a sassy female barbershop quartet oozing adrenaline. The stage, tightly packed with instruments, lends a hint of what to expect and within minutes, the Oran Mor is left far behind. Katzenjammer click their fingers and those present are in a 1920s cabaret club, red-lit and hazy with cigarette smoke, as they open with ‘Ouch!’. Mandolins, Sweet Adelines harmonies and a Balalaika (Russian folk bass) combine with an adorably infectious pop-beat on ‘Rock-Paper-Scissors’, and the sprites seem unstoppable, with chimes of glockenspiel adding a magical touch to ‘I Will Walk Away’. Cute, cheeky and sensuous, the group speed through their set with unbelievable chemistry. While the passengers are catching their breath, the twinkling troupe decide it is time to move on yet again; suddenly everyone is flying high

above a snowy mountain range with the sirens, as soft piano and haunting vocals drift down from the stage in ‘Lady Marlene’. Descending into the dark forest below for a traditional Swedish ballad (sung in order to keep on the good side of their Swedish tour manager, according to the girls), they scream it out, demonstrating their impressive vast vocal range. Now clear of the trees, the audience are now dancing in the middle of a gypsy camp, with accordion and mandolin bathing the crowd in Balkan fire with ‘Mother Superior’. The Norwegian imps flit around each other as their antics build to a blinding crescendo. Each member brings a new level of mischief to the stage, playfully chattering to the crowd without a moment’s respite. A change in tempo signals another change of scene, and as the campsite is left behind for a Dodge City duel, thudding drums and acoustic guitar thunder over the crowd like a posse of cowboys galloping across the prairie in new track ‘Old Spain’. Next, its all about bass and some swanny whistle with old-school rock-and-soul number ‘Aint No Thang’. The band surf into each song, switching instruments and taking turns at leading the madness; formidable and yet at such ease in the frantic set-up. Halloween is in the air, and Katzen-

jammer zip us onto the doorstep of a haunted mansion. Creepy accordion howls and pianos drone in the dark, some Morricone-esque trumpet orchestrating a marching dance of the dead amongst the Glasgow ghouls with ‘The Soviet Trumpeter’. Thankfully, we are not left in the hands of the ghosts for long, as Katzenjammer boogie their way out through fan favorite ‘Le Pop’ and the stonking ‘Land of Confusion’. Suddenly the stage is empty and the crowd tumble back into the Oran Mor. However, the Norwegian kelpies can’t leave without one last journey. We all travel to the land of the fairies, where they hypnotise us one last time with the beautiful and enthralling euphony of ‘God’s Great Dust Storm’, and finish in a molten maelstrom of manic music with ‘Gypsy Flee’. The little Scandinavian banshees are truly a force to be reckoned with. Few bands bring the level of energy and rapport that the band possess. At times, it is a little hard to keep up, somewhat like being caught unaware by a flash flood in the middle of Buchanan Street. Thankfully though, it is nothing short of magic to be kidnapped by Katzenjammer. VENUE: ORAN MOR DATES: 28 OCTOBER 2012 PRICE: £9

In a week where music ticket

prices stole the headlines, The Killers brought their back-catalogue all the way from the dizzy lights of Las Vegas to Glasgow’s SECC to initiate the first night of their Battle Born tour. Admittedly, Killers fans had snapped up all available tickets long before The Rolling Stones were criticized for charging £105 per ticket for their recently announced shows, but the band’s decision to charge nearly £50 a ticket was inevitably also going to face some heat. Brandon Flowers et al commenced the show with two predictable numbers from new album Battle Born, sending off worrying signals that their set would be replete with play-it-safe stadium numbers. Fortunately, the power of their groundbreaking debut album Hot Fuss seared through within seconds of ‘Smile Like You Mean It’. Its introduction was potent and cathartic, and induced chaotic behaviour from the crowd, which remained through ‘Somebody Told Me’ and ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’ alongside a touching rendition of ‘Dustland Fairytale’. Alongside a selection of classic tracks, however, each of the six numbers showcased from Battle


Born seemed to aimlessly wash over an audience intent on singing along wildly to hit single ‘Human’. ‘Mr Brightside’ naturally proved a popular gig choice, as the 12,000strong audience of the SECC spectacularly hurled its chorus back to the band amid a backdrop of breathtaking, breakneck visuals. ‘All The Things That I’ve Done’ was treated in the same fashion; its completion sent a lot of the audience reaching for the exits long before the encore. The mass exodus was testament to the strength of the Killers’ old songs in comparison to those of Day & Age and Battle Born, raising the question: beyond Hot Fuss, have The Killers produced much material that could be classed as truly exceptional in their last few outings? The night ended up a mixed-bag, at times stirring and at others tepid. ‘When You Were Young’ partially saved a poor encore, but one can’t help but wonder if saving a couple of numbers from Hot Fuss until the show’s end may have helped remove any sour taste in the mouths of those leaving early, still nauseous at the £47 ticket price. VENUE: SECC DATES: 26 OCTOBER 2012 PRICE: £47

The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

Twin Atlantic MUSIC Lauren Simpson

It may have been beyond freezing on the night of the homecoming for Twin Atlantic but that didn’t stop the Glasgow crowd turning out in large numbers and giving it their all for the local heroes at a brilliant Barrowlands show. Before Twin Atlantic took to the stage it was clear the crowd was on great form bellowing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the top of their voices, before an unimpressive white sheet dropped down from the front of the stage revealing Sam McTrusty saluting his hometown crowd. They launched energetically into ‘Time For You To Stand Up’ and ‘Apocalyptic Renegade’ from their latest album ‘Free’ with this tour supposedly being the last hurrah for their breakthrough album. They dipped into their previous EP ‘Vivarium’ playing fan favourites ‘Lightspeed’ and ‘Caribbean War Syndrome’ among others but a real highlight I’m sure for many of Twin’s long standing fans was when they played a real old skool classic ‘A Guidance From Colour’ which went down a treat. The Glasgow crowd loved Twin Atlantic and they couldn’t quite believe it, at times Sam was seen smiling to himself in disbelief that this crowd were all here for his band.

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Twin played a great set even debuting a new song ‘Brothers & Sisters’ which is some long-awaited new material and sounded great live. It was clear to everyone from this performance that Sam McTrusty really has grown into a great front man I think we all knew he would become, saluting his crowd and encouraging riotous movement in the Barrowland Ballroom. They ended with ‘Free’ which got one of the biggest sing alongs of the night, but the Glasgow crowd knew it wasn’t over as McTrusty returned solo to the stage to play a surprising acoustic cover of The Beatles classic ‘All My Loving.’ Which he smoothly transformed into crowd favourite ‘Crash Land’ which undoubtedly caused the biggest sing along of the night, McTrusty could barely be heard over the Glaswegian choir. They closed their triumphant homecoming with ‘Yes I Was Drunk’ which queued the release of giant Twin Atlantic balloons and ‘Make A Beast of Myself’ which pulled the crowd together for one last sing along, and led to a classic Sam McTrusty stage dive. The last time Twin Atlantic played the Barrowlands around 2 years ago they claim it was somewhat of a blur to them, after this gig I doubt they will forget it for years to come along with anyone who was there. VENUE: BARROWLANDS DATES: 26 OCTOBER 2012 PRICE: £7.50

Guus Krol

Everything Everything MUSIC Elizabeth Morrison

An indie band making it anywhere

near the UK top 40 is surely a cause for celebration on an Olympic scale in these trying, Guetta-infested times. And yet, despite the success of Cough

