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ISSUE LIII

EDINBURGH’S STUDENT NEWSPAPER

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

WWW.JOURNAL-ONLINE.CO.UK

GLASGOW’S STUDENT NEWSPAPER

ISSUE XXIV

WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL 2013

EXCLUSIVE

‘It’s just who I am and I can never properly escape it.’

HACKED

» Months-long investigation by The Journal reveals startling rise in cyber-crime against Scottish universities in recent years

IN FEATURES /

Escaping disorder: living with bipolar

» Documents show hundreds of attacks and countless security breaches put personal data of students and staff at risk » Universities try to block release of reports highlighting embarrassing security deficiencies

18

IN SPORT / 28-31

• Cage fighting in Glasgow • 2015 Women’s World Cup • Warriors secure play-off place • Formula 1 round-up • SPL restructuring • Sport Shorts

IN NEWS /

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SPECIAL REPORT

IN ARTS / 20-27

• Fashion: Fortnight in fashion • Film: Olympus Has Fallen • Stage:Xiayin Wang • Books: JM Coetzee • Music: Wide Days round-up

Fear and Loathing in Glasvegas

Toni Pearce elected NUS president

IN FEATURES / We catch up with one of Glasgow’s biggest exports

16

IN NEWS /

All the news from this year’s NUS conference in Sheffield

10-11


2 / CONTENTS

NEWS

The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

THIS WEEK INSIDE THE JOURNAL

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Scottish athletics on then up EXCELLENT NEWS FOR Scottish sporting prospects came over the weekend, with seven potential candidates for the 2014 Commonwealth Games achieving at levels that would permit qualification for the Glasgow games. Hayley Haining, Derek Hawkins and Susan Partridge starred in London’s marathon, with Haining completing the race in two hours, 36 minutes and 52 seconds. If selected for the games in 2014, she could become Scotland’s oldest ever female athlete at the Commonwealth Games. Hawkins was the top British runner in the elite men’s race. Partridge, from Oban, came ninth in a time of 2:30:46, which is a good enough time for a place at the World Championships in Moscow in August. Speaking to Scottishathletics she said: “I am thrilled with ninth place. The best I have managed before at this kind of level is 17th so to be in the top 10 in the London Marathon feels special.” The standard qualifying time for Glasgow 2014 is 2:40:00, placing next summer well within the reach of Scotland’s sporting potentials.

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IN NEWS /

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SAASY SUMMER Students in Glasgow and Paisley urged to prevent delays by applying for student finance before summer holidays

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For whom the clock dings A SET OF historically significant clocks will once again chime throughout Glasgow Art School over a century after their construction. The project to restore the time-keeping system, designed and built by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1910, has received funding from Museum Galleries Scotland to the tune of £16,800. Groundbreaking in its day, the system requires no winding up, but consists of a set of 19 clock faces in different studios. These are linked to a central master device that sends a pulse of electricity to ensure all the devices are displaying the same time.

IN COMMENT /

IN ARTS /

14

20 CHVRCHES

NORTH KOREA John Steel questions the morality and ethics of the BBC’s ovestigative reportage in North Korea

The Journal catches up with one of Glasgow’s most in-demand bands

You mars be joking... A TRIP TO the red planet might sound like an attractive prospect, however, Dutch Organisation Mars One seem to be offering just a one-way ticket. Anyone applying for a return ticket would be advised to check their travel arrangements. In September 2022, the company intends to launch an expedition to Mars with humans aboard who are willing to accept the risk that a return flight “cannot be anticipated nor expected.” A reality TV-style competition has begun on Twitter and Youtube to find members of the public suitably interested in visiting Mars and potentially settling on the planet. Mars One intends to fund the $6 billion from commercial media and television events.

IN FEATURES /

18-19 ESCAPING BIPOLAR DISORDER The Journal interviews a couple struggling to live with the heartache of a mental health illness

IN SPORT /

29 VETTEL DOMINANCE RETURNS Red Bull driver wins second consecutive race to lead the world drivers’ championship after four rounds of the 2013 season

For advertising enquiries or to buy ad space in The Journal Email ads@journal-online.co.uk or call our sales department on 0131 560 2830

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 2830 or email info@ journal-online.co.uk. The Journal is a free newspaper for and written by students and graduates in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Contact us if you’d like to get involved. Printed by Morton’s Printers, Lincolnshire. Copyright © 2013 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.twoheadsmedia.co.uk. Our thanks to PSYBT, Scottish Enterprise, and all who make this publication possible.


The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

Station to be jazzed up Glasgow Central hopes to attract visitors with arts events Hugh Llewellyn

Keira Murray Local News editor

Glasgow Central is bidding to

become the ‘destination’ station in Scotland with music and other arts events. The station will feature jazz concerts and dancing shows aimed to attract station users before and after using the train services. The station is the second busiest outwith London and station managers hope to use this idea to spark more custom to the station as well as encourage others to try the same ideas. Glasgow Central station manager, Ross Moran said: “Our ambition is to make the station a cultural hub. “We want to draw as much music as possible, and as many events as we can. We want to draw people in and celebrate the station as a destination in its own right.” With over 34 million people visiting the station each year, this new initiative hopes to increase these numbers even further. A Network Rail spokesperson said that: “On an ongoing basis we try to encourage people into the station — not just people who are travelling but those buying lunch or visiting a bar. “It can be viewed as more than just a place to catch a train. Stations across the country do their own thing and put on different events.” The station has already hosted successful events including a Zumbathon where over 600 Zumba lovers danced on the main concourse, as well as music events featuring some of the city’s best jazz talents.

LOCAL NEWS / 3

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

Non-emergency hotline reaches caller landmark 101 number reaches 100,000 calls to Police Scotland since its launch two months ago Keira Murray Local news editor

Scotland’s non-emergency police contact number has received

JAZZ CENTRAL: Glasgow station to hold arts events Moran added: “I’d like the station to be recognised as a home of jazz — to have a weekly music session based at the station on a Friday night. “What better way to go home for the weekend than to come to the station, have a couple of drinks and a bite to eat, listen to music and then jump on the train home?” This initiative will also allow for local bands to gain some exposure and play to a large crowd on a regular basis. Glasgow-based jazz band, Brass Jaw, have already played at the station and are actively encouraging the involvement of music at the station. Lead singer Paul Towndrow said:

“It works really well for the city because places like train stations and airports are usually the first time when a visitor gets to a city sets foot in the place, so the first impression they get is really important. “If its one of culture, music and vibrancy then that translates into, hopefully, a really strong experience of the city.” Network Rail, which owns Glasgow Central, Edinburgh Waverley and a number of English stations including Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street and London Kings Cross, hopes to encourage other station managers to adopt similar customer boosting ideas.

more than 100,000 calls. The service, which launched on 21 February 2013, allows people living in Scotland to report crimes that are of a non-urgent nature. More than 3,200 people used this 101 service on 2 April, the day after Police Scotland was launched, making it the busiest day since opening two months ago. Chief Superintendent Val Thomson, Divisional Commander at the Contact, Command and Control Division commented on the high volume of calls. She said: “That so many people have already dialled 101 shows that the number really is easy to remember and to use.” “101 allows police to be more accessible to the public when they need us. It’s also a great opportunity for us to get a message to the public without them actually having to speak to us.” The new system has also been of use to people living in Dumfries and Galloway who have suffered bad

weather and snowstorms this year. The service has allowed people to contact the police and ask advice on how to cope with these conditions. Also, services throughout Scotland have been receiving more and more calls through this 101 number. Over 30 per cent of calls made to the police have been recorded as being from the 101 service. The 101 service was launched by Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick on 21 February at Bilston Glen area control room near Edinburgh. Citizens in Scotland are able to contact their local police office to report a non-emergency crime such as vandalism, car crime or suspected drug dealing in their area. Additionally, the public can also speak to their local police department for advice. Each call to 101 costs 15p regardless of the length of the call or whether it is being made from a landline or mobile telephone.

Matheson rebuked over George Square design fiasco Beleagured Glasgow City Council leader could face leadership challenge in May after architects accuse Labour politician of hampering competition Aoife Moore Staff writer

A scathing new leaked report has

unleashed a new wave of criticism on Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson after the £15 million revamp of George Square was abandoned. The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland said in a leaked report that Matheson had brought the city into “significant disrepute” over his handling of the fiasco. The Labour councillor’s interference in the bidding process is said to have cost the taxpayer £100,000. Matheson insisted he would chair the committee and a competition was held for architects to put forward their designs for the city centre civic space. The beleagured council leader then scrapped the revamp minutes after the winning design by John McAslan & Partners was announced, declaring that the winning design was “disrespectful to Glasgow.”

The leaked RIAS document surfaced after Matheson pulled the plug on the redesign instead opting for a modest facelift. Matheson is accused of hampering the competition after his favourite vision for the square by Burns and Nice was rejected. The Burns and Nice design was also voted the public’s favourite in an online poll. On 14 January, Matheson courted controversy by declaring “scheme number six [by architect Burns + Nice] was by far the best submission”. The committee in charge of the redesign later adjudged the design to be fourth in its ranking of preference The leaked report notes that the Labour council leader repeatedly refused to abide by competition rules and convention. It said: ‘[From] his initial comments at the first judges meeting onwards, it appears that, for whatever reason, Councillor Matheson had selected his

own winner at the outset and reasoning by a very experienced group of judges did not persuade him otherwise. “His abandonment of the judging process at the conclusion of the Wednesday meeting led to much negative press. “Unfortunately because they were still involved in a confidential process and they are all consummate professionals, the judges were unable to give their side of the story.’ Tory and SNP councillors have called for Matheson to apologise for his conduct that has cost the architects involved almost £95,000 in time and fees. The latest debacle in Matheson’s tenure as council leader could see his leadership challenged at Scottish Labour’s AGM next month. A RIAS spokesperson has said: “We do not comment on leaked documents.” Glasgow City Council has refused to comment on the issue or Matheson’s conduct.

Olivia Pires

GORD ABOVE: Matheson could face leadership challenge


4 / NATIONAL POLITICS

The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

Salmond names referendum day Scottish Government confirms Thursday 18 September 2014 as day Scots will vote on independence Scottish Government

Thousands protest Trident in Glasgow Activists want nuclear deterrent scrapped Francis McKee

NAE NUKES: Vocal opponents to Trident hit Glasgow streets Daniel do Rosario Political editor

Thousands

FREEDOM FIGHTERS: SNP hope to win the battle for Scottish independence Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor, Glasgow

First minister Alex Salmond has

announced the historic Scottish independence referendum will be held on Thursday 18 September 2014. The SNP leader revealed the date as the Scottish Government introduced draft legislation before the Scottish Parliament. Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Salmond said: “It’s worth reflecting, just for a moment, on the privilege this nation and this generation will have — nothing less than choosing the future course of our country. “We have been on a journey since 1999, since the restoration of our parliament here in the heart of our ancient capital. We’ve witnessed a growing confidence, an increase in democratic accountability. “I’m honoured to announce that, on Thursday the 18th of September 2014, we will hold Scotland’s referendum — a historic day when the people will decide Scotland’s future.” Voters will be asked the yes or no question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The Scottish Independence Referendum Bill, introduced by deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, sets out the arrangement of the referendum and should pass safely with the SNP enjoying a majority in the parliament. The Bill outlines the costs of running, regulating and promoting the referendum with £8.6 million for running the referendum, £2.4 million to pay for a free mailshot for the two campaign organisations (included as part of the ‘Edinburgh Agreement’ at the request of the UK Government), £2.4 million for the Electoral Commission providing regulation and oversight of the referendum, with the Scottish Government accepting the Commission’s recommendation that £1.8 million should be used for public awareness campaigns. In a Scottish Government statement, Salmond said: “On 18 September 2014 people across Scotland will vote to determine their country’s future. It will be a historic day, and one on which this ancient nation decides its place in the world. “People will be able to choose if they want a Scotland that is independent and able to make her own decisions – with a Scottish Parliament that is responsible for making

the most of Scotland’s rich resources to benefit its communities and safeguard the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens and accountable for how we engage other nations around the world. “Devolution has shown how we can use Holyrood’s powers to improve lives in the policy areas where we are already effectively independent.” Opposition parties believe that Scotland will be better off if it remains as part of the UK and are campaigning as Better Together, fronted by former Labour chancellor and current Edinburgh South West MP, Alastair Darling. The Scottish government has already introduced separate draft legislation to allow 16- and 17-yearolds to vote in the ballot, a decision championed by the National Union of Students. However, at the NUS Scotland conference in Dundee in March, delegates passed a motion to remain neutral on the issue of independence through the referendum, but will assist with promoting voter registration and support students’ associations in running voter registration drives as well as investigation of on-campus polling booths.

of

campaigners

marched in the streets of Glasgow on 13 April in protest against the Trident nuclear deterrent, culminating in a rally in George Square. The demonstration was organised by the Scrap Trident Coalition, a broad group of anti-war, antinuclear and independence activists who oppose the renewal of the UK’s submarine-based nuclear weapon system, based in Faslane near Glasgow. The march and rally passed without Incident, but 47 people – mostly students – were arrested in a related action on Monday as they blockaded the Faslane naval base on the Clyde. The naval base was forced to shut until 13:00, when the protestors were removed. The Scrap Trident Coalition claim that renewing Trident will cost £100 billion over the course of its deployment, money the they say should be spent on ‘human needs’ like education, healthcare and welfare. Mahmoud Mahdy, member of the pro-independence International Socialist Group, believes that the economic cost of Trident renewal has united disparate activists. “Nobody is thinking about it in terms of the peace element, because that is just common sense — nobody wants weapons of mass destruction 20 miles away from Glasgow. “In the age of austerity the narrative is that there’s not enough money to basically bail the country out — leading to all the cuts we’re seeing. “The problem we’ve always had in

the student movement is when you’re fighting against cuts, what is the alternative except progressive taxation or taxing the rich? Well, scrapping Trident is a very concrete alternative. It’s an alternative that unites all sections of society.” Mahdy was pleased about the media impact of the Faslane blockade and subsequent arrests, although he condemned the police, who he claimed treated the blockaders “disgustingly”, and “were very intimidating in terms of language.” Activists say that the 47 arrested were charged with breach of the peace and were released the same day. The Journal also spoke to Gary Paterson, a University of Strathclyde student activist. He said: “We’re being told that we can’t have a free and fairly funded education for all, but that we must have earth shattering nuclear weapons on our doorstep whilst other countries like Ireland and Canada, and over 170 others manage get by without. 80 per cent of Scots are against Trident but we’re not being listened to. “I am pleased to see people travel from all over Scotland and beyond to say no to nukes, I was also pleased that student representatives from all over Scotland recently voted unanimously for NUS Scotland to support the scrapping of Trident.” The UK coalition government has said that no decision on Trident renewal will take place until 2016, although defence secretary Philip Hammond already set aside over £350 million for research and development.