Cough – the first release off a second album due in January – Everything Everything are performing to only a few hundred at King Tut’s on one of the last nights of a very modest sized tour. After support band Fiction bemuse the crowd with a complete lack of anything remotely resembling a melody for forty minutes (the highlight of their set is singing happy birthday to their soundman, or perhaps the guitarist’s excellent taste in knitwear), the only way is up for the main act. Everything Everything are arguably a band that can sometimes come across as a little too cerebral on record, but right from the off they show the benefit of the arena dates they played

earlier this year supporting Snow Patrol. Live, their music has lost the self-conscious hipster edge that made it isolating and it lets rip enough on favourites like MY KZ, UR BF to incite some highly amusing instances of indie-kid dancing. The experimental percussion and glitchy laptop sounds that dominate their production aren’t so present tonight. Instead, harmonised vocals are pushed up in the mix with delicious results – lead singer Jonathan Higgins’ falsetto proves to be far more emotive in person than it ever was on Man Alive. And considering that the words “this one’s from our next record” have never in the history of rock music been met with anything stronger than a polite smattering of applause, previously unheard new material doesn’t drag down the set as much as it could for a band with so small a back catalogue. Towards the end of the gig, Cough Cough lifts the mood so high that it feels deserving of much more than number 37 in the singles chart. They finish up with Schoolin’ and get most of the crowd moshing – even the old lady standing at the back who this reviewer had mistaken for a mum on chaperone duty. You can’t help but feel that if there’s any justice, Everything Everything are going to be playing to a bigger crowd next time they’re in Glasgow – judging by this performance, they’re certainly ready to give it a shot. VENUE: KING TUT’S DATES: 26 OCTOBER 2012 PRICE: £12.50

“I’ve quit the entertainment industry like ten times.” Singer-songwriter and actor Jay Brannan tells Oliver Giles about new album Rob Me Blind and going it alone in the music business

MUSIC Oliver Giles Fashion editor, Edinburgh

“Like the little mermaid on crack” is how singer-songwriter Jay Brannan once described his own music. While hilarious, this doesn’t quite cover the intense range of emotions he has explored since the release of his debut album in 2008 - his sound has never been stronger, or more polished than on his latest album Rob Me Blind. Glasgow’s Oran Mor is the penultimate stop on Brannan’s Europe tour and the intimate venue perfectly complements Brannan’s new material and his stripped-back, acoustic performances. In a dressing room in the depths of the venue, Brannan threatens retirement. “I have one more show in Germany and then I’m ready to sleep for 2 months! Who knows what’s after that?” Brannan jokes. Travelling around Europe, the USA, Israel and Australia is enough to exhaust anyone, but on top of that, Brannan does all of his work on tour himself. “I do a lot of the booking, I travel alone, I do all the administrative stuff. I don’t have a manager. I have an agent in North America but outside of that I book my own shows. So I’m doing the jobs of 10 people. But, then, I’m in charge of my own career, which is great. I’ve got to do exactly what I want because

of that.” All the hard work has definitely paid off. Rob Me Blind is undoubtedly Brannan’s most accomplished album: as lyrically clever as his debut, his latest material achieves more, as a result of experimentation with different instruments. The charm of Brannan’s one-man-with-a-guitar act remains, especially in his live shows, but the drums, cello and violin on his newer material create a more evolved and complete sound. Brannan explains, “I sort of wanted to experiment with different sounds this time. I’m definitely a minimalist and everything I’ve done up until this point has been really stripped down. I don’t think this album is particularly elaborate or anything, I just didn’t want to make the same thing over”. Brannan has clearly succeeded; tracks like ‘La La La’, with its layered guitars and drums, would never have appeared on his earlier releases. The added instrumentation doesn’t detract from Brannan’s emotionally charged and introspective lyrics. “I started writing as a way to vent my frustrations, and my fears, and my loneliness, and all those things that race around in your head when you’re alone.” Rather than burying this emotion, Brannan’s new musical approach highlights it. The slightly new approach on Rob Me Blind is partly down to producer David Kahne, who has previously worked with The Bangles, Paul McCartney and Lana Del Rey. Brannan

John Kane

exclaims, “I think David is brilliant, he’s so good at creating memorable moments in music without making it over the top or cheesy. I learnt so much just by watching him do the arrangements.” However brilliant the production of the album is, Brannan really shines during his live performances. Stripped back to just a guitar, Brannan’s voice fills Oran Mor and his engaging chat adds to the intimate feel of his performance. Brannan’s a capella cover of Alanis Morissette’s song ‘Your House’

echoes hauntingly around the converted church and is definitely a highlight of the gig. Although his music has earned him an international following, it was his role in indie film Shortbus, with its famous unsimulated sex scenes, which propelled Brannan to fame. “It played such a big role in allowing me to start doing music and travelling. The first time I ever came to Europe was for the Cannes Film Festival, for the premiere of Shortbus. I had two sold out shows in London and one sold out show in

Paris before I’d ever even played in either city before.” Despite his success in both the music and acting worlds, Brannan still feels on the outskirts of the entertainment industry. “To me, the best way to ruin your art is to go into business with it. Not ruin it, but to make it less enjoyable.” So is he really going to retire? “I’ve quit the entertainment industry, like, ten times and I’ve always sort of stayed in it. I don’t feel like I could ever really truly escape. So it must be what I’m supposed to be doing, for now.”

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Africa in Motion 2012

The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

Room 237

Film festival returns for its seventh run, with the theme ‘Modern Africa’

FILM Varia Fedko Blake

For the last six years, the Africa in Motion (AiM) film festival has brought innovation and creativity to the heart of Scotland’s capital. The seventh instalment not being an exception, Edinburgh’s Filmhouse this month welcomed an even wider range of films in celebration of the vibrancy and formidable talent encompassed in this year’s theme of ‘Modern Africa’. Since 2006, AiM has provided a platform for African filmmakers to exhibit their work and for Scottish audiences to enjoy the best of African cinema, which has mostly been ignored by British cinemas and audiences. Since its inception, the festival has showcased over 200 films to audiences totalling over 15,000 people. This year’s diverse selection of over 40 films is nothing short of ambitious. Exploring the nature of national identity and contemporary political and social issues, the films have been divided thematically into five strands: ‘Modern African Identities’, ‘African Popular Arts’, ‘African Science Fiction’, ‘Arab Spring Documentaries’ and ‘African Film for Children’. In addition to the annual Short Film Competition, a broad range of complementary events are also taking place at numerous venues around the city. These include seminars, director master classes, exhibitions, debates and concerts, all of which offer the opportunity for a thought-provoking and entertaining immersion into Africa’s rich heritage. Attending the opening screening, one is impressed by level of devotion and determination that has been put into these projects. Following a successful debut run on the African continent, the film Uhlanga (‘The Mark’) has already won five awards at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, including the Golden Dhow Award for best feature. Accordingly, the entire upstairs screen of the Filmhouse was crowded with eager film enthusiasts, filling the forum with a buzz of excitement and anticipation. Ndaba ka Ngwane’s


film, which has received support from Film Africa, the UK’s largest festival of African cinema and culture, follows a family’s daily struggle with prejudice and poverty in South Africa. It is a hard-hitting social commentary, enhanced by the admirable work of cinematographer Khulekani Zondi, who in his first feature film is able successfully to expose the realism of modern day Africa with incredible attention to detail. In contrast, Alain Gomis’s Tey (‘Today’), sponsored by the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies, explores the theme of trauma and impending death with tantalising serenity. The film follows Satché (Saul Williams) as he wanders through the streets of his Senegalese hometown on the last day of his life. The festival’s many sponsors, which include the British Council, the Rwanda High Commission, the Scottish Documentary Institute and the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, are partly to thank for such a rich and sophisticated exploration of contemporary


Affleck’s latest film keeps up his directing standards Sean Francis McGowan

Brace yourselves for another gripping thriller from Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone, The Town) as he returns to the director’s seat for Argo, his third feature film. The film tells the true story of the joint CIA-Canadian mission, led by Tony Mendez (Affleck), to rescue six American diplomats from revolutionary Iran By faking the location shoot for what looks like the worst sci-fi film ever not created – irrefutable evidence that truth is always stranger than fiction.