The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

ACADEMIC NEWS / 5

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

UKBA grant new London Met licence Troubled university allowed to sponsor new non-EEA students after UKBA revoked trusted sponsor status in 2012 Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

London Metropolitan University has been granted a new licence to

sponsor non-EEA students by the UK Border Agency. The university lost its Highly Trusted Sponsor status in 2012 after a series of failings, putting 2,600 international students at risk. While a temporary reprieve was granted for existing international students to continue their studies, the university was prevented from recruiting further non-EEA students from the January 2013 intake. In an FAQ on the UKBA website on Tuesday, it said: “Following the revocation of London Metropolitan University’s licence, we undertook a series of detailed checks on their systems and processes for monitoring non-EEA students. As a result the university has made significant improvements, which is why we are now allowing the university to again sponsor students. “The university now has appropriate checks and processes in place to monitor its international (non-EEA) students, which is why we have allowed the university to again sponsor students under the Tier 4 route. “Over the next 12 months the university will have the opportunity to demonstrate that it can maintain these standards and work towards becoming a full Highly Trusted Sponsor. Over the past year our aim has been to support

legitimate students choosing to study in the UK. “It is in the interest of international students that all institutions take their immigration responsibilities seriously and demonstrate that they comply with the rules.” Professor Malcolm Gillies, vicechancellor of London Met, said: “This is excellent news for our students and our university, which looks forward to welcoming students from around the world who want to study at one of London’s most diverse academic institutions. “London Met has a long history of providing education to international students and we can now continue this long-term commitment to offer them quality education. “Students can have total confidence that our processes are stronger than ever. I take this opportunity to thank all staff and students and, in particular, international students for their patience and support over the last nine months.” Seeking redress despite the considerable problems found by UKBA, the university went to the High Court last year in a bid to overturn the decision, with the National Union of Students intervening as a third party to ensure students’ voices were heard. Mr Justice Irwin declined to quash the decision to revoke the licence, but allowed London Met to seek a judicial review which will be heard in October this year. UKBA has advised that all students

with the right to remain will be allowed to complete their studies. Emmanuel Egwu, a Nigerian international student London Met in 2009 on a foundation course and is now in his final year of the BSc Forensic Science, was delighted with the news and hopes to go on into postgraduate study with the university. He said: “I am truly thrilled that London Met has finally got back its licence. I came from Nigeria, to study here in the UK and London Met has given me the opportunity to exercise and develop my academic knowledge. “There isn’t another university who can give students a quality and affordable education, right here in the centre of London. “My four years of studying at London Met have been fantastic and I encourage students to find a place hereit’s a great learning environment.” Responding to the news at its annual conference in Sheffield, NUS president Liam Burns said: “It is welcome news that students have greater stability and security now London Met is back on the road to regaining its HTS licence, and that existing students can finally have confidence that they can continue their studies at a university with a licence. “We do however have some pressing concerns about restrictions on numbers, work placements, and re-sits in this transitional year and will be urgently seeking further clarification.” NUS has called on the government to change the way it treats international

LICENCE TO BILL: London Met to cash in on non-EEA students students, including removing them from net migration figures, supported by five parliamentary committees. Burns added: “This whole saga has shown why the Home Office urgently needs to take responsibility for the damage it has caused to the reputation of the UK’s world class education system and change the way it treats international students to ensure full and proper protection for those study-

ing in this country.” “It is deeply problematic for immigration policy to interfere with teaching and learning, both of which should be firmly in the hands of students and educators.” Nearly 5,000 international students have already made applications to study with London Met for September 2013. and the university has planned a fourmonth tour across 17 countries.

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6 / STUDENT POLITICS

Popular vice-president activities Kwaku Adjei to become Strathclyde president in July after landslide victory

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The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

Kwak bosses USSA election

20/4/13

Hurt, scared, unhappy, lonely, troubled, angry, mixed up, lost ...

Don’t be. Émer O’Toole Staff writer

Kwaku Adjei was elected 2013-14

University of Strathclyde Students’ Association (USSA) president after a landslide victory. The current vice-president activities was elected with 1,313 votes, 779 votes ahead of nearest rival Hynes. The polls were open for 30 hours on Monday and Tuesday and the campus was covered in the candidates’ campaign material. The Students’ Association employed six election ambassadors to raise awareness of the elections and to help students vote in polling stations in the library and in The Union. Adjei said: “As your president, I will work to improve the experience of our students; I want to create more cultural societies, have more international congresses, build a more culturally diverse union, improve exchange opportunities, and work to improve citizenship on campus!” James Ferns was elected vicepresident education and promised to end exam and assignment bunching, improve international exchange opportunities and reinstate SAAS travel expenses. James Reid, elected vice-president sports and wellbeing was ecstatic with the result. He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been elected as the new vicepresident sports and wellbeing. The Sports Union has experienced huge growth in the past year and with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the not-so-distant future, I can see it growing larger. “A key aim is to increase overall

participation in sport at Strathclyde, from a recreational and competitive standpoint. I am sure that alongside my colleagues on the USSA executive we can make this a year to remember.” Joshua Hong, elected Vice President Activities and Development aims to tackle the issue of the very low 7.5 per cent of students’ getting involved in clubs and societies. He said: “In my opinion clubs and societies is running incredibly well at the moment, my main problem is that it needs to be expanded as it is still a small minority of students that actually get involved. “I believe I have the experience to expand the reach of the current clubs and societies, since I am used to doing marketing and recruitment for Enactus Strathclyde. “There’s of course more I want to do but I’d rather sit down with as many students as possible and find out what they really want from the union, rather than making my own personal guess.” Roza Salih, elected vice-president diversity and advocacy said: “I like to bring a culturally diverse environment to our university ‘we should celebrate our differences’ by exchanging languages, celebrating all cultural festivals. “Above all I like to increase communication with students to know everything about their university especially the events and supports services!” Additionally, students were asked whether they would like to allow international students on exchange and ERASMUS programmes to vote in the elections and students voted in favour of this proposition, meaning there will be more students eligible to vote in future elections.

Two other referenda questions were put to students: permanently reducing the number of sabbatical officers from six to five and implementing the updated equal opportunities policy – both of these proposals passed with a majority of students voting in favour. First year student, Haniyyah Iqbal was part of the campaign team for Zara Mohammed who stood for vice-president activities and development. Iqbal said: “The results were very intense. Zara didn’t win, but we won best campaign team. Going around halls, persuading people to vote and making campaign videos was a lot of fun. It stresses the importance of voting as it affects who fights for your rights as a student.” Anastasia Radchenko was elected vice-chair education but unfortunately; no other candidates stood for any vice-chair positions. The elections saw 2,991 votes, representing around 16 per cent of students at the university. Although USSA missed its target of 20 per cent of eligible students voting, 2013 saw Strathclyde’s second highest election turnout in 10 years and the third highest turnout ever.

// RESULTS Kwaku Adjei: 1,313 James McIntyre: 534 David Hynes: 510 RON: 95

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The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

STUDENT NEWS / 7

Student publications launch new association Student Publication Association inaugurated at first national conference at Southampton University Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

Students from across the UK came together this month to set up the Student Publication Association (SPA). The national association for student newspapers and magazines — considered the print and digital equivalent of fellow student media associations the National Student Television Association (NaSTA) and Student Radio Association (SRA) — was born at a national conference organised by David Gilani, a Southampton University Students’ Union (SUSU) sabbatical officer. The conference, also hosted by SUSU and its student publications at its Highfield campus, saw dozens of student journalists in attendance to determine the best way to support student publications. Speaking to The Journal, Gilani said: “I’ll always be immensely grateful for the dozens of students who took the time, money and effort to come down and make this conference what it was; not to mention the hundreds who submitted awards online. “Everybody has been so supportive of this idea, and it’s that support which has made me confident that the SPA will continue to grow and thrive, until it can truly support all student publications. “That’s been my aim all along, and I’m so happy to have played a part in it.” In a series o workshops between 11-13

April, delegates discussed the issues facing students’ association-funded and independent publications and how they can collectively overcome them, heard from human rights journalist Elizabeth Mistry and The National Student founder James Thornhill. At the heart of the conference was the first Student Publication Association awards dinner which attracted over 100 entrants. Portsmouth University newspaper The Galleon was the biggest winner on the night, scooping three awards for Best Live/Commentary, Best Technical and Best News as well as being highly commended in Best News and Best Website. The University of East Anglia’s Concrete scooped best publication ahead of Sunderland University’s Spark magazine and also took the Best Website award. Other notable awards included Best Design (Bournemouth University’s Nerve ahead of highly commended winners Nottingham Trent’s Platform), while The Journal’s Gareth Llewellyn was named best reporter. At its first AGM, the association elected its first executive committee, with Cardiff University’s Chris Williams elected as chair. De Montford University’s Hannah Bracegirdle and Natasha Sawires were elected as marketing and events and development officers respectively. Southampton Solent’s Steph Powell and Portsmouth University’s Daniel

Southampton University Students’ Union

BETTER TOGETHER : Student journalists launch nationwide support network Chesterton completed the committee as membership and communications officer and digital media officer. Speaking to The Journal, Williams said: “David put on a brilliant event that’s created the foundation for an association which can act as a support network to help carry on and further the amazing work that publications around the UK are already doing. “There’s still lots to do to get the SPA off the ground, so the exec will be working tirelessly to make sure that pub-

lications get the support and help they need. “The enthusiasm from everyone at the the conference was incredible and something that I will work to hard to maintain and build upon over the next year.” Megan Downing, editor-elect of Southampton University’s The Edge magazine added: “I am so thrilled to be a part of starting something with so much potential. “Despite only being in my second

year of university, it is clear that starting the Student Publication Association has been a long time coming, and I hope that the newly-elected committee will lead SPA to becoming something spectacular.” In recognition of Gilani’s efforts to kick-start the association, he was unanimously voted in as a life member at the AGM. The SPA committee is expected to formalise the assoication’s structure in the coming months

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Sun, Sea, SAAS: timely funding applications urged Glasgow Student Forum push to prevent repeat of last year’s student funding chaos Ben Cohen Staff writer

Student leaders from Glasgow

and Paisley have urged students to apply for SAAS funding before the summer break. The move orchestrated by the Glasgow Student Forum in partnership with SAAS hopes to prevent serious delays experienced by students at the start of this academic year. The Glasgow Student Forum — which includes student representatives from colleges and universities in Glasgow and Paisley — has made recommendations to help prevent the same situation from happening again. Garry Quigley, University of the West of Scotland president, said: “In the meetings that we’ve had with SAAS this year, they’ve alerted us to the problem that a large amount of students are applying for their SAAS in August and September. “The Glasgow Student Forum has led on the SAAS issue and we hope that this stage in our campaign will help reduce the amount of issues that may arise next September. “Therefore, we’re urging the

120,000 members that are represented in the Glasgow Student Forum to apply for their SAAS funding before they stop for their summer holidays.” Carla Fyfe, Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association president, added: “Working in partnership with the other Universities and Colleges in Glasgow and Paisley, we are launching our ‘Sun, Sea and SAAS’ campaign and urging all students to apply for their SAAS funding before they stop for their summer holidays. “This pro-active stage in our campaign, which is working in partnership with SAAS, will hopefully reduce the amount of students having to apply for their SAAS funding in August and September. This will hopefully prevent the same delays that occurred earlier on this year.” The Scottish government was forced to launch an inquiry after a second year of serious delays to some students receiving funding, with over 6,000 students of 151,281 applicants across Scotland without funding on 1 November 2012. SAAS said at the time that 46,000 applications arrived after its 30 June guarantee cut-off date.


8 / ACADEMIC NEWS

The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

Unions slam new HE code Scots scientists in

DNA breakthrough

Key principles of the von Prondzynski governance review left out by Edinburgh scientists discover cost effective steering group of unaccountable chairs of court, say EIS and NUS method of ‘zipping and unzipping’ DNA “We call on the Cabinet Secretary to Ben Cohen Staff writer

Trades Unions have branded the

new Higher Education governance review as weak and disappointing. The criticism comes after the code was published by a steering group of experts chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin, a former governor of the BBC before the creation of the BBC Trust director and current chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland. Larry Flanagan, EIS General Secretary, said: “The EIS is disappointed with the draft version of the Scottish Code of Good HE Governance published [16 April 2013] as it seems to offer nothing new to improve HE governance or accountability. In fact the main aim of the draft code seems to reinforce the autonomy of universities and consolidate existing power structures.” One major criticism of the code is the several vague statements of openness, transparency and accountability, making it easy for universities to avoid scrutiny if they do not meet the standards. UCU Scotland president, Gordon Watson, said: “This is a code written by managers for managers, which is perhaps unsurprising considering the lack of staff and student involvement in the steering group and code development.

reject the code and instead implement the proposals of the Higher Education Governance Review led by Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski. Further the Education and Culture Committee should not include the code in the Post-16 Bill.” Robin Parker, NUS Scotland president, added: “NUS Scotland were clear from the outset where we needed to see real change. We wanted to see proposals to tackle high pay for senior managers. “Instead, it’s more of the same, with no real staff or student involvement. The code could have started reversing the clear gender imbalance on governing bodies. But instead we seem to get only warm words, and little action. “There were opportunities to genuinely involve students as full members in the appointment and appraisal of university principals. What we have instead is a vague guideline for ‘consultation’. “Obviously this is only a draft, but we must see significant improvements before the final code is produced. The Chairs had a chance to come up with their own meaningful rules, but they don’t seem to have taken that chance. “We now hope to work with all stakeholders over the coming months to see real progress in university governance, and have a code of governance we can all be proud of.”

Greg Bianchi News editor, Edinburgh

The EIS has welcomed the principle that the Scottish Funding Council will require universities to follow the enacted code as a condition of a grant of public funding, but feels the loopholes for institutions devalues the code. Flanagan added: “The universities will issue the code on a ‘comply or explain basis’ which upon reading the code means complying with the code ‘wherever possible’ and simply issuing an explanation in the following year’s annual report where this is not possible. “The draft code seeks a wider role for the chairs of courts - which is unsurprising since the document has been written by an unaccountable group of chairs of university courts. The new governance code has been produced by a steering group appointed by the chairs of court and will be included in legislation as part of the Post-16 Bill.

A team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh have discovered a way to zip and unzip DNA strands with the use of electrochemistry. The scientists were working in cooperation with NPL and it is hoped the discovery will help to improve technologies such as biosensors and DNA microarrays which could make medical diagnostics cheaper and quicker to use. The ability to zip and unzip DNA links to the double-helix make up of DNA which was discovered by Cambridge based scientists Watson and Crick in the 1950s. This suggested that DNA could be unzipped but until now the process has been too expensive or has modified the nucleotides which are the building blocks of DNA. According to the science website phys.org “The most common way of controlling the binding of DNA is by raising and lowering temperature in a process known as heat cycling. While this method is effective, it requires bulky equipment, which is often only suitable for use in laboratories. Medicine is moving towards personalised treatment and diagnostics which

We’re looking for people to join our editorial team for the 2013/14 academic year: if you’re a student at any of Glasgow’s higher or further education institutions with an interest in journalism, design or photography, The Journal is the place for you!

E T S E R E T IN JOI N

? M S I L A N D I N JOU R

The Journal is a fantastic place to gain invaluable experience in journalism. We are Scotland’s largest independent student media organisation, and our allstudent editorial staff produce award-winning citywide student newspapers in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, alongside an ambitious and fast-paced web presence. We have won awards for print excellence and digital innovation, and our alumni have gone on to work at — among others — The Guardian, The Scotsman, The Financial Times, Daily Mail, STV and the BBC. For more information or to apply for any position, please

require portable devices to quickly carry out testing at the point of care, i.e. in hospitals rather than laboratories. The development of alternative methods to control the DNA binding process, for example with changes in acidity or the use of chemical agents, would be a significant step towards lab-on-a-chip devices that can rapidly detect disease.” The paper, published in The Journal of the American Chemical Society explains that electrodes are attached to a sample which contains strands of double-helix DNA. This reduces the chemicals and destabilises the DNA which then unzip. Reducing the voltage of the electrodes then oxidises the DNA strands which then zip back up into a double helix. The current method of binding DNA involves raising and lowering the temperature. This is effective however is not a cost effective method as bulky equipment is needed and is therefore only suitable in laboratories and aren’t portable or accessible for frontline medical care. The current method differs as it provides a cheaper and easier solution to this problem and it is hoped this new technology will aid medicine in the future.