With its release coming just two years after the hugely successful The Town, the actor/director shows no signs of letting up, neither in front of the camera nor behind it. Using a surprisingly successful mix of comic panels and archive footage, Affleck quickly brings you up to speed with the 1979 uprising in Iran and the subsequent assault on the American embassy which resulted in the capture of 66 US citizens and diplomats. What follows will keep you gripped right up to the finish, as Affleck bounces you back and forth between a Hollywood satire and an espionage thriller

African art forms. Particularly interesting this year is the heavy presence of the sci-fi genre. Whilst the experimental Les Saignantes (‘The Bloodettes’) aims to explore the deep social tension between money, power and desire, Kitchwateli (‘TV-Head’) exposes global anxiety through the eyes of a child transported from postapocalyptic Africa. Other notable screenings include Algeria’s first-ever musical comedy Essaha (‘The Square’) and a great variety of children’s films such as Mwansa the Great, a film about a boy aspiring to be a great hero. AiM is a fascinating entry in Scotlands annual cultural calendar, which makes it possible for audiences to sample the talent and variety stemming from every corner of the world’s second largest continent. The festival ran from 25 October at the Edinburgh Filmhouse Cinema and at the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), and closed on 2 November with Andrew Dosunmu’s Restless City; the story of an African immigrant living in New York City. without breaking a sweat. Having you in fits of laughter during one scene and deathly silence in the next, you won’t know what to expect. The funnier scenes owe a lot to the chemistry between Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) and John Chambers (John Goodman) - two sardonic Hollywood-types with a knack for ridiculing the very industry they are a part of with pitch-perfect delivery and the level of cynicism you could only find in Hollywood. Scoot McNairy also deserves a mention for his terrific performance as Joe Stafford - the only one with no faith in the escape plan at all - and shows tremendous ability in conveying the intensity of the situation. In the end, Affleck shows his class yet again with a stellar cast, in a beautifully shot film with a plot that will have you gripped in disbelief from beginning to end. This is a definite must-see.

FILM Rodney Ascher's documentary delves deeper than most film fans dare to go Sean Francis McGowan

Rodney Ascher’s analysis on the

Kubrick classic, The Shining, delves deeper into the art of film-making than most viewers would venture. Each scene of the psychological horror, which is regarded as a cult classic, is broken down to a molecular level as Ascher interviews obsessive fans that have studied the subject matter for years.

Their theories on what the film is really about range from the intriguing to the insane — from the genocide of the American Indians to a confession of the Apollo 13 landing being a fake. The documentary dissects the film for the viewer, putting forward points and showing subliminal messages that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Be it the Nazi typewriter or the impossible window, Ascher opens your eyes to the sheer genius of Stanley Kubrick, renowned for being obsessive about minor details — something which is made clear in this astonishing analytical feature. The documentary questions how we view films, what they may be trying to tell us and, in the end, how they affect our very lives. Ascher, like Kubrick himself, will have you thinking about it long after you’ve left the theatre — and desperate to see The Shining and find a theory of your own.

The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

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Young voices leading the way for asylum seekers Shows at Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre shine a light on the experiences of asylum seekers in the city

Mark Muir

Asylum seekers, so often vilified

in the media, will take centre stage at one of Scotland’s most prestigious theatres this November. The Citizens Theatre will proudly support Scotland’s rich tradition of multiculturalism through art, music and dance. Working in conjunction with the Scottish Refugee Council and the National Theatre of Scotland, it will showcase the lives and stories of refugees and asylum seekers throughout Scotland. A new musical, The Glasgow Girls, and a companion piece called Here We Stay are set to engage audiences

directly by tackling preconceptions of a thoroughly divisive issue. Elly Goodman, co-director of Here We Stay, said: “Here at the Citizens we believe in the power of the arts in unifying groups regardless of age, gender or culture.” The Glasgow Girls is a real-life story of a group of teenage girls who successfully campaigned to block the deportation of their friend back to Kosovo. It is from the award-winning director Cora Bissett and writer David Greig. It features original songs by Cora Bissett, Sumati Bhardwaj (Soom T), Patricia Panther and John Kielty. In 2005, the national media sat up and took notice of a group of young, vocal Glaswegians fighting for the

rights of a girl in their school. Their push to keep Agnesa Murselaj in the country let the public in on a tightly kept secret. Finally, the panic and terror of being dawn-raided, detained and deported was being heard. Despite tackling such a difficult subject, the musical aspires to promote a positive message to the audience. It was, in the end, a triumph for the girls and Agnesa. However, this glimmering light of success is only one portion of a complex web of issues surrounding the lives of asylum seekers in Scotland. The barriers within society are still standing firm — hindering the attempts of asylum seekers to carve out a successful life in Scotland. Student Action for Refugees (STAR) Glasgow is a student group based at Glasgow University. They are another example of a set of young people who are focused on improving the lives of refugees and asylum seekers through fundraising and campaigning. Katie Donald, president of STAR Glasgow, believes that one of the major under-reported issues regarding asylum in Scotland is the harsh set of obstacles that prevent them from entering into higher education. She says: “The problems are so great that there are very few asylum seeking or refugee students at Glasgow University. The only student we know of was actually deported about a year ago, one year before finishing his degree.” The story of John Oguchukwu is a sobering reminder of how harsh and brutal the system can be. Despite vocal support from neighbours, student groups, lecturers and the Archbishop of Glasgow Mario Conti, John was sent back to Nigeria. During his seven years in Glasgow, John made many close and long lasting relationships with the local people in his community. Despite this, the authorities decided that he would be able to make his return and estab-

lish a life in Nigeria. This is the same land that he fled from in terror, after his family were murdered and he was tortured by a ritualistic cult. After his deportation, STAR began campaigning for John’s return, hoping that one day he will return to finish his degree. In the meantime, he lives in fear; he has no family or money to help him. He has a history of depression. Everyone fears for him. These two stories, one surrounded with the happiness of success and the other tinged with the agonising tor-

turous feeling of sadness, tells the tale of a Scotland still in transition and deeply conflicted about its values. Glaswegians may take heart from the growing number of young people prepared to stand tall and fight for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. Shows like The Glasgow Girls are raising the awareness of their struggle with a defiant tone. The creative arts is forging ahead with a powerful message. The only questions are, do the politicians hear them, and do they want to listen?

Glasgow Girls Mark Muir

The Stage of the Citizens Theatre

is transformed into a cold dystopian representation of a Drumchapel high rise flat. The concrete, soulless backdrop stretches high into the sky. It doesn’t look like a home. Why would anyone live here? Yet, it is the perfect set for the new musical from director Cora Bissett. This is because the characters in The Glasgow Girls are so bright, colourful and endearing that you fall in love with Drumchapel and its inspiring residents. The show follows the real-life story of a group of girls who come together to fight the deportation of their friend back to Kosovo. Home is an important theme in the Glasgow Girls. A heart-warming moment occurs when the idealistic folk singing language teacher, Mr Girvan (Callum Cuthbertson), performs a beautiful rendition of ‘To A Mouse’ as the girls draw images of their old homes on the wall. Suddenly, the stage has changed; we understand that Drumchapel is their home now. It is a safe place, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, it

theatre protects them from the terror they have endured. The songs are full of life; they are excellently written and at times very powerful. There are no passengers in this show, it is superbly acted and the singing is of a very high standard. One particular song, ‘At It’, is impressively performed by Patricia Panther, who utterly dominates the stage in the role of the authoritarian deportation officer. The Glasgow Girls is a significant 21st-century musical rooted firmly in Glasgow. It is a celebration of youth, yet doesn’t shy away from difficult issues. It contains a set of powerful messages, but avoids being too heavy-handed in its delivery. They say, “home is where the heart is”. Well, going by this show, there is a lot of heart still left in this city. VENUE: CITIZENS THEATRE DATES: UNTIL 17 NOVEMBER PRICE: £12-£19

Punchy prose Short story podcast gives literary scene exciting new twist

books Lorne Jackson Arts & Entertainment editor

Thomas Joseph Crawford was

just about to get his face battered by a gruesome Glasgow grunt. All because of his fervent appreciation of short stories. Not many people can claim their blood was nearly spilt because of a love of literature. But Thomas is no ordinary fan. Last year, while a student at the University of Glasgow, he launched Outside Thoughts, Scotland’s first podcast for short stories. Now instead of wincing through another dire Coldplay album on your iPod, you can listen to a perfectly polished piece of prose. But fiction can be a brutal business - as Thomas discovered while strolling

through the mean streets of Glesga. “Listening to audio fiction can be dangerous,” he recalls with a grimace. “You become so engrossed that you stop paying attention to the world around you, and in Glasgow that can be a dangerous thing, as I found out. “There was an extremely agitated and angry man in Argyle Street. He looked like he wasn’t in the mood for making friends, if you get what I mean. “While passing him, I was listening to this really amusing short story, and I inadvertently laughed in his face. It was a close call. I could see that I was very close to getting mashed up. “Luckily I got away with only a growl from him. Because if I’d had to explain to him that I was listening to literature, I don’t think he’d have bought it.” Still, Thomas is used to getting a reaction. That’s what Outside

Thoughts is all about. The idea is simple yet smart: submissions for short stories are requested through various channels, including the Outside Thoughts website. When enough stories are supplied, Thomas and his partner in the operation, Greg Benson, choose the best of the batch. Then a live gig is held in a Glasgow venue, with actors reading the stories in front of an enthusiastic audience. Previous gigs have proved so popular that Thomas and Greg have allowed the franchise to flourish, with an event taking place in Edinburgh. So where did the idea initially come from? “There are a couple of similar projects in the East Coast of America,” says Thomas. “Over there, they get the best actors from Broadway and Hollywood, and have them read great contemporary short fiction.”