2013/14 vacancies EDITORIAL News

• News editor • Local news editor • Student news editor • Academic news editor • Student politics editor • Beat reporters

Comment & Features

• Comment & Features editor • Comment editor • Profile editor

Arts & Entertainment • Arts & Ents editor • Music editor • Film editor • Art & design editor • Fashion editor • Theatre editor • Food & drink editor • Reviewers

Sport • Sport editor • Assistant sport editor • Reporters

MEDIA/PRODUCTION • Photographers/ videographers • Layout/graphic designers • Subeditors


The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

ACADEMIC NEWS / 9

EXCLUSIVE

Cyber attacks put student data at risk An investigation by The Journal reveals startling rise in cyber-crime against Scottish universities Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

Scottish

universities

have

seen a rise in the number of cybercrimes against their IT infrastructure in recent years. After a five-month investigation, The Journal can reveal that Scotland’s universities have experienced hundreds of attacks, which led the University of Edinburgh to send a report to the Information Commissioner’s Office in October 2012. Documents seen by The Journal show that the University of Strathclyde only formally records incidents which are reported to its IT helpdesks, but are exploring ways to investigate more detailed ways investigate more detailed ways to log and track IT security incidents, however, this information is not available retrospectively. The university saw a modest rise in copyright violation on its networks between 2008/09 and 2010/11, but that figure dropped to 21 in 2011/12 and four instances were recorded so far in 2012/13. Strathclyde also saw a significant rise in hostile activity rising from 13 instances in 2010/11 to 29 in 2011/12 and nine cases recorded so far this academic year. Network abuse was another reporting category to see a significant increase, rising from five in 2010/11 to 15 in 2011/12 with a rise from two to 33 in unauthorised service use from 2010/11 to 2011/12 and has already seen 16 occurrences this academic year. Strathclyde also receives over 500,000 incoming email connections on a typical working day, the University will receive over 500,000 with almost 85 per cent of these are identified as likely spam or malware. At Edinburgh University, five websites and three ‘legacy’ databases have been compromised in the first three months of this academic year alone with at least 160 people believed to have been affected and advised to change their passwords. The compromised websites were altered to promote advertising with one also redirecting to an external website before the university was able to remove the content and repair them. Two of the websites were later re-infected, but again fixed. Compromised databases led to names and addresses being made to the public – which the university maintains were already in the public domain – along with passwords to minor databases, of which most were encrypted. The university took action to take down the sites to review the code leading to added security to its web servers and a new system put in place for database management. The revelation of security breaches at one of Scotland’s most prestigious universities comes at the same time as documents from the University of the West of Scotland revealed an unexpected level of attempts.

EXPLOITED: Universities try to block access to details over data breaches

“There has been no breach in security over this period. [at UWS]. There have been many thousands of cyber-attacks but none of them has been successful.” In response to a request for information, the University of the West of Scotland said: “There has been no breach in security over this period. There have been many thousands of cyber-attacks but none of them has been successful.” When asked to accurately quantify the information, a UWS spokesperson added: “There has been no data loss, malware infection, virus infection, cost to repair or other action taken to prevent further breaches, other than blocking spam email addresses. “Although we log these events, we do not keep the logs (they are very large) for more than 90 days and we have no accurate trend analysis over the period specified. The perception would be that these attacks continue to increase in number year-on-year.” At Edinburgh University, The

Journal can reveal that the affected websites at Edinburgh University were the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh University Brass Band (EUBB) and a website providing access to a database for a School of Biology research project on ed.ac.uk servers. The university concluded that this instance appeared to be an automated Structured Query Language (SQL) injection attack rather than a targeted attack. At the time, tech news website The Register reported that Anonymousaffiliated Team GhostShell had targeted the world’s top 100 universities in a protest against tuition fees and an apparent falling quality of education. In filing the report to the ICO, however, Susan Graham, the University Record Manager, determined this media coverage to be “very inaccurate”. Of the people affected by the most serious security breach at Edinburgh University, 11 biology research students saw their details made available, 109 staff names and 53 email addresses released from the Veterinary School and up to 20 names, email addresses and a combination of names and passwords were obtained from the EUBB website. A review of the university’s Information Security Policy has been undertaken this year and the university’s central management group received a proposal this academic year to enhance the overall security of systems outside of central control. The number of incidents that may have occurred could be far greater, but were not logged centrally with the IT Infrastructure Division which only holds records from 2010/11. With three academic colleges subdivided into 22 schools - and three support groups - subdivided into 70

support services – the university’s IT security is devolved with individual schools and units responsible for protecting information systems, which could have resulted in scores of other attacks which remain unknown. In 2011/12, four individual school and student union servers were compromised with advertising and links to outside services added. The servers were subsequently secured and malware removed. A user account was also compromised and allowed a malicious remote user access to 12 individual school desktop systems. The user account password was changed and systems were checked. A school publication website was also compromised via a SQL injection. The server was secured and added material removed. In 2010/11, a server of one of the university’s colleges was broken into and a set of names and passwords were stolen. The server was secured and method of handling names and passwords was changed. Despite repeated requests for comment, Edinburgh University failed to respond before The Journal went to print. Queen Margaret University revealed to The Journal that it has also experienced attacks with six and seven machines respectively in two separate incidents in 2009/10 costing £130 to fix. Two similar attacks took place in 2010/11 resulting in a cost of £150 to fix, however, a QMU server that year was also compromised through an “insecure/default install of PHP”. The PHP install was updated and hardened with restrictions on external access put in place for the server in question. The university spent £250 of staff time to investigate, solve and implement patches and security hard-

ening through restrictions to external access to prevent re-occurrence. QMU said: “When any infection is found the machine is isolated from the network and then will only be allowed back on the network once cleaned. The devices would probably be off the network for at least half a day depending on circumstances.” Despite the susceptibility to infection from personal machines on wireless networks, QMU does not have a comparison, but estimates the university machine infection as very low. “If a university machine is compromised then it will be flattened and re-imaged unless there is a concern that the virus or malware can withstand this process in which case the hard disk would be replaced.” Unlike some universities, including Edinburgh University, QMU has a central reporting system to make it easier to spot potential problems on its networks. Heriot-Watt University also confirmed that it has been subject to two cyber-attacks in 2011-12 which led to a web server briefly losing connectivity on one campus in December 2011 with a further compromise in January 2012 of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunk service briefly affected telecommunications on two campuses. Both services were swiftly restored by QMU’s IT services staff and relevant service providers, but not without some inconvenience to some staff and students. Edinburgh Napier University, University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University declined to disclose information in relation to any cyber-attacks against their systems. The Journal requested a review in each case, but a response has not been received by any of these four universities.


10 / STUDENT POLITICS

The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

2013 NUS NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Toni Pearce wins NUS presidency

NUS/Will Bunce

Former Cornwall College president and NUS VP becomes first non-university leader Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

for all colleges and universities, and to increase efforts to organise and support students to run and win Toni Pearce has been elected campaigns in their local areas. 2013-14 National Union of Students More than 450 of NUS-affiliated president at the union’s national students’ unions are in further educonference at Sheffield City Hall. cation (FE) institutions and the The 23-year-old former Cornwall majority of the students NUS repreCollege president and current vice- sents are in FE. president further education secured Conservative Party-supporting 424 votes (57.92 per cent) defeating candidate, Peter Smallwood, polled the current vice-president union 91 votes with 7 votes to Re-open development Vicki Baars by 214 Nominations. votes. There were 733 ballot papers Pearce said: “I’m really proud to received, with 732 valid resulting in have been given the opportunity to a quota of 366. build the student movement around Sam Gaus, representing the Inana vision for public education, and to imate Carbon Rod, withdrew from be leading NUS as we build towards the race after a rousing speech highthe next general election. lighting some of the systemtic prob“Between now and 2015 we need lems within the organisation. to hold a full and frank debate about Pearce studied at Cornwall what education means to society College before being elected to the and to properly articulate the public college’s students’ union from 2009value of education in communities 11, advancing to NUS vice-president up and down the country.” further education for two terms Pearce’s priorities included from 2011-13. linking college and university stuPearce will succeed former dents’ unions together to fight for Heriot-Watt Students’ Union presilocal wins in the upcoming general dent and NUS Scotland president, election in 2015, to campaign for a Liam Burns, when his seond year in single central admissions system office ends at the end of June.

FE PARTY: Toni Pearce will become first NUS president not to go to university // RESULTS

424 210 91 7

Toni Pearce Vicki Baars Peter Smallwood RON

Labour students retain control of student movement union Far-left sees three high-profile candidates fail to secure election Michael Mawdsley Staff writer

This year’s National Union

of Students conference reflects a move towards the centre-left within student politics. While tribalism in student politics is no surprise, tensions across NUS have become increasingly fraught. Far-left groups such as NCAFC (National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts) continue to argue that student politics have become increasingly modelled on the centre-left politics of Labour Students. Of the six sabbatical candidates, Labour Students succeeded in getting two officially recognised candidates elected, with Joe Vinson and Dom Anderson taking the positions of vice president further education and vice president society and citizenship. The Labour candidates’ more moderate messages were reflected by the decisive majorities they received, with Vinson taking the floor by 54 votes and Anderson by an overwhelming 397. In the presidential election, it was current vice-president Vicki

Baars, against ‘non-affiliated’ Labour Student vice-president Toni Pearce, as well as Conservative Peter Smallwood. Victorious presidential candidate Toni Pearce is a member of the party, despite running as a self-styled “organised independent”. Labour Students are an exceptional national force. With large numbers on their campaign teams, they are able to mobilise effectively to support their more moderate candidates. NCAFC who put three candidates up for different positions; Roshni Joshi, James McAsh and Rachel Huzzard were defeated, Joshi herself by Labour Students candidate Joe Vinson. At a time when the Conservative Government is attacking higher education in this country, the lack of success of far-left groups such as NCAFC and Student Broad Left highlights the cracks appearing within their support base. The fighting between the Socialist Workers Party, NCAFC and the Student Broad Left reached a high during the conference in particular over Tomas Evans decision to

stand, given his stance over allowing George Galloway “no platform” last year. Many left the room in protest during his speech, while rival candidate Naomi Beecroft was warned repeatedly during her speech for the use of derogatory language. Organisation also proved a problem for as far-left candidates Max Shanly and Roshini Joshi both ran against each other in the same election, leading to the inevitable split of their votes. Rachel Mattey’s victory over Edinburgh University Students’ Association president James McAsh for VPUD was a significant 188 votes. McAsh’s manifesto was dedicated to ‘democracy’, and struck a message with those on the floor. Despite his 273 votes he succumbed to the greater experience of Mattey. Baars was the individual who had called for “class war” against the government before the 2012 demo, as well as posting a chant sheet. This undoubtedly played a role in Pearce’s overwhelming victory, accompanying a plethora of convincing reasons for the left wing candidates’ eventual defeat.

SHORT & TWEET #nusnc13

The Journal rounds-up reaction to some of the big talking points from conference at Sheffield City Hall Chris Carter (@ChrisJCart) — First question to #nusnc13 Are Jaffa Cakes a biscuit or a cake? NUS only dealing in serious questions today.

(@UADSA_Mocko = William Mohieddeen, Abertay Students’ Association President and NUS Scotland Priority Campaign Convener)

— With respect to NUS Conference: Not everyone clapped Thatchers death: It was not exclusively mentioned. Clapped by minority.

LIAM BURNS: It was emotional @nusuk #nusnc13. Genuine thank you to amazing students’ unions/officers. New team will do amazing things.

JAMES MCASH: Delighted to be elected to @ nusuk national exec. Particularly with such a strong team including @rosiehuz and @ stlemur #nusnc13

NCAFC: #NCAFC just won three seats on the @nusuk NEC: @stlemur, @rosiehuz and @ mcash. Moving on, let’s mobilise and smash the government. #nusnc13

(@rosiehuz = NCAFC Candidate for NUS VP Welfare, Rosie Huzzard. @stlemur = NUS Int’l Students Executive, Edmund Schluessel.)

ROBIN PARKER: Gutted for @GCUSA_VPE & @UADSA_Mocko - wld both been ace on @nusuk trustee board. #nusnc13 you’ll be missing out! They are still #legends!

CREMA: Absolutely gutted my mate @ UADSA_Mocko didn’t get on trustees. He would have been cracking. #nusnc13

(@GCUSA_VPE = Danielle Borrett @UADSA_ Mocko = William Mohieddeen, Abertay Students’ Association President and NUS Scotland Priority Campaign Convener)


The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

STUDENT POLITICS / 11

NUS conference reveals policy shift Students vote against free education, a national demonstration and gender equality Michael Mawdsley Staff writer

Following the National Union of Students’ 2013 conference, which beganlace in Sheffield on 9 April, the organisation has seen a clear shift in policy direction, voting to end the organisation’s campaign for free education. The NUS is instead to advocate a graduate tax that will cost future and current students thousands of pounds, and likely to make higher education less affordable for the less well off. Planned changes to gender equality rules for conference and delegates have also been voted down, leaving the farleft voicing their dissent over the direction of the organisation. These policy changes come after the rejection of several motions, debated by the floor and voted on by the delegation. Over the issue of free education, the policy shift came from Motion 304. Opposition to campaign for the reinstatement of the EMA also proved a defining moment of the conference,

with the NUS leadership instead promising to “investigate a better alternative to EMA”, which has helped thousands of young disadvantaged individuals meet the financial demands of higher education. At this present time, as motion 304 states, “Currently only 47 per cent of young people access HE and within that some constituencies have only 1 in 10 progressing to university. Even in Scotland, free education in and of itself has not delivered a level playing field in terms of access and retention.” By prioritising free education, it can be argued, as the Labour Party do, will jeopardize the student movement and society. Unsurprisingly the reaction to such a decision was mixed; Liam Burns current NUS resident stated that “If you stand on this stage and claim that we should demand free education, living grants for all, we will win nothing, and worse we will have won nothing for the people who we could have achieved the most for.” Neil Moore, Belfast Met Students Union president responded: “I dare

you to come down to my college and say that, where free education isn’t an ‘insult’, it’s a necessity for the poorest students to access education.” This illustrates the fear of those leftwing groups within the NUS membership that the organization is moving to the ‘right’, and that since the dominance Labour Students, the leadership of NUS are steering the organization towards the present political stance of the Labour Party. The General Election has been a consistant focus of the conference, in particular motion 301 and the consecutive amendments, designed at working “within alliances of campaigning organisations to plan innovative and effective general election strategies in light of the impact of the Vote for Students pledge on the national political landscape.” Given the state of the current Coalition Government, it seems that the party of choice for the NUS will be Labour. Both Liam Burns and Dannie Grufferty, current President and Vice President of Society and Citizenship are

Labour members. There is of course fact in this approach. Regardless of ideology or political stance, this is a concrete move towards the centre for the organization. Other notable Motions included such items as gender equality; in terms of gender equality, it was Motion 701 that was rejected by the delegation. It proposed “ensuring that at least 50 per cent of NUS National Conference floor is made up of women students is the key next step to ensuring fair representation of women within the student

McAsh fails in VP bid

movement.” In terms of its rejection there were elements of discontent; a marquee policy of gender equality proposed by the Woman’s Campaign Group, an autonomous organization being rejected by the National Conference floor is understandably worrying for Liberation groups. This implies that the safety autonomy of these Liberation caucuses is under threat by the overruling body of the conference floor., implying that now more than ever the need for equality is tantamount. NUS/Will Bunce

EUSA president runner-up in VP union development race NUS/Will Bunce

BETTER THAN THAT: NUS president urged caution over Thatcher

Burns on Thatcher Outgoing president’s statement after some delegates cheer former PM’s death Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

National Union of Students presi-

McCRASH: EUSA president elected to NEC after VP union development defeat Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

Edinburgh University students’

association (EUSA) president James McAsh has failed in his bid to become NUS vice-president union development. Standing as an National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) candidate at the NUS national conference in Sheffield, McAsh was defeated by 461 votes to 273 in a closely-fought contest with NUS Wales deputy president and NUS Services company chair Raechel Mattey, a former officer at Swansea University Students’ Union. There were six votes to Re-open Nominations and one spoilt ballot, with a

quota of 370. Leading with a manifesto centred on democracy with what became a popular hashtag/soundbite of “I bloody love democracy”, McAsh wanted “to nurture, defend and extend student democracy on our campuses.” Mattey will succeed unsuccessful presidential candidate Vicki Baars in July. In the race to become the next NUS vice-president higher education, EUSA women’s liberation convener Naomi Beecroft — also running as a NCAFC candidate — was runner-up to incumbent Rachel Wenstone, polling 58 to Wenstone’s 437. Beecroft gave a passioante speech wanting to transform NUS into a serious,

militant movement against the government’s dismantling and privatising of education with liberation at its heart, calling the organisation a “cesspit of careerism and a route to a safe Labour seat.” Re-open Nominations polled 24 with Socialist Workers Party member Tomas Evans securing just 15 votes after Labour Students held a walk-out protest during his speech over the SWP rape cover-up scandal. McAsh was also one of 24 student officers seeking election to the NUS National Executive Committee Block of 15, being elected in the first round of voting with Aberdeen University’s 2013-14 sports president Mark McCorkell also elected.

dent Liam Burns has called for humanity and sensibility after the death of Margaret Thatcher. The news of the former prime minister’s death broke as the NUS national conference got underway at Sheffield City Hall. A small number of delegates were heard to cheer her death leading to a backlash on social media from other delegates and Conservative Party supporters. Burns told conference: “Following misrepresentations on Twitter, I feel that I have to respond to Margaret Thatcher’s death. “Now, let me be clear, I’m the last person to agree with Margaret Thatcher’s politics or her policy record as prime minister. But we must not forget that an elderly woman has just died.”

Baroness Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990 and the first and only woman to hold the role. She served as MP for Finchley, in north London, from 1959 to 1992. Burns added: “She had family, friends, colleagues and supporters who will want to pay their respects at this time, and the media and public debate will now be dominated by this unexpected news. “It’s not just that this would reflect extremely badly upon us if we were to show disrespect at this time. We are better than that. “We believe there is such thing as humanity. There is such a thing as sensitivity. And there is such a thing as respect. “I ask you all to think very carefully indeed about how you respond to this news as conference continues.”


12 / EDITORIAL

The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.

GLASGOW’S STUDENT NEWSPAPER A year in student journalism

// WELL DONE

Finding a voice It’s been an interesting year to be a

student journalist in Edinburgh. The Journal has been confronted with a melee of stories to report on, ranging from intriguing exposes to the more quotidian; from censorship scandals to chip portions at Teviot (you can decide which is which). What has become clear, however, is the extent to which a bit of controversy can make people sit up and engage with what’s going on at their college or university. At the University of Edinburgh we’ve seen unprecedented numbers of students of all political stripes come out to express vociferous opinions regarding issues such as the censorship of The Student and subsequent motions to censure senior sabbatical officers. It’s taken a combination of unusual circumstances to remind people

that their elected representatives have the authority to speak on behalf of the community as a whole, and conversely, students have every right to initiate lively discourse and challenge what’s being said. Frankly, this is very refreshing. The relationship between student journalists, student politicians and the student body politick is a fickle one, and on occasions it can feel that the worlds of the former two groups are divorced from the latter. Attempting to bridge the gap is no easy feat, but it’s a challenge that this publication thrives on. While student political movements are likely to remain rigid in their structure, it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to imagine that next year will see the benefit of engagement that has taken place this year – be it changes taking place to higher

Two of our journalists were honeducation policy, activism organised by organisations such as the National Union of Students, or political interests cultivated closer to home, the fact that this year has been one of intense and often provocative reaction has demonstrated the willingness of the student community to get involved. This is something we need more of. In the run up to the independence vote next year, the voice of Scottish students – and the debate to be had surrounding this issue – has never been more crucial. Disagreement is a key part of decision making and consensus building. Engagement and vociferous debate is certainly at the heart of The Journal’s manifesto. We wish you a fantastic summer break, and look forward to seeing you in the Autumn.

The Thatcher Legacy

// REACTIONS

Opinions for all The mainstream media has left

very little ground uncovered regarding the death of Margaret Thatcher. However, one issue which was not satisfactorily resolved in the aftermath of the former prime minister’s death was the treatment of young people who dared to venture opinions on her tenure. The argument that young people who did not live through her tenure is not only ridiculous but indeed dangerous. The thousands of students of history at institutions the length of the country completely undermines the notion that they might be ill-positioned to take an opinion on a matter they did not experience first-hand. It goes beyond history to sport and the arts. A Manchester United fan of 17 may not have seen George Best play in the flesh, but can still pass comment on his reputation as a footballer. Similarly

The Smiths broke up long before many at this university were born; yet posters in their rooms, vinyl and CDs on their shelf and gigabytes on their iPods demonstrate that influence. The legacy of Mrs Thatcher – and indeed discussing any politician – is exactly the same; there are thousands of documentaries, contemporary documents and literature written about Mrs Thatcher. The effects of her tenure are woven in the very fabric of our society, for better or worse. Modern British politics are defined by her tenure, the tribal boundaries she raised within society still rear their heads in the towns of this nation. It goes beyond politics; these are young people voicing an opinion. Any expression that breaks this inertia must be embraced. Be it a status update, or a blog post, these are examples of people

Scots unresponsive to Salmond’s panda-ing?

oured at the inaugural Student Publication Association awards dinner at Southampton University on Friday 12 April. Political editor Daniel do Rosario and deputy managing editor, Gareth Llewellyn were highly commended in the Best Interview category for their work on interviews with MSPs and Scottish Parliament education conveners Stewart Maxwell and Neil Findlay, published online and in Issue XXII. Gareth Llewellyn also walked away with one of the top awards of the night, becoming the association’s first recipient of Best Reporter. Congratulations to Daniel and Gareth on their successes!

caring about a serious issue, using the opportunity to discuss the influence and legacy of an individual and the developments to society wrought by their hand. It doesn’t have to be Aristotle; the beauty is in the process of thought. This should not be discouraged; one didn’t have to be on the streets of Berlin as the wall fell to see the effect it has had on the way we view the modern world, and the way it now works. Young people should be free to respond to political developments – not in order to prove any point to those who denigrate their capabilities but rather to inspire each other to greater action. No good can come of preventing young people from developing their critical faculties through engagement with both current affairs and history, no matter how erroneous they may seem to more experienced members of society.

by Jen Owen

Journal readers respond to recent stories from our papers and website The public letter of resignation the ISG wrote doesn’t mention sexism at all. So, this all sounds like political opportunism to me. - Ali, via web. Fairly left wing? The man describes himself as a stalinist. #justsaying Anonynous Even if all of the above is true, it doesn’t change the fact that the GUU is full of some of the most boring, yuppy aresholes that ever graced the planet. Were they not knocking this place down? Or was that just the Hive? No worries though, I’m sure mummy and daddy will build a brand new one for yous afterwards. - Stuart Marsden .

// WE’RE SORRY “Fight against campus devaluation of women” During production of issue XXIII in parts of this article we changed ‘women’ to female’. While ‘female’ may be more common usage, we fully respect that the NUS women’s campaign makes a distinction between ‘female’, which is a biological term, and ‘women’, which is about gender identity. The Journal would like to apologise to Kelley Temple, the NUS women’s campaign and anyone who may have been offended by the innocent change of terminology. The revisions were corrected in our online version of the article on Wednesday 27 March 2013.

PUBLISHER Devon Walshe EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Marcus Kernohan MANAGING EDITOR Olivia Pires DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR Gareth Llewellyn MANAGING EDITOR (DIGITAL) David Selby LOCAL NEWS Keira Murray STUDENT NEWS Rebecca Day ACADEMIC NEWS Delanie Clarke NATIONAL POLITICS Daniel do Rosario STAFF WRITERS Aoife Moore, Rachael McHard, Émer O’Toole, Hannah Rodger, Colm Currie, Hollie Jones, Gemma Clark, Stef Millar, Lorne Gillies COMMENT Aynsleigh Hollywood FEATURES Katie O’Hara MUSIC Haris Brine, Jamie Brotherston FILM Blair C. Dingwall BOOKS John Hewitt Jones FASHION Oliver Giles STAFF WRITERS Ailsa Clark, Jonathan Whitelaw, Lauren Simpson, Ross Miller, Cait Gillespie, Daniel Lawson, Connor Macgregor SPORT Craig W. Ritchie, Sean McGowan SPORTSWRITERS Callum Carson, Kierran Allardice, Kieran Thomas, Mark McGeever, Michael Mawdsley PICTURE EDITOR Christopher Rubey STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Jassy Earl Beth Chalmers Malgosia Stelmaszyk LAYOUT DIRECTOR Alina Mika GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kristin Yordanova CHIEF SUBEDITOR Jen Owen SALES Arran Walshe, Charles Beare


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COMMENT// 13

DISCUSSION&DEBATE

COMMENT “If at first you don’t succeed, stop.” The system of targets and goals in all walks of life is hindering not helping our society and it needs changing Jamie Timson Deputy editor, Edinburgh

Things can only get better. It’s wor-

rying how just one sentence can conjure up an image of New Labour so quickly. That aside, its an aphorism that the British have relied upon for quite some time. The cuts, austerity, the economy, state funerals, divided Britain…it’s a bleak time and one that’s constantly changing. Changing, but unfortunately despite D:Ream’s best efforts not necessarily for the better. The problem is our attitude to change as a society. The setting of targets, for the economy, for unemployment, for immigration, it’s toxic. Incentivised business management exists from the stationers of Basildon to the bars of Bali, but the culture it creates is unflinchingly ugly. The win at all costs mentality that we so loathed in Lance Armstrong is there every day in companies up and down the country, its even apparent in the Job Centres – you know those places that aren’t meant to help out the destitute, those places that people wouldn’t voluntarily choose to use. Targets must be met, work must be found for the unemployed and if a job at Poundland doesn’t suit them…well it seems they shouldn’t have got themselves into the sorry mess of needing help from the state in the first place. David Cameron and George Osbourne, aren’t - despite many of their actions to the contrary – fundamentally evil. Their belief system gives rise to their actions. When David Cameron spoke in 2009 of Labour’s ‘big government’ causing the downfall

of the economy, he truly believed the notion of the ‘big society’ would save the day. And yet how incompatible is that belief with 90% of his actions, here is a government who encourage free enterprise and unabashed capitalism, a political cohort who’s very ideology is rampant individualism…and then they’re surprised that people don’t look out for each other? They’re surprised that when they divide the lower classes into ‘workers and shirkers’, ‘strivers and skivers’ – like a Dr Seuss/ George Orwell crossover – it doesn’t foster a ‘big society’ where the well off warmly embrace those less fortunate than themselves. This belief is not just Cameron and Osbourne’s. In the wake of the passing of the Iron Lady, one of her colleagues in amongst the hagiographies mentioned Maggie was constantly bemused by the reaction of society to what she saw as their liberation and freedom to create wealth. It seems the Baroness really did think that her philosophy of free enterprise and capital accumulation would instil in society a large sense of community and a spirit of everyone chipping in to help out. Except it didn’t happen. Thatcher’s proliferation of a society ridden with greed and selfishness produced the “loads of money” culture in mid 80s and early 90s that didn’t have want or need for the notion of community spirit. The old adage of ‘madness being repeating the same actions and expecting different results’ couldn’t be more applicable for the Conservatives of 2013. Saying this and although many will argue different, its not really about the

David Selby

‘Individualism, like it or loathe it, is becoming a part of our everyday life. The consequences are far-reaching, as more and more are encouraged to look after only themselves.’ right or the left of the political spectrum. After all, the left aren’t suddenly demanding we rid the system of targetdriven management. No. Ed Balls – when he’s not taking paltry donations from George Osbourne – sings from the very same hymn sheet that Blair and Brown did: ‘The cuts aren’t working, look at the targets not being met, look at the figures’. That’s the issue, if we focus on the figures we miss out on the bigger picture. Sure after the Olympics there was growth in the economy, but had anything actually changed? Were the public services in any better state? As a society we have become so focused on goals and then are so disappointed in our sports stars that cheat to win and our children who lie about completing their homework, both examples of ends being prioritised over

the means. However, if we continue in this world where success is prized above all else, it’s a depressingly familiar future. Individualism like it or loathe it, is becoming a part of our every day life. The consequences are far-reaching, as more and more are encouraged to look after only themselves, great inequality occurs between those who can and those who cannot, because despite what Iain Duncan Smith would have you believe, not everyone in society has the same opportunities. As the inequality grows so does the need to achieve the targets, if failure is so unappetising desperation means people

will dodge, duck and dive like Del-Boy himself. Fine if you’re a market trader in Peckham, less fine when you’re working for Barclays dealing with high-risk economics. The terror of failure grips the nation, with less inequality the reward for success would still be there, it just wouldn’t create such unreasonable behaviour amongst the masses. After all, people will still want to succeed, its just they wouldn’t fear failure in the same way. We seem to have taken Robert the Bruce’s most famous maxim and turned it into “If at first you don’t succeed, you’re finished.” And what kind of mantra is that?

On shipping containers, ad nauseum The perilous ponderings of a student who has reached the end of their tether at the writings of all academics Michael Boredsly Staff writer

What follows is a small story that

represents 4 years of frustration studying a social science that seems to be incapable or unwilling to talk about things that matter in a way that is comprehensible. On standardised shipping containers, Martin Parker writes that he is uncomfortable with the simplistic economic account about their influence on the birth of globalisation — arguing that it is a gross oversimplification. Which of course, it is. For the uninitiated, this is the widely held notion that the invention of shipping containers was a significant

contributing factor to today’s world of globalization though the speeding up trade and logistics, leading to all kinds of knock on effects including offshoring to China and so on. The counterpoints are varied — there are all kinds of historical leadups to the containerisation of goods, it wasn’t a simple turning point that turned on the switch of globalisation, there are hidden stories about standardisation debates, dockland decline, unions and governments, and finally that the box itself is not an almighty agent of change. The story of containerisation and globalization is a useful heuristic device, but a simplistic one. But Parker doesn’t stop at swatting down the story there, probably because he must get published in a

trendy journal about ‘mobilities’, while showing off that he’s been to the Tate Modern. Musing on the foreboding presence of an art installation that looks a bit like a shipping container, and recalling a tragic case of frozen bodies tumbling out of a shipping container in the port of Naples, he says: “An account of rationalisation, standardisation and economics can never explain our fear of 390m2 of darkness, or just why someone would pay for their frozen body to be shipped back to China. Neither can it account for the complex ways in which one mobility system has moved ports to new moorings, as well as opening the possibility of filling art galleries, and academic journals.” Yes. Things are often used in ways

that nature or humankind did not intend — if you cut a hole in a melon and stick your cock in it, making a fruit salad becomes somewhat more complicated than it might have otherwise been. And yes, a social policy report on healthy eating, say, tells us nothing about the religious, moral, hygienic, nutritional, and psychological questions that might be raised about a man’s desire to be intimate with a fruit. But does it need to? A bar stool has on occasion found itself used as a murder weapon, but a manual on basic carpentry contains nothing on the history of inebriated violence in traditional working-class settings. A child may upend a bowl and use it as a hat, but this need not shake our conventions of considering bowls

to be predominantly of use as culinary vessels. Parker’s paper is a perfect example of academics doing their thing of searching for all the things that can be said of something, rather than what is useful to say about something. Many of the things he outlines in the article make sense, and add to the story of the shipping container. But a lot of it is just nonsense that serves nobody except for himself. A final point, that takes us back to the Tate Modern. That shipping containers have ended up in academic journals and art galleries is trivial — a ‘tin of artist’s shit’ has also ended up in the Tate Modern. Evidently, as with tins and art galleries, anything can end up in an academic journal.


14 / COMMENT

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The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

The Lad Magazine: The lesser of two modern evils Lydia Willgress argues that while they may have their faults, Nuts, Zoo and the like are preferable to Page Three

weeks at a men’s magazine and, quite frankly, it was great. I spent my time with a wonderful team learning more than I could imagine, amused by anecdotes and the giant cardboard cut-out of a lingerieclad Kate Middleton stuck clumsily on the office wall. Other people weren’t as impressed when I told them about my placement. “Yes,” I found myself explaining, “I helped on photo shoots, I spoke to models.” The fact I had got my name into the magazine was forgotten, the single-page feature lost among the fact that I had chosen lingerie and ordered props for Imogen Thomas. To these people, I pointed out that I want to be a Professional Journalist, and therefore I have the ability to hold myself apart from the content that I write; it doesn’t matter if the reader is a fifteen-year old hormoneridden boy fascinated by boobs, or a 60-year-old woman who’s more keen on cross-stitch. I quickly discovered that people had little interest in my career instead focusing on my morals. Whether lads’ mags are degrading to women was a question thrown at me frequently, but I couldn’t provide a simple answer. I was well aware of the reaction the inclusion of topless pictures in such publications has caused, with the cus-

argument. She asserts that the need for a larger circulation and constant drive towards success in the industry forced the magazine to “abandon the idea that the girl’s personality was essential.” As girls stopped being asked about their hobbies, where they live and what they do, the magazines lost their focus and their need to show more than just the anatomy to the reader. With the lads’ mag market in decline, this may be an age-old debate not worth having. Figures released in 2010 by the Audit Bureau of Circula-

tions saw FHM’s circulation fall by just over 15 per cent year-on-year and sales of Zoo and Loaded drop by over 20 per cent. However, White believes the problem runs deeper than the magazines themselves: “While [they] may be in decline, the culture they helped to create can still be seen in towns and cities all around the UK – from the Saturday-night porny perspex heels to the casual DIY sex tapes and still-held hopes for fast fame.” But get rid of lads’ mags and you still have the internet (why else is the industry declining?), you still

have Page Three, the shops that sell six-inch heels, the increasing acceptance of sex in society, the handful of women who really want to be in the industry and the celebrities who insist on posting pictures of themselves in their latest delicate buy on Twitter. It may be a culture, but a culture created by the arrival of men’s magazines on the scene? I’m not so sure. Despite the criticism, it’s better for women who want to be in the industry to pose for a respected publication than upload their own gritty pictures to the internet for the whole world to see.