“I used to listen to them quite a lot to kill dead time, and quickly I became addicted. I thought it was amazing that if I was standing at a bus stop, or travelling, or just doing the dishes at home, I could suddenly be transported to another world, or inside somebody else’s life. Then I could just pop out again.” It was while studying for an MLit in Creative Writing that Thomas came up with the iPod project. Having now graduated, he has plenty of time to invest in Outside Thoughts. There’s even a special Christmas-

themed short story event planned for December. “Short fiction is perfectly suited to people in today’s world,” says Thomas. “In this country there are a lot of people writing really interesting and engaging work. “But there didn’t really seem to be a platform for it, before. The only place that I could find was literary magazines. I felt that they were too niche and highbrow, and weren’t accessible for everyday society. “Now Outside Thoughts is here to fill that gap in the market.”

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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

Goodbye Paris, hello Glasgow Scotland’s most fashionable city may be ready to mark its place on the fashion map

fashion Kirsty Conway

Tartan, wool and cashmere are

some of the many materials with a Scottish heritage. Immersed in history and culture, these are more than simply fabrics. They tell our story better than any words. Although they may be historical icons, that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to keep up with modern times. For years designers have come to Scotland to source materials to make their visions a reality. However, it is in Glasgow where we can truly see the influence Scotland has had on the fashion industry. One only needs to walk down Buchanan Street, which acts as our Celtic catwalk, to see men and women embracing their heritage through a tartan skirt or a knitted jumper. However, the recent takeover of the Barrie Mill by Chanel — adored by such superstars as Lily Allen and Blake Lively — has raised questions about what Scotland can offer the fashion industry. Glasgow’s fashion elite believe that it may well attract more designers to come to Scotland to source materials. Professor Christopher Moore, associate dean of business development and the chair in Marketing and Retailing in Glasgow Caledonian University says: “I think that

the Chanel purchase will certainly make other luxury brands consider the benefits of working with leading Scottish textile companies. This may not necessarily result in their buying factories but it may well encourage them to source textiles from Scotland.” Barrie Knitwear has worked with Chanel for 25 years producing some of Chanel’s most iconic pieces, including the ‘two-tone’ jumper which has been seen on countless celebrities such as Claudia Schiffer and Alexa Chung. Chanel fashion president Bruno Pavlovsky said: “Through the acquisition, we reaffirm our commitment to traditional expertise and craftsmanship, and our wish to safeguard their future and support their development.” With more brands sourcing their materials in Scotland, such as Hermés, which also calls upon the services of Barrie Knitwear, it seems that Scotland may be able to offer the fashion industry more than just its luxurious materials. Regarding professional talent, in terms of business and the fashion industry, Professor Christopher Moore adds: “I think that the talent living and studying in Glasgow can offer the world of fashion innovative ideas and outstanding creativity. “There is also an opportunity to provide leadership in business - such as that demonstrated by GCU students training in the areas of international fashion marketing and fashion

business.” It is has also been suggested that the acquisition of Barrie Knitwear by Chanel may have an influence on local fashion styles. Helen Tatner, a Fashion Business student at Glasgow Caledonian University, says: “I think that it will be interesting to see how [they] put their own twist on this classic brand.” Economists don’t believe this will have a profound effect on Scotland’s current economic climate. Economics professor Jim Campbell of Glasgow Caledonian University says: “I don’t think it involves more designers coming to Scotland or Glasgow. Barrie’s was a supplier to Chanel and basically they are securing their supply chain for cashmere products.” Professor Campbell adds: “It is an industry concentrated in the Borders which has been in long term decline partly due to cheaper production in South East Asia. The [businesses] which have [survived] tend to produce luxury products where price competition is less intense. However it also means that they tend not to produce high volumes and therefore do not employ that many people”. Only time will tell whether the Barrie Knitwear takeover will have any effect on the fashion industry in Scotland. The country has much more to offer the fashion industry than first meets the eye. Bursting with talent and creativity, perhaps Chanel has opened a gateway which will allow us to really prove the cut of our cloth. Dawn Marie Jones

A digital revolution for fashion? Edinburgh Online Fashion Week was an ambitious effort, but flawed in its idealism Laurie Goodman A&E editor, Edinburgh

You awake. A cold, artificial light blankets an empty, starch-white room. This environment has no ostensible scent, and no temperature. Additionally, you have no control over your own movement. You must gaze silently, without breaking the impalpable, transparent film wall between yourself and your surroundings: this is strictly a two-dimensional experience. Is this purgatory? Have you sinned and after death - fallen into perpetual banality? In reality, you have unfortunately encountered an Edinburgh Online Fashion Week (EOFW) show. The invention of Napier undergraduate Gary Anderson and airing from 22-26 October, the project broadcast 15 catwalks from Scottish designers, boutiques and department stores. The product? Five days (yes, days) of platitudinous online fashion, filmed in Edinburgh’s Quartermile One. Anderson explained the main premise of the event: “Our objectives were to make fashion available to a larger audience than a typical fashion show as well as highlight the strong fashion industry we have here in Scotland. Those objectives were met and the team consider our event a success.”

Firstly, let us first examine the concept of ‘highlighting the strong fashion industry in Scotland’. If the aim of EOFW was to illustrate the talent of Scotland’s hidden fashion industry, then this is a poor attempt at advertising: the production is shaky, in particular a catwalk purely showing shoes follows pair after pair of disembodied Dali-esque feet down the runway in a nauseating fashion. To add to this, all 15 shows were produced on the same set, which shares unfortunate similarities with a dentist’s waiting room. As a result, EOFW’s shows lacked the idiosyncrasy and the theatre of couture displays. It’s that old story: the big four beasts of fashion reign with a Bottega Veneta hand-woven leather whip over their cowering inferiors - in this case, Edinburgh - and EOFW is here to save the day. This is not to say that the experiences of small countries can’t make a significant contribution to a rich, variegated world of fashion. Rather, in assigning itself the title of a ‘fashion week’ - and placing itself in chronological proximity to the global fashion weeks - EOFW is requesting a comparison with its biannual brothers and sisters in New York, Paris, Milan and London: instead of elevating the project, EOFW is diminished by its title.

And what for the first premise of the event, ‘to make fashion accessible to a global audience’? It is true that tickets to couture shows come at skyhigh prices, when it’s even possible to obtain access in the first place. EOFW is romanticisation of the internet’s ability to democratise information for the broader public at its finest, which would all be very poignant if it were in any way representational of today’s fashion industry. For example (founded by Nick Knight) provided global viewers with live streaming (and panel commentary) throughout September’s spring/summer 2013 season, including Vivienne Westwood, Burberry Prorsum and Giles. Additionally, London Fashion Week published their own livestream of all their shows, and elsewhere even Chanel and Prada had their shows online. However, EOFW is not a movement to turn a previously elitist, prefabricated fashion week into an accessible free-for-all: this is a project devised purely to be online. 250 individuals attended one, inviteonly show at the end of the week, while broadcast catwalks were disturbingly lacking in any audience whatsoever. To top it all off, the whole thing was filmed ‘in secret’ in

September. The only ameliorating factor in this maelstrom of superfluity is its potential to provide a platform for graduate designers otherwise lacking

in resources. In all other respects, Edinburgh Online Fashion Week was a project masquerading as innovative, democratic, fashion when most areas of the industry jumped ship long ago.