Thatcher: “correct etiquette” upon the death of a leader How the response of the few is pored over by the many Simon Thornton

The death of a notable public

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Last summer, I spent a couple of

tomary ‘banning The Sun on campus’ debate renewing itself as new rounds of freshers begin every year. Toby Evans, publisher of Marie Claire and former men’s magazine worker, spoke exclusively to The Journal about including topless photos in lads’ mags: “In general, yes, I think it is degrading to run pictures of topless women. But I also think it’s all about contex, and on that front, The Sun fails: in a newspaper, it’s just grubby (in my opinion!) — a cheap footnote to the actual content of the paper. At least with a men’s mag, the women are the magazine, and so, to an extent, the power lies with them.” Evans points to a key issue. The presentation of women in such publications depends on the franchise and the difference between topless pictures of your favourite celebrity being printed alongside an interview (let’s not forget that women’s magazines often do exactly the same) and rating ‘real girls’ out of ten (‘Pick your fav – it’s the least you could do’) is huge. The former have some degree of power, but the latter are subject to ‘lad banter,’ judgement and, sometimes, humiliation. It comes as no surprise that the ‘real girls’ who are voted for are the ones who don’t save face; sorry girls, but if you don’t publically display your nipples you’re only a four out of ten. In a candid article written for The Guardian, Terri White, who helped launch Nuts magazine, furthers this

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Lydia Willgress Features editor, Edinburgh

figure is always bound to stir up the debate of whether or not a degree of ‘death-etiquette’ should be imposed, not only by the media but also by the public. I’ve always been brought up with the notion that it is disrespectful to speak ill of the dead, yet when the news of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s death was announced on 8 April reactions were as split and diverse as any of her policies. The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald criticised what he thought to be a “misapplied death etiquette” in regards to Thatcher being a public figure, feeling it not only to be “misguided but dangerous” to say nothing against someone who has died. This brings into question whether the way a nation reacts to an individual of such prominence should be restricted at the time of their passing? Or is the very fact that they are a public figure give us the right to express ourselves no matter how ‘malicious’ it may seem. Just as she divided the nation whilst living, it seems that even in death there is no let-up for Thatcher. In being such an important figure, it is hardly surprising that people did not adhere to the dutiful respect normally bestowed upon the dead. Most people have an opinion on Thatcher, and the word ‘divisive’ is one of the first to be thrown about when it comes to discussing her and her government. For some, she saved a Britain that was in disarray in the late 1970s, overrun by unions and weakened world power; but to many she was the woman who divided and destroyed a nation, increasing the gap between rich and poor and ultimately allowing the so-called ‘welfare state’ in which we live today to thrive. I must admit now, that despite not being born when Thatcher was in power, her legacy is something that has always been instilled in me from a young age. (Being a Northerner, I probably have a more passionate outlook than most!) Yet whatever your opinion about the woman is, one cannot deny that Thatcher had an impact. Many revere her thanks to her being the first, and thus far only, female Prime Minister of the UK and admittedly, she does get my respect for achieving that

post. Let’s not forget we’re talking about a greengrocers daughter from Grantham (despite the fact she never showed any signs of wanting to have anything to do with her roots after coming to power) and not an upperclass ex-Etonian hobby politician. This was a woman who, after working as a scientist and lawyer, set out to prove herself against the male-dominated world of politics. But despite people lording her for ‘doing so much for women,’ or “breaking the glass ceiling” as Prime Minister David Cameron recently pronounced, she only appointed one female in her cabinet. She was a woman in a man’s world and seemed to revel in that fact. As soon as the news was announced with regards to her death there were instant calls for those on the left of the political scale to show respect and keep reactions stilted. Even Labour MP Tom Watson called upon his colleagues “on the left of politics [to] respect a family in grief today.” It seemed that the 11 years of hell, for many, were lost and forgot about in an instant; for now, we should all be good boys and girls and not say any nasty words. Well alright, I’m sorry for the Thatcher family, as they’ve lost a mother and grandmother; and for those close to and who know the family then yes, they should show respect and behave appropriately. But to stifle the views of those who are fundamentally anti-everything Thatcher stood for is, in my opinion, absolutely ludicrous. Especially when those who tell us to keep our opinions on the low at this time have no qualms in using her death to shout about praise and to an extent sanctify such a discordant figure. When one enters a role such as Prime Minister, one loses the right to be viewed solely as a private figure. Margaret Thatcher knew this. Of course she knew this. She was a woman of principle, averse to comprise and stuck to her guns throughout her tenure as PM. She wouldn’t have given a second thought to her adversaries. And for me, a couple of weeks ago it was an old lady with dementia that died. Thatcherism still lives; only when that has been eradicated will I truly be able to celebrate. Therefore let us debate, let us assert our opinions. The shackles of ‘death etiquette’ will never be appropriate for a person of office, even when it’s the Iron Lady herself.


The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

The Anatomy of Autonomy ON THIS FINAL edition of The Anatomy of Autonomy we will be exploring the ‘bread and butter issues of economics and monetary policy. Making cases for and against independence with economic considerations in mind are Blair Jenkins, chief executive of the Yes Scotland campaign, and Alistair Darling, chairman of Better Together and former chancellor of the exchequer respectively. To clarify the issue of the currency that an independent Scotland would be using, Professor Catherine R. Schenk University of Glasgow

The debate over independence threatens to be bogged down in speculation about how the economic system will adapt rather than whether a constitutionally independent Scotland will deliver better outcomes for Scots than the Union. Within this wider debate, the issue of what money will look like is becoming more prominent. This might seem a rather obscure and technical discussion, but the Eurozone crisis has shown clearly that monetary systems have an important impact on social and economic experience of all people. In particular, strains in the Eurozone since 2010 have highlighted the difficulties of operating a single currency across a range of sovereign states. Scots will have some choices to make in the wake of a Yes vote in 2014: stick in a monetary union with the UK and keep the pound, move into the Eurozone or launch a new national currency. In fact, these choices are not as distinct as they might appear. In a globalised economy a country like Scotland — that profits

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Professor Catherine R. Schenk of the University of Glasgow considers the three most probable scenarios: continued usage of the pound, joining the Eurozone or having a new national currency. In this last edition of The Anatomy of Autonomy we can only hope that we have contributed to the level of debate on the Scottish independence forum in the past few months, and that we have provided answers to readers and those who will be voting in the referendum in 2014. from international trade, seeks to attract international investment and wants free movement of workers across borders — already has limits to its economic policy sovereignty. Constitutional independence will not deliver economic independence and this is true for all states engaged with the global economy. However, there are shades of difference among the three currency choices. Adopting the Euro could facilitate trade and payments with Europe and lend credibility and confidence to investors who trust the European Central Bank’s monetary policies. While Greece, Cyprus and other Eurozone states have faltered through not ensuring fiscal balance and diverging from the healthier economies in the Eurozone, there is no need for Scotland to fall into this trap. On the other hand, with Eurozone GDP contracting and the future of the Euro uncertain, 2015 does not seem a good time to join. What about introducing a separate Scottish currency? Recent examples of currency disintegration are not very numerous. After constitutional independence in the 1950s and 1960s, a range of former British colonies introduced

PART VI: FISCAL POLICY

POUND, EURO OR BAWBEE? Prof. Catherine Schenk explores Scotland’s policy options

separate currencies as emblems of their new status but in practice they pegged the exchange rate to the pound so the amount of monetary independence they achieved was limited. New currencies followed the collapse of the Soviet Union and the creation of new states in eastern Europe during the 1990s, the division of Yugoslavia into Slovenia and Croatia in 1991, and the separation of the Czech and Slovak republics in 1992 (Slovakia and Slovenia subsequently adopted the Euro). In each case there were disruptive effects on trade and payments that were expensive and hurt economic performance. The lessons from earlier episodes, such as Malaysia and Singapore in the 1960s suggest that a gradual approach of disengagement with free transfer

and convertibility of currencies across borders at par and a stable exchange rate is likely to be most effective. The separation of Malaysia and Singapore in 1963 was fraught with political hostility, but the successful transition to independent currencies was co-operatively managed over ten years during one of the most volatile decades in the global economy. Given that both the Euro and a separate currency will both constrain policymaking anyway in the medium term, perhaps the simplest and least costly option is to stay in a currency union with the pound. But this will require following the interest rate policy set by the Bank of England, which historically has responded more to economic conditions in the Southeast of England than

the regional needs of the UK. If a different exchange rate or interest rate policy would help Scotland, it might be better in the longer term to have the freedom to make these adjustments. The status quo already meets the needs of a distinctive national representation on currency notes, which could evolve into the first stage of a gradual move toward disengagement, but this is likely to be a long process begun well after constitutional independence once the global recession and uncertainty are behind us. In the meantime, there is little space for independent monetary policy for a small open economy such as Scotland no matter what currency option is chosen by a post-independence government.

Better Together and Yes Scotland consider Scotland’s economic future Alistair Darling and Blair Jenkins highlight the benefits and challenges that an independent Scotland would face Alistair Darling

BETTER TOGETHER I believe that we are better together with our friends, families and workmates from across the United Kingdom. Our companies and businesses sell more goods to England, Wales and Northern Ireland than we do to all the other countries in the world combined. We have influence at the top table as part of the UK — especially in Europe. This influence matters a great deal to our farming and fishing industry. It makes no sense to me

Blair Jenkins YES SCOTLAND To quote the renowned economists

on the Fiscal Commission Working Group: “By international standards, Scotland is a wealthy and productive country.” So it still surprises me when people ask, ‘but what has Scotland got?’ Students across Edinburgh and Glasgow will be more aware of Scotland’s economic strengths than others. By definition, you are part of a university sector that is among the best in the world. Perhaps your degree will bring you into contact with the exciting BioQuarter at Little France, one of the hubs on which

to give this up. However, I also believe that there is a powerful emotional argument for staying together. The UK is so much more than the sum of its individual parts. All of the countries have worked together for centuries and we have achieved so much together. There is so much more that we can do if we set our sights high. The Scotland that I want my children and their children to grow up in is one where we define ourselves on what we want to achieve, not on a border or by blaming others for everything that has ever gone wrong. I believe that we are stronger when we work together.

No-one can argue that Scotland couldn’t go it alone. However, we would be very dependent on oil revenues which account for nearly 20 per cent of Scotland’s tax income. Everyone knows that oil prices are notoriously volatile. A fall in the oil price could leave Scotland very exposed indeed. Oil production has fallen and the cost of its extraction is rising; it won’t run out tomorrow but it won’t go on forever. We know the nationalists are worried about this. In a leaked memorandum, the Finance Minister John Swinney admitted that because of the volatility of the oil price they could not guarantee public services and are looking at the sustain-

ability of the pension. When challenged to share their private concerns in public, they cooked the books inflating the oil price, something their own advisors had warned them against. Rather than be careful and prudent with their financial plans, the nationalists are asking us to take a gamble on our economic future. It is a gamble with massive stakes. Every week we see more questions going unanswered. Even a question as basic as what currency would we use has been met with utter confusion. The nationalists want to leave the UK, but automatically create a Eurozone style common currency within England, Wales

and Northern Ireland. We have seen the problems that have taken place in Europe, is this really what we want to create here? Crucially, their plans would mean our budget would have to be approved by the rest of the UK; that’s not independence. And what is their plan B? A separate Scottish currency which would hit trade with the rest of the UK. Or would we use sterling like Panama uses the dollar, with no central bank to stand behind our mortgages and savings. We are entitled to ask these questions. The SNP should be giving us answers. We can’t gamble with our future. We are stronger and better together as part of the United Kingdom.

Scotland’s growing reputation in Life Sciences is based. Engineers will know that the Port of Leith is well placed to benefit from jobs and investment as a key location in Scotland’s renewables revolution. Few in the capital will have missed Scotland’s burgeoning food, drink and tourism industries. And, of course, we have oil and gas. Over the next few weeks, Yes Scotland will be pointing to the facts that show how wealthy our country is. In fact, Scotland would be the eighth wealthiest country per head of population in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — with the UK lagging behind at 17th. And the statistics show our public finances are better placed than the UK’s, and many other European countries. That’s why, when pushed, ‘No’ politicians accept that there is no question

that Scotland could survive as an independent country. I’d go further — I would say we would thrive. That’s because there are major improvements that we can and must still make to our economy and society, but only independence will ensure we can do that. Let me explain two of the most important. Firstly, why hasn’t our economy been growing more strongly? Over 50 years, Scotland’s growth has been 40 per cent lower than equivalent independent countries — that makes a massive difference to standards of living and public services. We could improve on that; for example, by using new tax powers to tackle our business start-up rates and lagging commercial research and development. But only if we have the powers. Small independent nations are forging ahead in terms of growth, innovation and wealth creation,

so let’s join them. Secondly, we have a fundamental problem with how our wealth is distributed. Far too many families do not feel as if we live in a wealthy country. The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world, with income inequality among working aged adults rising faster here than in any other OECD country over the period since 1975. That hasn’t happened by chance; it’s a result of conscious policy decision made by successive Westminster governments. As the Fiscal Commission Working Group pointed out: “Without access to the relevant policy levers — particularly taxation and welfare policy — there is little that the Scottish Government can do to address these trends.” Again, other small independent countries are leading the way, with countries like Norway not

only topping the wealth leagues but also securing far greater levels of fairness and equality. There is no reason why Scotland can’t choose the same path. These are the opportunities that independence offers. The ‘No’ campaign will provide a vague sound-bite about ‘the best of both worlds’ and compile a list of issues which they think are too hard for the people of Scotland to deal with — unlike the Danes, the Swedes, or the Swiss. But with Westminster’s austerity programme increasing poverty levels and undoubtedly harming growth, it’s almost impossible to offer a positive vision of the future under Westminster governments. Quite simply, Westminster isn’t working for Scotland. Let’s take our future into our own hands and follow the lead of other small independent nations to forge a fairer and more prosperous country.


16 / FEATURES

The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

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Fear and loathing in Glasvegas Glasvegas frontman Rab Allen sits down with The Journal to discuss the band’s upcoming third album Martin Owens Staff writer

After the highs of selling more

than 300,000 copies of their first record and the lows of being dropped after their second, Glasvegas are back and lead guitarist Rab Allen speaks to The Journal about their new album and tour plans.. The Journal: Your third album Later… When The TV Turns To Static is set for release this summer, what can we expect? Rab Allen:You can expect ten shiny, little pop nuggets, similar to the last two records. It’s like a continuation from where we left the second record, but it’s a little more live sounding and not as produced as the second album. It’s pretty much the same Glasvegas sound. TJ: It was originally called Whoever Shouts The Loudest, what made you change it? RA: That was a funny story. NME printed that it was originally called that, but James just decided to change it for that interview, it was never going to be that. It was always going to be Later… When The TV Turns To Static. TJ: Later… is self-produced, how was that compared to your first two albums? RA: James co-produced the first album with Rich Costey, who has produced records for Muse and Franz Ferdinand. Our second record was produced by Flood, who has worked with U2 and The Killers. However, the band all thought that

James did enough on the first record and that he could produce the third by himself. He’s produced all the demos in the past, so it was never in any doubt that he could do it. TJ: How disappointing was the reception of your second album and then parting way with Columbia Records as a result? RA: That happened so long ago now. It was just a really strange thing. The second record, in my eyes, was just as good as the first. Nearly all the reviews it received were four or five stars out of five, but if something doesn’t connect and people don’t buy it then there’s nothing you can do, you know? It was just one of those things. You’ve just got to pick yourself up and move on. Whether that was with Columbia Records or independently, we were always going to continue making music. We never set out to be the biggest band in the world, that’s not why we make music, we just make music because that’s what we enjoy doing. TJ: What are your plans for this summer after the album release? RA:We’ve got quite a lot of festivals coming up. There are some festivals in Europe and I know that we’ll be doing a tour. That’s not been announced yet, but it will be in the next couple of weeks. TJ: You played King Tut’s a couple of weeks ago. What was it like to return there? RA: King Tut’s was awesome. We’ve

not played there since 2007, so it was pretty cool to play a venue of that size again. We went on first as a Beatles tribute act, The Savage Stage Bells, and that was a lot of fun. The Savage Stage Bells was an anagram of The Beatles and Glasvegas, which no one got and we played four Beatles songs (Help, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, I Gotta Feeling, and Twist & Shout). It was actually Paul Donoghue’s idea (bass guitar). The tickets were quite expensive as it was a charity gig, so we thought we should have some fun out there and take the piss out of ourselves a little bit. So we got the Sgt. Pepper’s outfits and just had a laugh. TJ: Are you listening to any Scottish bands at the moment? RA: We quite like Chvrches at the moment. They’re quite good. That’s quite an obvious one as they are so big already. Holy Esque are really good as well. TJ: How did Glasvegas come about? RA: Me and James are cousins, our mums are twin sisters, so we grew up together. I was always into music while James was always into football. We realised that we both liked music, so we started playing guitars. I went to school with Paul and we were friends all through school and I knew he could play bass. We had a friend, Carly, who could play drums, so we all got together. It took about three years to get all the songs together and then we were on our way.