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Metaphorical waffle keeps football afloat WBUR

Sometimes irksome and sometimes hilarious, football managers and their often bizarre banter provide half the entertainment Ruth Jeffery Sport editor, Edinburgh,

Scots athletes get a welcome funding boost

Fan refs SFL Division One match

Government body SportScotland has boosted funding given to

athletes with a new ‘Athlete Personal Award Scheme’. Over 45 athletes have received between £3,000- £10,000 this year, with the awards to be renewed annually and based upon targets for athletes to meet. This is a project gearing up for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. Sportscotland elite performance director Mike Whittingham has said that he is aiming for 34 podium places at the tournament.

Last Saturday a fan stepped in after referee Kevin Clancy was injured during a Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline Scottish Division One match. The ref was hurt in a collision with Cowdenbeath manager Colin Cameron, and the game stopped for 30 minutes whilst a replacement was found. Spectator and qualified official 61-year-old Jock Campbell stepped in to make sure the game continued. Dunfermline went on to win 3-0.

PGA putts up hole new calendar

Birdie drops shark on fairway

The coming golf season will be the last one in the current format, with the PGA tour changing around so that the traditional autumn events will become the start of a fresh run of tournaments. The new 2013 calendar has now been revealed. Highlights include the US Masters in Georgia in April, the US Open in Pennsylvania in June and the USPGA Championship in Rochester, New York in August. The only non-US based competition will be held in Muirfield from 18 - 21 July. The season runs all the way to October before the regime change kicks in.

A live 60cm leopard shark was found near the 12th tee of a California golf course this week. Staff at the San Juan Golf Club south of LA found the shark in the grass, and noticed puncture wounds under its dorsal fin which suggested it had been dropped by an osprey. They drove the animal 8km to the sea and released it. A member of staff told the local newspaper: “After placing it in the water, it was still for a moment before flipping round and swimming off.” A happy end to a potentially tragic tale.

In the world of football the focus is very often not on the pitch. With regards to irksome stories such as controversial handshakes, digs at referees or twitter outbursts, fans resent this wavering of onpitch attention. However, when it comes to the hilarity provided by the likes of Ian Holloway or Brian Clough, we are very much listening. One Clough quote which comes to mind is the infamous “I can’t even spell spaghetti never mind talk Italian. How could I tell an Italian to get the ball? He might grab mine.” Such baffling banter is much appreciated amongst the usual dry quotes from managers. As a Liverpool fan (revealing one’s true colours is always a dangerous game and I hope you will forgive me), I have been both annoyed and delighted with some of Brendan Rodgers’ metaphorical musings. One of the best ones came after Liverpool’s torrid time in the transfer window. Disastrous communication between owner and manager resulting in a squad void of a real strike-force, Rodgers tried to justify himself to the press, saying: “If you go to a library and are looking for a sports book and go straight to that section then it’s quite straightforward. But the problem is when you go into that library

and you’re not sure what you are looking for. You then spend half your time and effort wandering around and you might end up with a book you don’t want.” Fair point perhaps-, but as the ‘Pool are 13th in the table with 11 points from ten games, any fan would surely rather see the manager thinking tactically and trying to secure Dempsey than writing fancy metaphors for the Sunday broadsheets. And taking Rodgers analogy and running with it; in the library that was the transfer window, the book Liverpool definitely wanted to get out was Dempsey. It was more a problem not of knowing which book to get, but of forgetting to bring the library card. Another gem of Rodgers which has been used by many managers past is of football posing as the metaphorical ship. When he first took over, and after the transfer debacle, Rodgers was describing how he would get his team together:” Hopefully what I have come in and done is get everyone on board the ship and set sail knowing where we are going.” Where they were going was down the table, rapidly, and my thought is that if Rodgers paid more attention to creating a comprehensive striking force and less to hoisting the anchors, the ship may not have drifted so far away from the port. Infuriating as managers can be sometimes with their inability to get right to the point; hilarity ensues when their post-

match word-play verges on the ridiculous. A key culprit of the elaborate and always comical quote is the aforementioned Ian Holloway, a man very much missed in the Premier League this season. When the ban on footballers taking off their shirts was introduced, the Blackpool manager had this to say: “I don’t see the problem with footballers taking their shirts off after scoring a goal? They enjoy it and the young ladies enjoy it too. I suppose that’s one of the main reasons women come to football games, to see the young men take their shirts off. Of course they’d have to go and watch another game because my lads are as ugly as sin.” These moments of comedy genius taking place in the press room are what keep the game sane in these times of controversy and hyperbole. Football needs characters such as Holloway to stop it taking itself too seriously and to keep some level of entertainment going next to all the goal-line technology, diving and handshakes nonsense. And whilst Rodgers has been given a hard time on this page, he too has moments of amusement alongside the waffle. I just hope his prophecy comes true: “When you’ve got the ball 65-70 percent of the time it’s a football death for the other team. We’re not at that stage yet but that’s what we will get to. It’s death by football. You just suck the life out of them.”


Rams romp to victory over sorry Pats Outing in Wembley sees growth of ever-expanding NFL franchise Ollie Bunting Staff writer

The NFL came to London last

weekend for the sixth time since the partnership began with Wembley stadium back in 2007. New England Patriots and St Louis Rams were the two sides competing in what is known as the ‘International Series’, as the NFL franchise seeks to expand to a further audience. The Patriots would have been somewhat familiar with what to expect last week having beaten Tampa Bay back in 2009 at Wembley in what was their first trip across the pond. The Rams less so, despite the fact that this game was set as their home match and New England’s away game. It didn’t seem like that in the stadium on Sunday evening, however, as it was apparent that amongst the many thousands of NFL fans gathered in North London, the Patriots were the team being

cheered on by the majority. Things could not have gone much rougher for the Patriots who found themselves 7-0 down in the first quarter after the Rams’ first drive of the game. Bradford, St Louis’ Quarterback, found their Wide Receiver Givens with a 50 yard touchdown pass to set the crowd going. Unfortunately this was to be their only impact on the game as the Rams then found themselves 28-7 down at half time after Tom Brady, New England’s threetimes Super Bowl champion and seventimes Pro Bowl player, led five touchdown drives for the Pats on their first five drives of the game. Brady threw 304 yards in the game for four touchdowns as New England surpassed 350 yards total offense for their 17th consecutive game, breaking the NFL record which ironically was set by the Rams themselves in 1999 and 2000. Gronkowski, the Pats’ Tight End had a memorable match with 8 receptions for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns, despite the

rumours that he was carrying an injury. New England continued their blitz on the Rams defence in the second half as they eventually went on to win 47-7 and wrap up another enjoyable trip to London. The day was a success for the NFL in their pursuit of expanding their evergrowing franchise. It was arguably the best team showing since the NFL came to London and was a great advertisement for the game, which is the most popular sport in the US and draws 111 million viewers for its final, the Super Bowl. Moreover, these fixtures are set to continue for the foreseeable future as Jacksonville Jaguars have signed a contract that ensures they will feature in each of the next three years at Wembley. There will be two fixtures next year rather than the usual one as Minnesota Vikings play Pittsburgh Steelers on 29 September 2013, a month before the Jaguars meet San Francisco 49ers on 27 October.

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European elite target 2013 Swede success England among 12 contenders heading to Gothenburg for the draw for next year’s Uefa Women’s European Championship Ben Cohen Staff writer

All eyes turn to Gothenburg on Friday as the draw for final draw for the European Women’s Championship takes place. Scotland were denied a place in the draw with as they conceded a stoppagetime goal in extra time of their play-off qualifier against Spain last month. Hosts Sweden will be joined in the draw by European heavyweights Germany, France, England and Norway. Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy as well as play-off winners Iceland, Russia and Spain. The tournament will open at Gamla Ullevi in Gothenburg on 10 July, with the final in the newly-constructed Friends Arena in Solna on 28 July 2013. Uefa president, Michel Platini, said: “The Uefa Women’s Euro is the ultimate

stage for women’s national team football in Europe. “I would like to thank the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) for its dedication towards making this draw and next summer’s final tournament a success. “The Uefa Women’s EURO 2013 will serve as a showcase of Uefa and its member associations’ commitment for women’s football.” Europe’s number one side Germany defeated England 6-2 in the 2009 final in Helsinki and the German Football Association (DFB) will be represented at the draw by DFB general secretary Helmut Sandrock who will hand back the trophy to Michel Platini to be entrusted to the SvFF until the tournament final. Karl-Erik Nilsson, SvFF president, said: “Women’s football is gaining ground in Europe, as well as internationally, and the Swedish FA is proud

to be hosting UEFA’s flagship women’s national team competition this July in Sweden. “We are confident the tournament will have impeccable organisation and provide an unforgettable experience for fans, players, teams, officials and other guests, with the beautiful Swedish summer as its backdrop.” The official adidas match ball will also be launched at the draw featuring the highest technological specification and will be used at all matches in the tournament. The ball design has been specially created with yellow and blue branding to reflect and celebrate the host nation, Sweden. The draw will be conducted by UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino assisted by UEFA Women’s EURO 2013 ambassadors Steffi Jones and Patrik Andersson.



Bankier leaves Team GB to focus on Glasgow 2014

Clansmen charge to victory in Edinburgh on BUCS debut

Adek Berry

Stirling University run out 68-12 winners over Edinburgh University Predators Ben Cohen Staff writer

Scotland hosted the first ever

Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor




Imogen Bankier has turned her back on Great Britain ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The world number 10 resigned from the GB programme to return to Glasgow for the next phase of her career. Bankier said: “The environment and the new programme in Milton Keynes just weren’t working out for me. “I really benefited from my years in MK and I owe a lot to my coaches and to the EIS support team, but I don’t believe that the Rio Plan and the way it is being implemented will help me to improve as a player. “Helping Scotland to achieve Commonwealth Games success is a major goal for me and I know that BADMINTONscotland will do everything in their power to put the necessary support in place, not just for me, but for the whole team.” The Glaswegian’s decision comes just a week after Team GB team-mate Susan Egelstaff retired from the sport. BADMINTONscotland chief executive Anne Smillie welcomed Bankier back to Scotland. She said: “Naturally we are delighted

that Imogen has decided to base herself back in Scotland and concentrate her efforts and commitment on bringing success to Scotland at Glasgow 2014. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to do well at a Commonwealth Games in their own back yard? “She has already had a great partnership with England’s Chris Adcock and that success has done so much to raise badminton’s profile in Scotland. “Now we look forward to her teaming up with Scotland players while also encouraging our emerging young talent to follow in her footsteps.” Bankier rose to international prominence when she and Adcock won an unexpected silver medal in the mixed doubles at Wembley Arena in August last year. They achieved further acclaim with a bronze medal at the European Championships in Sweden which secured their place in the Team GB squad for the Olympics. The pair disappointed in the Games at Wembley but ended their partnership on a high with some big wins to reach the semi-finals of the Yonex French Open. Commonwealth Games rules prevent the pair from competing together at Glasgow 2014 and Bankier feels her focus should now be directed towards performing well for Scotland.

BUCS American Football match as the Stirling University Clansmen took on the Edinburgh University Predators. Amid increasing popularity across the UK and talk of a National Football League franchise being based in London, British American Football became affiliated with BUCS. Stirling began the game well, scoring 24 points in the opening quarter as Edinburgh failed to get on the scoreboard. All-Europe halfback Grant Isdale got his first of three rushing touchdowns, fullback Zake Muluzi got one, while another of Stirling’s All-Europe players, wide receiver Matt Barrington, caught a deep pass from quarterback Luis Stephenson. In the second quarter, Stirling continued to rack up the scores as defensive

end Ty Larsen ran an interception 45 yards for his first touchdown for Stirling, before MVP Grant Isdale ran in another two touchdowns. Such was their dominance — Stirling could have had even more, but indiscipline cost them as two further touchdowns were ruled out by referees. Edinburgh began to get into the game with two aerial touchdowns to go in 46-12 down at the break. Any hope of a comeback for the Predators was swiftly extinguished despite the introduction of several rookie players and veteran halfback Tony McDowall. McDowall, who missed most of the pre-season through injury, celebrated his return to match fitness with a rushing score in the third quarter. As the Stirling defence continued to combat everything Edinburgh threw at them, Stewart Bicker rushed in to make the score 60-12 ahead of the fourth quarter.

Rookie Craig Findlay got his first rushing score before quarterback Stephenson found rookie receiver Henri Laine in the endzone for a two-point conversion. Stirling then ran the clock down as the game finished 68-12 to the defending 2011 Scottish Champions. Stirling Head Coach Robert Orr said: “With Edinburgh returning so many veteran players this season, we honestly expected today to be a much stiffer test than it was and although I am delighted with the result I am less so with our overall performance, which will need to improve if we are to reach our full potential.” The BUCS Scottish League also includes teams from University of the West of Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and Glasgow University. Stirling University played in the first ever collegiate American Football game in 1984.

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Experienced Qualified Insured Local

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Warriors rise to second with Dragons demolition Gregor Townsend’s Glasgow Warriors extend their unbeaten run to six games with a convincing victory over Welsh club GLASGOW WARRIORS : 37 NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS : 6 Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

Glasgow Warriors won a club

record sixth-successive league match with a dominating 39-6 win over the Dragons at Scotstoun Stadium. The hosts’ tries came from full-back Peter Murchie, prop Gordon Reid, lock Tom Ryder and a brace from winger Tommy Seymour with Wight complementing their efforts with three conversions and two penalties. Glasgow Warriors head coach, Gregor Townsend, said: “The Dragons really came out and played tonight. “We expected them to kick more but you could really see the work we put into

our defensive and this has put us in a good position, in the table, going forward. “Niko fully deserved his start at nine and it was clear he was working really hard on his game. He is always the last player off the training pitch and his performance tonight was electric.” Scrum-half Niko Matawala and flyhalf Scott Wright commanded the match from the outset with Wright getting the hosts off to an early lead with a penalty as both sides adjusted to a cold Friday night in Glasgow. Despite the Warriors early lead, it was the Dragons who had the first sustained attack of the night on 10 minutes, but the Warriors defensive line held firm as the Dragons threatened to break through. Fijian international, Matawalu, showcased his skills as with a swift offload to winger Taylor Paris as the Warriors edged close to the try-line, only for Paris’ run to be halted by the Dragons defence. Moments later, the Warriors extended

their lead as Murchie went over in the far corner for the first try of the night, with Wright adding the extras to give Glasgow a 10-0 lead midway through the first half. Matawalu went over five minutes later for what he thought was a second try for the Warriors only for the referee to rule the ball had gone forward. The Warriors regrouped and extinguished an attack down the wing from the Warriors and launched an attack with their forwards gaining yards. Reid spotted a gap and drove forward with the Dragons slow to react, the prop forward running in for the second try with Wight again converting to give the hosts a 17-0 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. The Dragons finally got on the scoreboard with a few minutes of the first half remaining when winger Tom Prydie kicked a penalty after the Warriors were penalised at the breakdown. Wight and Prydie both added further


penalties with the Warriors looking comfortable for their 20-6 lead at the break. The second half began in explosive fashion as Ryder rounded off a strong drive from his forwards to go over for a third try, extending Glasgow’s lead to 19 points as Wight failed to add the extra points. Confident of victory, Townsend rang the changes with Ryder and Reid departing and would have been worried as Matawalu was brought down off the ball, but the Fijian dusted himself down and was straight back in action as he fed Seymour for a bonus-point try. Seymour then ran in a fifth try with a fine solo effort, chasing down his own chip forward. Dragons full-back Dan Evans almost collected it, but the ball bounced out of his hands into Seymour. Wight added the conversion to give the Warriors a 37-6 lead despite several efforts from the Dragons to get over the line.