TJ: I read last year that Lady Gaga wanted to collaborate with the band, what was that all about? RA: That was a weird one. We did T in the Park in 2009 when she was there too and one of our crew was friends with her, so we got to meet her. Her and James swapped emails and kept in

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touch for a while. She did a chat show in America and was asked what her favourite band was. She said Glasvegas and said that she wanted to collaborate with us. It was just one of those really cool things. I don’t think it will ever happen, but it would be really cool if it did.

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The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013 Martin Owens Staff writer

After announcing their split

three years ago The Fratellis are back, bringing their irresistibly catchy tunes back with them. The band first came together back in 2005 after Jon, Baz and Mince met in a music shop, each looking for band members. “We’re the typical story of a band who met through a 'musicians wanted' board in a music shop,” revealed lead singer Jon. “I was looking for people to do something with and so was Mince. Baz found me and I found Mince.” Just one year later, they had recorded their debut album, Costello Music, which went on to sell more than 1.5 million copies, with singles ‘Chelsea Dagger’, ‘Whistle For The Choir’ and ‘Henrietta’, all achieving top-20 success. Their second album, Here We Stand, failed to live up to the hype generated from such a successful first record and the Glaswegian trio chose to go their separate ways soon after its release. Looking at the time apart as a hiatus rather than a split, Jon Fratelli (Jon Lawler) insists that the comeback was a spur of the moment idea. “There’s no sort of great, dramatic story behind it, it just felt like a good idea. “If I’m being completely honest, it seemed like a good idea on that particular day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good idea, but there was no other reason for it other than ‘hey that sounds like a good idea, fancy doing it?’ and the other two did. “I got in touch with Baz and Mince and asked if they fancied playing some gigs and they said yeah and here we are.” Indeed we are. One of the most popular Scottish bands of the last 10 years is back together again, touring and with a new album set for release this autumn. “There’s no title yet. That’s usually a last minute sort of scramble. We’re looking at a September release, which is a while away. That’s how it seems to work though. You finish a record then wait about six months before anything happens. “Once it’s made, you hand it over and

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Here we stand (again) The Fratellis discuss their return to the music scene

it becomes someone else’s problem.” While Costello Music, with its catchy riffs and sing along choruses, was released seven years ago, Jon insists the familiar sound of the Fratellis will not be lost despite the period of time between the releases. “There will always be a certain thread that runs through all of our records. That’ll always be there. However, the new record will be a bit different just because the time that has passed. We’re not the same people we were and a lot has changed in the seven years since our first record. “We’ve got a certain set of principles when it comes to making music and what we think rock and roll is. It’s also the same line-up, so we’re always going to be recognisable.” And that familiar and recognisable Fratellis sound is the reason the band performed to a sold out Barrowland crowd for their Glasgow comeback gig.

“The Barrowlands is the first venue you aspire to play if you come from Glasgow — it always was for us anyway. We’re lucky enough to have travelled and played around the world and we’ve played in some great venues but I definitely know that, for us, there’s no place better than the Barrowlands. “It’s nice to be able to say that about such a small city. When you look at the size of Glasgow compared to some cities and the amount of venues, it’s nice to think that the Barrowlands is thought of as one of the best.” While the band love hometown shows Jon admits that, at the height of their success after Costello Music, the hype surrounding the band was a stressful experience: “There was a certain time for us when home gigs became a bit stressful as about 200 people came out of the woodwork looking for guest lists and backstage passes and that was a bit much.

“After our break, that’s not quite the case anymore, which is nice. “However, it’s never a bad thing to play in your hometown. We’ve done it god knows how many times now and there’s been some that have been better than others, but we’ve never came off the stage and thought ‘that was OK’. It’s always good.” The sold-out Glasgow gig on 19 April was the final show of a mini-UK tour before the band will be returning to the festival scene this summer. And one festival for Scottish bands is more significant than the rest. “Our first time at T in the Park was one of the most memorable moments of my time as a musician. It was the first time we had played anything as big as that and although it wasn’t the main stage, there was something exciting about a tent being that packed just to see you. “I’ll never forget that T. The other

times we’ve been there, for one reason or another,” he laughs, "I have no memory of, which probably isn’t a good sign.” Their mini-UK tour and festival schedule are, of course, all in preparation for a larger tour with their new album in September. Jon admits that gigging is the highlight of being in a band: “All a band ever wants to do is play as many gigs as possible and that may seem dull but it’s not a given that you get to go out and play shows each night. “I would do it every night of the week if that were possible, there’s no doubt about that. If someone said ‘you can play every night’ you would go for it. It wouldn’t be the easiest thing, but you would bite their hand off for an opportunity like that. So we’re just game for playing as many shows as people can throw at us really. We’re open for business.”

An edgy exploration of the Black Arts Movement In Arika, the Tramway curates an artistic celebration of African-American culture through a variety of different media Ailsa Clark Staff writer

Following the success of last

year’s music and film events INSTAL and Kill Your Timid Notion, fine purveyors of experimentalism Arika have returned to Glasgow for an ‘extended festival’ taking place across two weekends in April and May. Freedom is a Constant Struggle, the fourth instalment of a series bringing together international film, live art, music and discussion, was a certainly an ambitious one. This weekend-long event, which took place at Glasgow’s Tramway, set out to present a challenging mixture of radical black poetry, performance, music and discussion, and to provide a unique opportunity for dialogue with some of the world’s most renowned jazz musicians, African-American

poets and writers and interrogative performance artists. The setup of the festival was not without its obstacles, as Arika faced the enormous challenge of providing a space for genuine engagement with radical black thinkers. Many of these were central figures within the Black Arts Movement; a potent branch of the Black Power Movement that grew out of Brooklyn in the 1960s and 70s. Finding a thought-provoking mode of expressing these ideas within the somewhat pedestrian setting of a dreich weekend in Pollockshields is quite a challenge. However, Arika, an arts organisation that's now in its 12th year of bringing experimental, DIY events to cities across the UK, approached this hurdle carefully and succeeded in presenting an engaging, boundary collapsing weekend that felt as much like activism as it did art.

Despite the complex nature of the questions Freedom is a Constant Struggle posed about the function of experimental art forms in relation to black identity, performances and discussion were kept informal. Audience engagement was at the heart of the project. An open stage setup of Tramway provided the ideal setting for this dialogue, and a particular highlight of the weekend was to be found with discussions between Fred Moten, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez and Wadada Leo Smith, taking part in “The Experiment”. This session opened the festival on Saturday, providing a compelling introduction to black radical thought from some of its most outspoken, and often controversial, central figures. Structured in two parts, the debate roved between the role of experimental art forms such as free jazz in creating democracy, to a cri-

tique of Obama, and just about everything else in between. This discussion sat well alongside another highlight of the Saturday’s events, “No Total, Or Staying Within the Tale”; the piece served to engage with the challenge of putting on a festival like Freedom Is A Constant Struggle for a predominantly white audience, acknowledging the problems that the “white hipster” detachment, as one of the speakers described it, can present to black radical thought. While some of the recordings came over as inarticulate and even banal, this seemed a deliberate attempt to illustrate the speakers’ awareness of the need to continue to engage in a multi-racial, multi-disciplinary conversation which has only just begun. In many ways this sums up the sprit of the festival in its inventiveness and active desire to bring about social change.

Musical highlights of the festival included Friday’s performance avant garde pianist John Tillbury, trumpeter Wadada Lee Smith and a collaboration of instrumentalist Daniel Carter (pictured) and free jazz double bassist William Parker. As part of a wider programme, Arika will be returning to Tramway in May with its next instalment, Hidden in Plain Site. This will curate a similar variety of stimulating media, exploring the ways in which gender and sexuality are socially enacted and performed through a focus, amongst other things, on drag, lip syncing, queer film, deep house music and queer clubbing. As well as the events at Tramway, Arika will also host a club night at Stereo featuring sets from a selection of DJs across the House Ballroom scene; a worthy addition to what promises to be an exciting summer for Arika and their audience.


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Gareth Llewellyn explores the heartache of living with bipolar disorder Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

The sadness in his eyes; his hand-

shake more limp than you would expect from a man of his build. It’s difficult to believe that this is the same person once renowned for his ability to light up a bar on karaoke night. “It’s good to see you again,” Mark says. He hesitates for a few seconds, perhaps caught in two minds as to which wooden chair to take before thrusting out a muscular arm to take the one to his right. A former sportsman-cum-businessman at 32, used to being in control, his flint grey eyes nervously seek approval as we meet for coffee one early evening, heavy rain bouncing off the thoroughfare outside, tourists scrambling for what cover they can find. “I almost didn’t make it,” he says shaking his head. The meaning ambiguous in the circumstances, not uncommon for someone used to keeping their inner most secrets away from the world at large, but raises questions about what he really means. The previous day I meet Ruth, his partner of three years, at their waterfront family home just a 10-minute walk from where I meet Mark. She tells me about the last time it all got too much for him 18 months ago. Tears creep down her face as she recalls the time she came home from work to find him hanging in front of her, motionless. Trying to escape the bipolar disorder which has dominated his adult life. “The last time he was really, really bad he left our young daughter sleeping in our room and tried to hang himself right out there,” she recalls, her eyes skimming towards the door leading to the archway leading to the hallway before returning to mine. Tentatively, she motions towards it, emphasising the point. Beyond it, the wooden staircase leading to the upper floor of their duplex apartment. Where it happened. “It was a Monday. Afternoon, around five o’clock. It wasn’t a special day or anything, at least not that I know of. Everything seemed fine when I left for work. I never would have expected to come home to that; not ever. “He had tied rope around one of the support beams and climbed up using a ladder. He thought the rope would either break his neck or cut off his circulation. It was something he had talked about the day before. He didn’t appear upset, just pensive. I just thought he was joking.” She explains how she found him. The panic that set in as she battled to work out how to save him and prioritising whether to do something, call the emergency services or check to see if their daughter was okay. “His eyes were closed as if he was sleeping,” she continues. “The flat was quiet; almost too quiet. I didn’t know what to do first, or if Sarah was just sleeping or if something worse had happened. I still have nightmares about that day; reliving the emotion, the outcome very different in my mind. “I can’t even recall much of that incident, but we managed to get him down and to hospital and it turned out okay in the end, but there were a few days when I thought he wouldn’t be coming home.” Bipolar, historically known as manic depression, is a severe mental

health illness characterised by significant mood swings including manic highs and depressive lows with the majority of people with bipolar experiencing alternating episodes of both mania and depression. It is a serious and common mental health problem that often goes undiagnosed for years with few support

He thought the rope would either break his neck or cut off his circulation. It was something he had talked about the day before. He didn’t appear upset, just pensive. I just thought he was joking. services available across the UK at a time when mental health resources are under-resourced and over-subscribed with people experiencing depression while bipolar itself can increase the risk of suicide by at least 20 per cent. Mark spent two weeks in hospital recovering from his injuries with no lasting damage and was made to undergo regular cognitive behavioural therapy in addition to an increase in medication. Support from mental health professionals also help him make small lifestyle changes in a bid to control the sometimes rapid switching between mania and severe depression. Bipolar UK (bipolaruk.org.uk) has provided pioneering support for people living with bipolar disorder for the last three decades, but is just one of a number of small mental health charities facing closure because of a lack of funding despite the nation’s mental health burden put at 23 per cent by the Care Quality Commission. The charity nurtures a network of localised, accessible support groups and other advice services and is the only dedicated service of its kind for people with the disorder and their families. It relies on independent donations 90 per cent of its income, helping about 65,000 people a year with an increase in the last 12 months, but a cut in funding is threatening BipolarUK’s survival at a time when the number of people experiencing depression and manic episodes is increasing. For Mark and Ruth, support from mental health charities and healthcare professionals is paramount to living with the day-to-day effects of mental health illnesses. “At times, it’s heart-breaking,” Ruth says with a heavy sigh. “The very nature of bipolar means he has these opposite sides. There are days where he quickly become a different person. He can change just like that. Sometimes there’s no trigger, it just happens. “The hardest part is knowing that there are times when there is nothing I can do to help. The really depressive episodes are the worst. He’s just a

The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

ESCAPING DISORDER

THE EVERYDAY CHAOS OF BIPOLAR

shadow of his usual self and will hide away in the study if he can even leave bed. It can go on for days and sometimes weeks at a time. “What can I do? He means everything to me and Sarah, it just hurts that I can’t do as much as I’d like to make it all right.” Ruth explains how they had to remortgage their apartment after a destructive manic episode saw her husband spend £40,000 in a secret

spending binge over seven days. “I was shopping in town when my card for our joint account was declined. We’ve never really had financial problems before, so I was amazed when I spoke to the bank and was told what had happened. I thought our cards had been cloned or something like that, but when the bank proved the transactions were legitimate my heart sank. I had no idea. “We couldn’t afford to pay back the

money he spent on our overdrafts and credit cards — we had no choice but to get a loan to pay it off. It’s only money though, I can live with that knowing that Mark is okay and still able to take care of our daughter. “I couldn’t bring myself to be angry. It’s just something you can’t be angry at when there’s an illness like that involved. I don’t think he knows what he’s doing sometimes and that makes me worry as much as the depressive


The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

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Alaina Abplanalp episodes. “We occasionally fight just like any other couple, but I have to be careful not to trigger an episode. It’s tough not knowing when it’s coming or what causes it. Sometimes I think it’s me and it took a lot of convincing from Mark that it wasn’t me. There are times when I worry about coming home from work and find he’s gone, never knowing when or if he’ll come home – if he’s okay, whether he’s going

to try hurting himself badly again and I’m miles away and can’t do anything. “But I think, for him, it’s much worse. He loves Sarah more than anything, but I can never fully understand what goes on in his head and I don’t know if he’ll ever get better. I want that more than anything, but I have to live with knowing that any episode could make him do something awful again, I just try to make sure he knows that, no matter what it is or how bad it

gets, I’ll always be there for him.” She stops for a minute looking towards the windows that overlook the marina, family photographs adorn the top of a short oak bookcase. Tears now stream down her face, mascara smudges around her reddening eyes as the 20 long and emotional minutes become too much and she asks to stop the interview as she runs to the bathroom. She returns five minutes later, offering apologies at not being able

to continue because talking about it publicly is not something she is used to doing – friends are aware that there are problems, but not the extent and Mark and Ruth have deliberately kept it like that because of the reaction revealing mental health problems can cause. While all mental health problems are badly affected by misunderstanding and stigma, accepting treatment and making lifestyle adaptations to cope with the ups and downs can make it easier to live with. Facts on the bipolar.org.uk website say that 1-2 per cent of the population experience a lifetime prevalence of bipolar and recent research suggests as many as five per cent of us are on the bipolar spectrum. Highlighting the long-term problem with bipolar, it is estimated that it can take, on average, 10.5 years to receive a correct diagnosis for bipolar in the UK and before bipolar is diagnosed there is a misdiagnosis an average of 3.5 times. Returning to the coffee shop, Mark’s responses are measured between sips of coffee, something he has cut down on after advice from his therapist. Careful not to say the wrong thing, he gives off the appearance of a well-groomed man, someone who should be confident and successful at life, but there is an overwhelming aura of insecurity, something not quite right, but you don’t know what it is and feel it inappropriate to enquire about. “It’s difficult for other people to understand, especially people who don’t know me too well,” Mark explains. “There’s a stigma that exists with mental health illnesses. I’m not a danger to anyone, just occasionally myself. I’ve tried to end my life a few times when it has got so bad, but none of them work. I always feel bad for the people who have to see that, it’s just wrong for someone to deal with that. “I have severe mood swings; there are days when I’ll disappear and ignore my friends, sometimes my family – it’s just how I try to deal with it. Sometimes I get these urges and can be extra productive. It is sometimes these episodes which has allowed my business to succeed, but much of the everyday running is now done by a great team of colleagues who are aware of my illness. “Ruth and her family are brilliant. They know the signs and have learnt to give me space or support when I need it even if it means dropping off Sarah at short notice and not returning for days. “We’ve developed shorthand ways of communicating any problems without anyone outside of our immediate family becoming aware of it. I’ve lost count of the amount of ‘holidays’ or ‘conferences’ I’ve been to in the last six months to avoid having to explain to people what’s really happening. We hate having to lie to our friends, but sometimes it’s just the easiest thing to do.” Mark explains how he has just returned from another of his mini breaks away, somewhere abroad , without disclosing much detail despite advice from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that travelling abroad for people with bipolar can be risky because of medication timing and disruption of the circadian rhythm. A wry smile crosses his face to acknowledge that it was a means of escape; the implication this is the norm for him and that’s that. Another lie masking the disorderly truth inside. Conceding that it might not be the best idea to keep his illness from people, he talks about his friend Alun

FEATURES / 19 who knew the old Mark from their childhood. They grew up together, through school and university, even briefly lived next door to each other. “My best friend jokes about me being a Jekyll and Hyde character, and he’s kind of right. We’ve been friends since school and he knows me better than anyone. He doesn’t claim to understand what goes on in my head, but he’s there to support me and, more importantly, the girls when they need

Even now, there are still days when I think about how much better it would be for everyone if I could escape it all. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I don’t think I can help it - it’s just who I am and I can never properly escape it. him. Without friends and family, I don’t know where we’d be – today I dread to think what would happen to Ruth and Sarah, but there are times when, frankly, I couldn’t care. “I’m not a violent person though, I just have very opposite sides that regularly come out. Sometimes I can control it, or at least lessen the burden on others — that’s something that I hate the most about it, other people having to see me the way I can get — but I just have to work through it and hope to come out the other side sooner rather than later. After four suicide attempts in 10 years, the friends and family I’ve loved and lost, some people would think why I haven’t got myself sorted out, manned-up so to speak. If only it was that easy.” Mark has now gone 18 months since his last suicide attempt with the help of medication, therapy and lifestyle changes. After a 15 minute distraction talk about rugby which lightens his mood and makes him come out of his shell, we return to living with bipolar. “I don’t think it’ll ever go away,” he says, pausing mid thought. “It’s always going to be there, but I love my family and they, more than anything, keep me going and go some way to stop me doing anything too stupid. I say stupid, that’s something that most people think it is, but at the time it never seems like that, just the right thing to do to make it better.” After everything, I ask him has he ever thought about taking his own life again. He drops his head, looking down at his coffee; cogitating. “Even now, after everything — even seeing my daughter start full-time school and watch her grow up excited by what lies ahead for her — there are still days when I think about how much better it would be for everyone if I could escape it all. It’s wholly selfish and not something I’m proud of,” he says. He fidgets with his hands and looks beyond me. “With all the help in the world I don’t think I can help it — it’s just who I am and I can never properly escape it.”


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The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

CULTURE&LIFESTYLE

ARTS&ENTS ATheSPIRITUAL AWAKENING Journal meets hotly-tipped Glaswegian newcomers CHVRCHES

Christina Kernohan

music Jamie Brotherston & Harris Brine Music editors

In the bustle of Glasgow’s West End,

the pixie-esque songstress of a band who’ve just taken SXSW by storm sits tucked away at the back of the cafe, delicately picking at her salad. Petite and strikingly pretty, Lauren Mayberry could well be a student catching a break away from her studies, yet she fronts a group who have sent shockwaves through the UK music scene and stolen the hearts of many at the immense Texas music festival with their elegant synthpop electro. We sit down and chat while polymath Mayberry — a qualified law graduate and journalist with The List — hastily finishes off working on her laptop, and are soon joined by her fellow members in the CHVRCHES revolution — Martin Doherty and Iain Cook — both looking tired and laden with equipment. After their pulsating show at The Arches, one attended by almost every industry figure worth their salt in Scotland, there is again cause for a double take. The trio, reservedly chatty and immensely unassuming, could not be further from the personifications suggested by the intense hype that has followed their every move since they premiered ‘Lies’ in May last year. “Scotland’s hottest band? Where?”, quips Doherty, adjusting his characteristic snap-back and laughing nervously whilst sipping at a cavernous mug of coffee. There is an immediate sense that CHVRCHES are still getting to grips with their meteoric ascension. Incredibly, it has been less than 10 months since CHVRCHES’ very first show. In July 2012, the city’s Art School

played host to their debut appearance and was also the locale for the video of ‘Lies’: an exceptional, resounding introduction to the Glasgow outfit’s soft, popinfused electro. Spurred on by ‘Lies’ and follow-up ‘The Mother We Share’, CHVRCHES inaugurated The Journal’s fortnightly ‘Introducing’ column, as we tipped them to soon feature on the cover of NME, a claim that now looks very likely to happen. Doherty — a former live member of The Twilight Sad — exhales as he addresses their current position, bristling slightly at the mention of hype. “That’s a nasty word, it’s worse than the ‘C’ word. “It feels like everything is going far beyond what we ever could have possibly imagined. For the last few months, since January, it’s just started gathering steam. It feels pretty good at the moment, aye.” ‘Gathering steam’ may be a modest phrase used for an act set to embark on a 52-show worldwide excursion, fragmented with festival appearances at Benicassim, Melt! and T in the Park and support slots on the tours of both Two Door Cinema Club and electronic legends Depeche Mode. In the last four months, CHVRCHES sold out each date on their first headline tour, found themselves on the BBC Sound of 2013 longlist, picked up the Best Non-US Developing Act at SXSW and signed to both Virgin Records and US label Glassnote Records; the latter led the Mumford & Sons revolution stateside. Mayberry, whose hypnotic, seraphic voice is cradled by Cook and Doherty’s diamond-cut synths, sits between her compatriots and pragmatically explains that much of CHVRCHES’ success was down to a solid network of support and the reach of the internet. “The thing that was really exciting for us, when we first put something online, it was not that people were writing about us,

people were passing our song on to their friends and that’s how we find out about music; reading tiny little blogs on the internet or finding out about it through our pals. I think we were obviously really lucky that the press got behind us the way they have. “To an extent you don’t liken yourself to that because once you start reading the press, good or bad, it’s going to alter the way you think about yourself. We’re just trying not to get distracted by that shiny stuff and keep writing and playing shows. At the end of the day it’s people who come and see your shows that buy your records”.

have any control over it...In some ways it’d be nice to slow it down a little.” He trails off and Mayberry fills the silence with a sharp sense of humour, something that comes to the fore as the conversation develops. “First world problems,” she adds, cuttingly. Doherty expands on the point and it becomes clear why the trio, all experienced musicians, seem skittish with their scorching popularity. “It sounds like we’re complaining, it sounds really awful. I don’t want us to sound ungrateful, it’s just that we’ve been working all our lives in music on some level or another and would have shot someone for this.” “Shot’s a strong word,” chirps Mayberry. “With a rubber dart,” ends Doherty, grinning. Mayberry then underlines her previous point, which creates an interesting detour in the conversation. “We’re aware that it’s been a really beneficial springboard for us and that we’re lucky and not many bands get it, but I think you need to be careful. If you step in one direction it’s very hard to go back. If you take a step and accidentally throw a shoe at One Direction….” Talk wavers to the meeting between a deftly-lobbed plimsoll and Harry Styles’s groin, and the group relax, but there is still In the cafe, people obliviously pass a sense they are only dipping their toes by. It seems the band have, momentarily, in the vortex that has opened beneath slipped under the radar; a clandestine feel them. They disagree on some points, begins to emanate from the rendezvous. sometimes looking to each other for a Cook, who built his reputation as part split second before offering an answer, of Aereogramme and was also Mayber- as if seeking the assurance of their bandry’s producer when she fronted Blue Sky mate and perhaps themselves unsure of Archives (a connection that ultimately led the wave of acclaim that has swept them to CHVRCHES’ conception), softly adds from Glasgow and half the world away. to the conversation for the first time. Doherty stabs at an explanation. “In terms of the so-called hype, it’s “What we previously made is differreally quite frustrating sometimes as well ent to the music we now make, but I don’t as being really amazing because you don’t think it was ever necessarily calculated

“I wanted to make music that people would hear for the first time and remember and get into. It wouldn’t take five or six listens to unveil.”

in a way — well it definitely wasn’t calculated in a way — whereby we were thinking ‘let’s get massive with this music’. “We were thinking, ‘let’s do something different, let’s do, in many ways, the antitheses of the music we were making beforehand. A personal fresh start more than anything else, something new; take it out of the box a wee bit’.” Cook makes another interjection and being the most casually taciturn person around the table, extends a quiet command. “It was in some ways a reaction to the things we’d done before but, also, I think there was a definite decision to make something that was more immediate. Certainly, personally speaking, I wanted to make music that people would hear for the first time and remember and get into. It wouldn’t take five or six listens to unveil. “The holy grail is to create something that grabs you on the first listen but that kept revealing stuff after five or six listens. A lot of pop music, everything it has to show is revealed in the first listen and then it gets boring after that. But I kind of hope that our music is textured and interesting.” CHVRCHES’ shows so far have had an experimental feel, with an intensity behind their following which is only further fuelled by their abrupt appearance and disappearance on stage; vanishing like ghosts. Mayberry, who exudes a supernatural presence on stage, decides to unveil the mystery with a dash of droll pragmatism. “Well that’s what’s going to happen if you don’t have lots of material to play. If you play an hour, people are going to be bored and tired,” she utters, and with one final swoop, she smashes any initial assumptions made on her demure appearance. “It’s the same with encores, you know you’re going to keep two aside… it’s like ‘just play the fucking songs’.”


The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

A&E / 21

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Introducing...DRENGE Brothers Rory and Eoin Loveless thrash out unapologetic guitar music as Drenge for your pleasure or pain - take your pick. They are also a bit of a contradiction. You can imagine the pair as kids throwing stones at classmates in the playground but then buying everyone sweets afterwards because they felt bad. With song titles such as ‘People in Love Make Me Feel Yuck’ and lyrics that go along the lines of “If you had a soul I’d like to eat it”, the NME’s description of Drenge as “sinister” and “menacing” is somewhat understandable. Speaking to Drenge’s drummer Rory over the phone, Tutankhamen’s death mask finds its way into the conversation after only five minutes (if the Egyptian boy king was resurrected Rory would love him to listen to Drenge). Yet as The Journal’s twenty minute chat gets rolling, topics for discussion veer into

the realms of Mother’s Day and Disneyland – the brothers have a soft side too. Drenge’s sound is a mash-up of punk, prog-rock and blues. “It’s basically what you get if you isolate two young people, poke them a little bit, and make them miss the last bus...” Rory explains, “illustrated through guitar and drums.” This seemingly simple “guitar and drums” two-piece set-up still manages to create a huge amount of noise and Eoin’s rich vocals have the presence of a musical old-hat rather than a Derbyshire youth who was influenced by “being unable to get a job.” Growing up in a small village in the Peak District perhaps explains this feeling of isolation. The boys grew up in Castleton, a medieval village of little more than 1,000 inhabitants. The bleakness of northern England is no stranger to fostering creative musical talent (see

Joy Division and the Arctic Monkeys). Rory suggests “angry young men living in a cave” as a tagline for Drenge’s music. These “angry young men” are aged only about 20 but they have already ventured from their cave to support The Cribs and co-tour with Californian rock belles Deap Vally, who by the way, are “much more rock and roll” than the Drenge brothers. This month they will be on the road again with Temples and Blood Sport, and in May they will headlining a series of gigs which includes a date at Glasgow’s Nice N Sleazy’s. “Playing live is what Drenge is, essentially,” Rory says. “That’s what music is for us, performing.” This summer the band will be playing on bigger stages in front of bigger crowds as they take on major festivals such as Latitude, Kendal Calling and Bestival. But northern England continues to

Euan Robertson

As sweet as honey Harris Brine Music editor

Throw in a handful of American

influences, drizzle sugary vocals over frank lyrics and bake in the oven for over a year and what do you get? Honeyblood. The all-girl Glasgow duo have been increasingly garnished with praise as their scattering of songs trickled their way onto the internet during the last 12 months, and hunger pangs have been heard online for the band’s debut album. However, as founding member Shona McVicar only recently refilled the drumming post vacated by Rah Morriss, those ravenous will patiently have to wait until August before they

are served up Honeyblood’s first LP. We recently caught up with the band’s leading lady Stina Tweeddale to talk about the Honeyblood’s roots, women’s rights and why Kate Bush should be worshipped. A belated happy birthday, you’re now in your teenage years (if we’re counting in months). Any teenage dramas or strops been thrown yet? Loads! We are so stroppy. But we’re a happy pair!

Week. That had definitely been the highlight so far. In the UK, it has to be our headline show at King Tuts during New Year’s Revolution. We got to play new songs at that show too and it was nice to see that a few people came to support us. Sleigh Bells was our first big support so that was a huge step for us. Also, we became pals with PINS and Mazes after we gigged them so those shows were really fun too.

You’ve had an extremly busy year. Highlight so far?

With Honeyblood’s sound, your Boycotts days seem far behind you. What happened for the Honeyblood sound to materialize?

We just came back from playing our first show abroad at Tallinn Music

Honeyblood has been materializing since I was thirteen. I got my first

be Drenge’s base; the boys record in a studio in Sheffield, charmingly across the road from “a special sauna”. The notion of paying fans is perhaps something which is still taking some getting used to. “It’s weird that people are coming to our shows who aren’t our friends,” Rory says. But playing live gigs is obviously something which the brothers revel in. “When you get into it, you kind of can’t imagine yourself doing anything else.” Friends and “aunties and uncles” might have made up Drenge’s initial fan-base but with growing exposure and radio airplay – Zane Lowe made the single ‘Bloodsports’ his ‘Hottest Record In The World’ - this is most definitely set to change. The snowballing hype and recognition is in spite of the fact that Drenge only having four songs available to listen to online. What

guitar at 12 and was writing my own songs in a teenage girl/boy band in the vein of Hole, L7, Babes in Toyland etc until my mid-teens. When I moved to Glasgow, I wanted to start a new band and formed Boycotts. I had a lot less control over the music because I never once wrote a guitar part. I guess, it was Boycotts that was the evolution and Honeyblood had always been there. I think our main influences are really obvious. For example, The Breeders, PJ Harvey, Best Coast... and someone recently said we reminded her of Rilo Kiley which made my day. I have such a crush on Jenny Lewis. Early Honeyblood tracks were heavy in distortion, and since you’ve forged out a more distinctive, prounced and lucid sound. Can we expect your vocals to be staticladen on any new tracks? We did the tape that way because we didn’t really have any other way to do it. It was a fluke! The whole thing just worked out okay, which I love. It was a jam in a bathroom that we pressed play to. Christina is the Latin feminine form of Christian, so if you had to worship someone, who would it be and why? I’m not religious, but I do have a favourite Saint. Kateri Tekawitha, also known as Lily of The Mohawks. She was canonized last year which made me really happy. I guess I’d probably

the release of a debut album will do to Drenge’s impending success and recognition – Rory confirms to The Journal that the album is finished and due out in August – remains to be seen. I ask Rory the mandatory album title question. “It’ll probably be something really boring like Drenge. The second album, definitely, I’m going to go all prog-rock with the album cover with a ridiculous painting of me on a mountain side with lightening striking. Eoin can be riding a unicorn with wings and we’ll call it something like In the Shadow of the Past Comes the Light of the Future...I don’t know. But you heard it here first, that’s the second album.” And with that exclusive, The Journal looks forward to the Drenge’s bright future whilst hoping that their debatably dark past continues to influence their gloriously rough sound.

say Kate Bush if I had to worship someone, she’s heavenly. Your recent activity has shown you’ve been quite supportive of women’s rights, reiterating the importance of femininity. Do you feel that gender is still a massive issue in the UK today? I’m glad that Honeyblood can support women’s rights in a positive way. I think from a musician’s point of view, my experience from being in Boycotts and then picking up a guitar and playing in Honeyblood have shaped my views on the attitudes towards female performers. I have always stated that we’re two girls who play loud music, because we are and that’s what we do. Does this come through in any of the songs? I think ‘Super Rat’ may have given people an opinion on how we feel about that sort of thing, but never once do I mention in that song that the ‘rat’ is a guy. We have a song called ‘Choker’ which is based on a short story by Angela Carter called The Bloody Chamber. Carter was known as a feminist writer. ‘Super Rat’ doesn’t pull any punches whatsoever, does it? Yikes. What would make us get on the bad side of you girls? Arseholes.