Murrayfield or money yield? Test against the best Trying times for Scottish Rugby Union over decision to monetise stadium UK Pictures

Scotland’s recovery from Six Nations disappointment faces world champions test Alex Neal & Michael Mawdsley

Michael Mawdsley Staff writer

The announcement by Scottish

Rugby Union CEO Mark Dodson that as an organisation they were looking to monetise the national stadium will inevitably divide the country. The traditionalist perspective, whose howls in the abyss are beginning to rise, selling the naming rights of Murrayfield - the heart of the rugby nation to the fires and demonisation of corporate sponsorship is blasphemy and represents the coming of the apocalypse in terms of the sport within the nation. How anyone could honestly believe that the renaming of a ground would firstly affect the play of the national side, already dreadful in honesty, or secondly represent the death of all the patriotic pride they instil in the nation is verging upon is ludicrous. The secondary logical school of thought is that a financial boost is something the sport definitely needs. It is only five years ago that the Border Reivers, Scotland’s third professional

club were shut down in a cost-cutting exercise. Evidence dictates that in the today’s economic climate, with a government that is cutting financial support to sports teams, such a decision makes entire logical sense. We need only to look to our Celtic cousins across the water, the Irish Rugby Football Union, who have successfully renamed and rebuilt their historic Lansdowne Road home into the now Aviva Stadium - their estimated profit this year is around £1.6 million. If we were to translate that to Scotland and Murrayfield, that £1.6m would mark an excellent and notable return on any investment and guarantee security for the sport. It will allow Edinburgh Rugby to have the funding to look for a new stadium to fit in with their current crowd size, help fund youth projects and initiatives and continue to garner interest in the game nationally. Secondly, the renaming of Murrayfield also represents very little in terms of change. If anything it represents a continuation. The SRU’s relationship with sponsorship is something that has grown tenfold in the last decade.

There was the infamous adventure with the Famous Grouse kicking tee in 2006, along with sponsorship on the shirts, currently Royal Bank of Scotland. This is accompanied as well by the assorted bars, namely Belhaven Best as well merchandise stalls that have popped up outside the ground on match day. If we needed a role model to show that sponsorship of the modern game was acceptable, the decision by rugby world champions New Zealand to put AIG on the front of their strips this season shows it is very much a model to be followed and accepted. In terms of the national sense of Murrayfield as a stadium, it is highly doubtful that anything really changes with a renaming. The Clock Tower, the only remaining element of the original 1925 ground will remain. The national team will still grace the grass for internationals. Saltires will adorn her flanks and a lone piper will sent notes high into darkening winter skies. What difference do a couple of banners and signs or even a name make when the financial security of the game is at stake?

Scotland look to continue their recovery from their Six Nations whitewash when New Zealand roll in to town this week. As part of the autumn tour of the northern hemisphere, Murrayfield plays host to the world champions on Sunday 11 November. The All Blacks visit for the first time since their Rugby World Cup victory last year and arrive in Scotland to kickoff their European tour in Edinburgh. The Kiwis have been in good form since securing rugby’s greatest prize on home soil little over a year ago, having not lost a game since. Australia beat New Zealand in the final game of the 2011 Tri Nations. However, they have bounced back with a 17-game undefeated run in which the All Blacks have drawn just once, in their last game on 20 October, before embarking on their current tour. Scotland come into the game on a little winning streak of their own, having won the past three games. After surprisingly turning over Australia in the summer tour of the southern hemisphere, they then went on to convincingly beat Fiji and stole a close game against Samoa. The summer victories have given Scottish rugby fans a new lease on life

as the year started off with a embarrassing performance in the RBS Six Nations. This is the biggest test Scotland have faced since overturning the Wallabies during the summer, but the Kiwis provide a much sterner test. They have been called one of the best rugby teams ever and are looking to go unbeaten in 2012. The last time the two nations faced each other the game was far from close. New Zealand walked away with a devastating 49-3 victory at Murrayfield, with Scotland ripped to shreds as the All Blacks ran in four tries. The same occurred in 2007, when they lost 40-0 and the Kiwis ran in six. The last southern hemisphere side to come to Murrayfield were South Africa in 2010 as world champions, who Scotland defeated 21-17. The year before, Australia lost at Murrayfield by a point, albeit in the rain. New Zealand have never lost a game to the Scots. In 28 games, stretching back to 1905, Scotland have drawn twice and lost every other match, but the last time the two teams drew was in 1980. Both teams are in great form, and while the New Zealanders are firm favourites, the home support could be enough to give Scotland the extra push they need in the scrum.

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Can justice save cycling?

Kevin Saunders

After purging its drug cheats, what does the future hold for pro cycling? Mhairi Grant Staff writer

When cycling legend Lance Arm-

strong was formally stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in October, the US Anti-Doping Agency called it the end of “one of the most sordid chapters in sports history.” Armstrong’s inspirational determination in the face of cancer and his subsequent Tour de France victories from 1999 until 2005 left many feeling shocked and betrayed by his actions. An international icon, his downfall raised many questions within the cycling world. Why was this situation allowed to happen? How many others were, or are, guilty of doping? The question therefore remains as to how cycling can recover from the scandal and maintain its integrity for future generations. The creation of the World Anti-Doping Code in 2004 did much to standardise anti-doping rules internationally. Established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), the code lays out the numerous prohibited substances and methods in the professional sporting environment. The list is exhaustive, ranging from anabolic steroids to insulin, growth hormones and diuretics. Also included in the list is blood doping, the practice of increasing blood cell mass via hormones or blood transfusion to improve stamina and endurance.

Not only does doping go against the moral standards of sport, it can damage the health of those who choose to do it. As stated by Wada, the use of the peptide hormone EPO to transport more oxygen around the body thickens the blood, in turn increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and cerebral or pulmonary embolisms. In the United Kingdom, UK AntiDoping strives to deter people from such risks by “planning, implementing and monitoring the UK’s anti-doping policy and implementing effective anti-doping programmes.” By educating current and future sporting stars, it is hoped past mistakes will not be repeated and an anti-doping culture will prevail. Of course, Lance Armstrong was not the only publicly ousted cyclist guilty of doping, although he was the most internationally renowned. Also implicated in the current scandal were several of Armstrong’s team mates. Matthew White recently quit as the director of an Australian pro-cycling squad, admitting that he too was involved in doping, and Christian Vande Velde was given a six month suspension in October for doping charges. Nor is it the first time a Tour de France winner has been denied the title. In 2010, Floyd Landis was deprived of his 2006 Tour de France victory amid doping claims. It appears that in the past doping was generally accepted, or at least tolerated. Speaking in relation to doping,

Vande Velde said he was “presented with a choice” that “it [doping] seemed like the only way to follow my dream at the highest level of sport.” Then Bobby Julich, Lance Armstrong’s former team mate, admitted the past attitude surrounding the use of doping was “casual” and “accepted”. The use of steroids, blood boosters and blood transfusions was therefore not initially regarded as cheating. Instead, some viewed it as a legitimate and even necessary way to increase one’s chances in a race. The current Armstrong affair has proved that such sentiments are no longer relevant. This is great news for the future of cycling. More than ever, doping is considered as being contrary to the spirit of sport and increased measures are in place to ensure such a scandal never occurs again. However, there are doubts as to whether the complete eradication of doping from cycling is possible. Scottish cyclist David Millar claimed that “cycling will never be fully clean.” Whilst this may seem pessimistic about cycling’s future, it does highlight the reality facing sport. When there is a new competition to be won or a new title to be gained, there may always be someone willing to manipulate the rules in the pursuit of their personal goal. Nonetheless, Millar supports the idea that the current anti-doping culture will help cycling evolve into a fairer sport. A statement from Scottish Cycling,

the governing body for cycling in Scotland, highlights their commitment to an anti-doping culture within the UK: “It goes without saying that British and Scottish Cycling are absolutely against the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport and we continue to work closely with UK Anti-Doping. Together with British Cycling we have been among the strongest advocates for a clean sport for many years and will continue this going forward.” Thankfully, Scotland also has many reputable and successful cycling champions to help combat the negative impact of Armstrong’s actions. Since 2009, membership levels in Scottish cycling clubs have risen substantially to more than 6000 members. The chief executive of Scottish Cycling, Craig Burn, attributes this success in part to Sir Chris Hoy who actively encourages younger generations to steer clear of performance enhancing drugs.

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Graeme Obree has also called Hoy “a great ambassador” for Scottish cycling. By having role models committed to “clean” cycling, it will inspire younger generations of cyclists to follow the same route. Deeply depressed by Armstrong’s actions, Sir Chris Hoy emphasised the need to “move on” from the scandal. The ability to be open about the dangers of doping and ensure those who do it will not go unnoticed will go a long way in protecting the moral integrity of the sport. By “naming and shaming” those who dare to do it, the fear of being exposed will hopefully dissuade cyclists who would otherwise have considered it. With continuous education and the dedication of cyclists, British and Scottish Cycling and UK Anti-Doping, we have to believe that large scale doping practices are now no longer part of professional cycling; and that the peloton can push on with heads held high.

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The Journal Wednesday 7 November 2012

SPORT// 31

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Scots athletes welcome scholarship support More than 150 of Scotland’s most promising young athletes are accepted to the 2012/13 Winning Students scholarship programme Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

Scotland’s elite sporting stu-

dents have been given a boost in their bid for Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth success. More than 150 talented athletes who combine their training with study at colleges and universities across the country will receive tailored support this academic year through Winning Students scholarships. Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Winning Students is managed by the University of Stirling as Scotland’s university for sporting excellence. High performance student athletes in member colleges and universities across the country are supported with scholarships of up to £5,500 each year. Winning Students programme coordinator Jason Atkins said: “Winning Students is delighted to play its part in developing sporting talent ahead of so many major sporting events. “Scotland’s colleges and universities are packed with sporting talent and the support ensures these students can also prepare for successful careers after sport.” Students who have been granted support for the 2012/13 academic year include Scottish Olympian and Strathclyde University swimmer Robbie Renwick, University of the West of Scotland badminton prodigy Kirsty

Gilmour and Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year and Stirling University maths student Jack McDonald. A total of 44 talented athletes studying at Stirling University were selected, including several footballers who train at the Scottish FA Women’s Football Performance Centre. Glasgow City and Scotland striker, Jane Ross, an MPhil Sports Studies student who went to the 2012 Olympics as a standby player for TeamGB also welcomed the support as she begins her fourth year of support from the programme. She said: “This is my fourth year as a Winning Students sports scholar and the support it provides has been crucial in helping me throughout my undergraduate and now postgraduate study. “The support makes it easier to focus on our sport and our studies and I have definitely developed in both since becoming a Winning Students scholar.” The 2012/13 scholarship roster was announced at the Stirling Sports Village on 30 October where support from Winning Students has helped to establish a national training hub for elite curlers in partnership with Scottish and British Curling. Kyle Waddell, an HND Sports Coaching with Development student at City of Glasgow College, is the Scottish Junior Champion and helped Scotland win a bronze medal at the 2012 World Junior Championships. Waddell, one of 15 curlers to receive

a Winning Student scholarship this year believes the scholarship will make his life easier and make his goals more achievable. He said: “Competing and training can be costly so the Winning Students scholarship will help to ease the burden of this expense and also make my life as a student much simpler. “I am sure it will help guide me and the team towards our goals for the season and beyond.” Other west of Scotland curling scholars include UWS’ Jennifer Martin and Hamilton McMillan, Glasgow University’s Lauren Gray and Vicky Wright and Strathclyde University’s Billy Morton and Grant Hardie. In Edinburgh, curling scholars include Queen Margaret University’s Alice Spence and Mhari Baird as well as Edinburgh Napier University business management student Hannah Fleming. Fleming said: “The scholarship from Winning Students will benefit me greatly in both my education and sporting ambitions. “It will be invaluable in helping with my travel and accommodation costs as well as any academic material that I need. “My main expense is travelling costs due to training at various ice rinks across Scotland and attending weekly gym sessions.” Now in its fifth year supporting student athletes, 11 current and

Andy Buist

former Winning Students competed at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Many of the current cohort are already turning their attention to selection for the Glasgow 2014 Common-

wealth Games. A recent survey of the programme revealing 62 per cent of students cited an improvement to their sporting performance since gaining scholarship support.


Saints undone by Griffiths masterclass at Easter Road

Chris Rubey

St Mirren’s barren spell continues with 2-1 defeat to Hibs away FOOTBALL





Ruth Jeffery Sport editor, Edinburgh

St Mirren suffered a fourth suc-

cessive Scottish Premier League defeat as Hibernian came from behind to win 2-1 at Easter Road. Kenny McLean opened the scoring for Saints just after the half-hour mark with a well-placed drive from distance. A double from in-form Hibs striker Leigh Griffiths either side of the interval was enough to send Hibs back to the top of the table for 24 hours while St Mirren languish in 11th place. St Mirren’s misery was compounded in the 67th minute when captain Jim Goodwin was sent off for a second yellow card after catching David Wotherspoon with his elbow. St Mirren manager Danny Lennon said: “I thought the players showed character, commitment and some very good football. And Hibs showed us

respect because they had to change their formation halfway through the first half, but that didn’t phase us and we continued to play well and we managed to score a wonderful goal through young McLean again.” St Mirren were scrappy in the first half but were dispossessing Hibs and didn’t let them make too many moves towards goal. Danny Lennon’s side spurned a good chance to open the scoring in the 13th minute when Steven Thompson scrambled a ball toward the Hibernian goal, but was just caught by Ben Williams despite fumbling the ball twice. Hibs’ best chance came in the 21st minute when Paul Hanlon got away from the St Mirren defence and shot straight at goal from just inside the box, the ball ricocheted off the right post. McLean broke the deadlock on 32 minutes after Hibs failed to clear a corner. The midfielder thumped it low into the corner of Williams’ goal. On-loan star Griffiths equalised five minutes later smashing the ball past keeper Craig Samson into the back of the net. Griffiths came to close to giving Hibs the lead ten minutes after the

restart when he received the ball from Wotherspoon on the right side of goal but his shot was parried away and knocked clear by Goodwin. Three minutes later, St Mirren came close to going ahead for a second time but Marc McAusland headed wide. It was man of the match Griffiths who got the winner for Hibs in the 64th minute, receiving the ball from Paul Cairney about 30 yards out and took it into the centre of the box before

slotting it neatly past Samson. In the lead for the first time in the match, Hibs dominated the closing stages with the league’s top goalscorer Griffiths creating chances with every

attack. With five minutes remaining Griffiths had the ball in the back of the net again with an angled drive, but the linesman’s flag was up.



BUCS MARS Football Scottish Men’s 1A


BUCS MARS Football Scottish Women’s 1A


A GD Pts


A GD Pts

Stirling 2nd

4 3


0 6

10 4


Glasgow 1st

4 4 0 0 13 12 21


Glasgow 1st

2 2 0 0 11




Heriot-Watt 1st

5 2


2 -1




Robert Gordon 1st

4 2 1

1 7



Heriot-Watt 1st

3 2 0 1 14 6



Aberdeen 1st

4 2

0 2 -1




Edinburgh 1st

4 2 1

1 2




Edinburgh 2nd

4 1

0 3 45 3



Edinburgh 1st

4 1

2 1




Abertay 1st

4 1

0 3 -7 3



Aberdeen 2nd

2 1

0 1 -10 3



Glasgow 1st

5 1

0 4 -6 3



Aberdeen 1st

4 0 0 4 -15 0



Robert Gordon 1st

3 1

0 2 -60 3





Men’s Rugby Union Scottish 2A

A GD Pts 9

Full standings available at:



The world of football waffle

Managers’ colourful banter is helping keep the beautiful game afloat


Scholars earn their stones Scholarship to aid junior curlers aiming for Stirling success IN SPORT / 31

Saints martyred at the hands of glorious Griffiths Hibs hitman prolongs St Mirren’s woeful run in Scottish Premier League

» 31


Patriotism rammed home at Wembley St Louis Rams crushed by New England Patriots

The Journal - Glasgow Issue 17  

Issue 17 of The Glasgow Journal, published on Wednesday 7 November 2012.

The Journal - Glasgow Issue 17  

Issue 17 of The Glasgow Journal, published on Wednesday 7 November 2012.