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The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

The BBC Radio 1 DJ explains why it’s essential that you attend Scotland’s only musical convention Ally McCrae BBC Radio 1 DJ I always have difficulty describing what I spend my days doing as working, as a job, because any job in music is quite frankly awesome; going to rock shows and hanging out with ace people (who I find tell the best stories) is a very lucky and unique position to be in. It is easy to forget it is a job and just like any other industry, be you a band, a manager, a journalist or an aspiring DJ,

you need to get to know folk who may be able to help your career. Hello, Wide Days... Yet, when I was aspiring to get a cool job, I wish I’d not been so put off by the whole networking thing. I hated the idea of it, almost as much as the idea of organised fun... “That’s only for knobs that go on The Apprentice”, I’d think as I gazed into my pint or constantly checked my phone, only to see another devastatingly gripping Groupon email appear. “I don’t need to know some swarmy A&R man banging on about how many margaritas he drank in a hot tub with Kanye West at SXSW one year”, would be my usual conclusion as

I slunk off back to my local to be asked why I was dressed like a prat and worn an ill-fitting shirt that night (should have gone with the Xcerts tee). I was just insecure and nervous, intimidated probably, by a roomful of people who I wanted to be on a level with. Thing is, I knew loads about local bands, I was at gigs every night, read Pitchfork religiously, I’d ran a student radio station... in retrospect, I would have been much more useful to that A&R man than he would ever have been to me - it’s his job to find out who the amazing new bands are! (Now, I’m finally getting to the point) For me, that’s why Wide Days is so

cool... You have the opportunity to mix with a whole cross section of the music industry and here’s the punchline that I wish I’d known before - they are all desperate to meet you too. This ain’t no school disco with social pressure to get a winch (although I’m not saying that won’t happen)... No, this is an event and an industry that people except to be approached by random people, it’s all about who you get to know - and that is no bad thing. Wide Days was back last week with its annual line up of buzzy showcase acts and slightly less exciting but ultimately bloody useful seminars on a host of topics, which everyone interested in

music

Wide Days: Breaking with convention

working in the music industry should get stuck right into. Even if a topic isn’t exactly to do with your sector in the industry, you never know what nugget of information or what story you hear in the pub that night, might spark a little flame of inspiration that could lead to greatness. This year was by far the strongest year, with seven incredibly exciting Scottish acts playing on the night, and there were, again, many invaluable seminars on the dynamic, ever-revolving music industry. So ensure you make it along to Wide Days next April, and if you do, come say hello!

The Journal’s reviewers look back at the best acts showcased at Edinburgh’s Wide Days music convention...

Saint Max and the Fanatics Garden of Elks Fanatics set to shine after a pre-album polish

Quirky, energetic excitement at Sneaky Pete’s

Harris Brine Music editor

Elizabeth Morrison Staff writer

Three years ago, when a teenage Justin Bieber was penning lyrics of ‘Baby’ - “You know you love me/ I know you care/ Just shout whenever/ And I’ll be there”, another 15-year old was hastily scribbling down his inner musings on love and longing. These words, however, were never wriiten to fit a commercially-viable hit. 36 months later, Saint Max – in an oversized suit and with a relaxed smile – bawls them out in front of a whole host of prevalent music industry types, either unaware or uncaring of his important newfound audience. Looking like a youthful (pre-rehab) Dandy Warhol Courtney TaylorTaylor, frontman Saint Max leads his band through a brief but thrilling set, one littered with a weird and refreshing blend of horn sections and dry,

lyrical melancholy. Why Saint Max has been lavished with praise (notably by Vic Galloway and Steve Lamacq) is completely evident tonight. Max carries more charisma in the wry smiles and sardonic quips in-between songs than some bands do in their whole careers, and their sound imbues a whole barrage of influences over the last thirty years with a youthful quality, from 80’s Madness and The Smiths, 90’s Pulp and The Libertines’ drug-soaked introduction to the 21st century. That said, they’re collectively quite rough-around-the edges, and tightening up their output before the debut album’s inevitable tour is essential. At the influence section on their Facebook, Saint Max has the wonderful sally of “This and that’ and it’s quite humourous to think that when a youthful Bieber was churning out the aforementioned words, a 15-year

Following the up-and-coming Saint Max and the Fanatics

old Saint Max was in his bedroom, scribbling down lyrics on his homework jotter redolent of Jarvis Cocker; little ironic gems beyond his years, like ‘Wonderful Life’s’ “I loved you infinitely, but people do not last until infinity”.

Fat Goth/Fatherson/Roman Nose

and with a rough-and-ready attitude, this little-known three-piece sparked genuine excitement in an all too brief set. There was a moment, between their first two songs, when it looked as though none of the members of Garden of Elks actually knew what they were doing. The set list was, perhaps, a fluid concept for the group of three musicians – each of whom gave the impression that they were doing whatever they felt like irrespective of the other two for the entirety of the show. But their quirky, thrown-

Wide Days serves up an eclectic showcase trio to close convention Harris Brine & Jamie Brotherston Music editors

Line-ups, quite simply, do no get much stranger. If the two earlier showcases were the metaphorical first steps into novel writing, then this would be Wide Days’ literary pièce de résistance: a brazen concoction of alternative rock, twisted electro and whatever genre you succeed in pinning Fat Goth down to. Tonight, the Dundonian trio who make up Fat Goth are the weird, eye-catching introduction. Recently immortalised in a tongue-in-cheek cartoon strip by Kerrang! magazine, Fat Goth’s popularity is steadily rising and thunderous live sets like tonight’s

offering are the prime example why. Disjointed, ignorant of convention and downright bizarre, Fat Goth are the musical equivalent of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, with added humour thrown in. After a long two year wait for Fatherson’s debut album, it is nearly upon us. As well as a new song, the band utilise their allotted 20 minutes to showcase numbers the heaving crowd are already familiar with, includ-

ing ‘First Born’, ‘Hometown’ and ‘Gone Fission’. Like writer’s block, for a while it appeared Fatherson had reached an impasse, but the anticipation surrounding the debut LP is telling that there’s an exciting new chapter ahead for Ross Leighton and co. A strange, but fitting, finish were the last addition to the initial line-up, Roman Nose. Wide Days founder (and The Scotsman music journalist) Olaf Furniss recently wit-

nessed their tremendous live set at the SAMAs and booked them on the spot; something indicative of how strong the masked trio’s performances are. Literary comparisons of Roman Nose throw up Patrick Batemen, protagonist in Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho: anomalous, unashamedly selfconfident and downright menacing. ‘Youthclubbed’ is the highlight in a condensed conclusion to Wide Days’ showcases. Wide Days is Scotland’s only music convention, and its three showcase gigs staggered over the course of the night (complete with mad dash to the next venue) is a novel idea, and a successful one at that. Roll on 2014 for the next anthology.

together demeanour meant they thrilled all the more as rhythmheavy songs seemed to spontaneously manifest themselves. Heads began banging in every corner of the room while Niall Strachan’s yowling vocal delivery was only made more arresting by contrast with his wandering stage banter, which felt like an obscure in-joke. Throughout the whole set, and more particularly at its end, bassist R y a n D r e v e r j u m p e d high in elation and misjudged the claustrophobic dimensions of Sneaky Pete’s enough to hit his head off a ceiling speaker. The moment summed up Garden of Elks’ entire performance: amusing, high-energy and no fucks given for 20 minutes.


Opera. Expect the unexpected.

The Pirates of Penzance 15 May – 8 Jun

Get £10 tix if you’re under 26. Any seat. Any performance.

scottishopera.org.uk

Glasgow • Aberdeen • Edinburgh • Inverness

Registered in Scotland Number SCO37531 Scottish Charity Number SCO19787 Registered Office: 39 Elmbank Crescent, Glasgow G2 4PT


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Olympus Has Fallen FILM Ross Miller Staff writer

Gerard Butler stars in this pre-

posterous but ultimately enjoyable action-thriller as Mike Banning, an ex-Special Forces and former Secret Service agent. Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House when it comes under attack from a rogue North Korean terrorist organisation. With the President himself taken hostage in the bunker, Mike is the only contact the remaining US government has left and it’s up to him to save the day. There may be a feeling of déjà-vu watching Olympus Has Fallen. It’s nothing hugely original but, for what it is, it’s more than serviceable stuff, benefiting hugely from Butler as the type of leading man he more than proves he’s able to take on. It reminds

Antoine Fuqua’s unoriginal action-thriller is sweet, dumb fun us that he has lots to offer as an action star when given a half-decent role to sink his teeth into, including spitting out one-liners in a fashion not seen since Guy Pearce in Lockout last year. Butler is clearly having a lot of fun in a physically demanding role where hand-to-hand combat is just as prevalent as the requisite shootouts. While not exactly The Raid, it’s a surprisingly and pleasingly violent film with a lot harder of an edge than you may be expecting from one with such a ludicrous premise. While completely ridiculous, it’s hard not to get caught up in it all as the film puts on-screen what it might be like if the White House — “the most protected building in the world”, as a piece of news footage makes sure to let us know — was actually attacked by a rogue terrorist organisation. It may ultimately be a silly block-

buster but it has more between the ears than some. The plot may not escape predictability, but it goes about things in such an assured manner that it almost doesn’t matter. Director Antoine Fuqua’s (still best known for directing Training Day) taut direction, commitment to giving the action sequences some real punch (no pun intended) and a cast of acting heavyweights including Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and Melissa Leo, make for a perfectly enjoyable couple of hours. Some people may have an issue with its arguably jingoistic mentality — shots of the American flag bullet-ridden and falling in slow motion to the ground couldn’t be anymore heavy-handed if it tried — but taken at face value as a piece of action cinema in the vein of Air Force One meets Die Hard, it does the job with confidence and bravura.

Spring Breakers Disney stars shine in an unexpected gem from Harmony Korine

FILM Blair Dingwall Film editor

For fans of Harmony Korine’s films, the first segment of Spring Breakers may be slightly off-putting; a montage of topless glamour models and musclebound jocks bouncing about a prosiac sunny, sandy beach to drum and bass in youthful bliss, seemingly having the time of their lives. Booties shaking, beer spraying, teens chugging, tits bouncing, the opening scene is like watching an x-rated David Guetta music video, far from anything seen in the non-con-

formist Kids, or Gummo. After not too long however, the message is clear. What we’re seeing is the ‘fictional’ spring break, the illusion of blissful, decadent partying dreamt up by thousands of American college kids throughout monotonous winter lectures. But what about the real spring break? Korine’s film hones in on four female college students to examine this, alongside his recurring themes of youth, lost innocence and excess. What undoubtedly caused the most speculation around Spring Breakers was the casting of Disney-starlets Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, who star alongside Rachel Korine and Ashley Benson as the broke and bored college students who rob a diner (with squirt guns) to fund their spring festivities. But it’s James Franco as the self-proclaimed

“gangsta with a heart of gold”, drug dealer Alien, who bursts from the screen in an energetic and, presumably, partially improvised performance. There is an underlying depth to his character, hints to a troubled past in his immediate, emotional dependency on the four girls. Gomez is the only other truly exceptional performer, playing a girl hopelessly torn between her devoutly Christian upbringing and the urge to enjoy her college years to the fullest. Gomez gives an authentic performance as the youthful, aptly-named Faith, capturing perfectly the transition undertaken on the road to adulthood; the need to stay blind to the world’s impurities to keep hold of her innocence for as long as possible. Characters aside, Spring Breakers is a vibrant, unique movie, structurally bordering art house. It’s look is not so

The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

Evil Dead Remake of Raimi’s horror classic is “brutally dull” Ross Miller Staff writer

There’s a moment in Evil Dead, a deci-

sively pointless updating of Sam Raimi’s 1981 low-budget classic, when a character who has been taken over by a demon spews blood all over someone’s face for five seconds. It’s a disgusting moment in an altogether disgusting but brutally dull horror that should give you an indication of the sort of thing it’s aiming for. Taking the basic premise of the original, it centres on a group of entirely disposable 20-somethings who, with the exception of the geeky, spectacled one who unleashes the evil of the title, look like they’ve stepped off the cover of a magazine. They go up to a secluded cabin in order to help one of them who’s a drug addict go cold turkey. Once there they inevitably discover the mysterious basement below and the dreaded Book of the Dead. Before long the evil of the title has been unleashed and horrific chaos ensues. This grim and cynical remake retains none of what made the original tick (hinting at certain familiar elements only seeks to remind you just how good it was in the first place), instead opting for a “see how far we can push the gore” mentality. It’s shock value tactics plain and simple and it gets to the point where it becomes much a ‘bleak beauty’, more a ‘trashy, sleazy charm’, in which sounds, lines of dialogue and scenes are mixed, mashed and thrown around the film as the story spirals into darker turf, much like the 2006 film A Guide to Recognising Your Saints, adding to Spring Breakers’ hazymemory quality. Although, Spring Breakers feels less like a dream and more like a villainous comedown, leaving your brain as fried as the most seismic hangover. Additionally, the cinematography is absorbing - gritty, drowned in fluorescent glows - it might have the most endearing visuals in a film since Drive. Spring Breakers is a film about youth and sin, and this time Korine gets to the heart of modern apathy - to a generation soul-searching in over-indulgence, thrills and excess.

FILM

inert, repetitive and rather boring. In comparison to the original it lacks the sense of heightened, ridiculous fun (part of that may be down to a crucial lack of Bruce Campbell) and as a standalone, modern day horror it blends into the crowd of insanely gory but ultimately ineffective shock horrors where characters we don’t care about get relentlessly punished. The film’s ultimate redeeming feature can be found in its production values. Impeccable sound design and impressive make-up and gore effects more than get the job done. Hacked limbs and infected skin look fittingly disgusting and at least prove the filmmakers are going about it right — shoddy production values would have made it too much to bear. However, no amount of technical mastery can save what is a disappointingly po-faced and self-serious horror remake that’s content to just pile one over-thetop and ridiculously gory set-piece on top of another. Gore-hounds will likely be satisfied with the amount of blood and chopped flesh put on display but it’s not going to do anything for anyone else, especially not those interested in their horror having a little more substance or sense of fun to it. The tagline reads “The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience.” Rarely has a tagline been so misleading.


The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

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Tectonics Festival music Icelandic conductor Ilan Volkov brings together local and international artists for contemporary festival Ailsa Clark Staff writer

It’s nearly festival season once

again and if, like many Glaswegians, three days in a field with 80,000 Tennents-soaked bams in isn’t quite your cup of tea and, alas, the more exotic prospects of Sonar or Exit are slightly out of your price range, fear not. You needn’t leave the the city for an entirely mud-free weekend of world class music. While the Tectonics festival can’t name the likes of Rihanna among its headliners, this new weekend injects a much-needed dose of experimentalism to the Scottish musical calendar. Staged by the BBC Scottish Sym-

phony Orchestra and curated by Icelandic conductor Ilan Volkov, Tectonics is an exciting alternative to the standard Scottish festival setup, throwing genre boundaries to the wind and bringing together local and international artists. A direct offshoot of a festival of the same name launched last year in Reykjavik by curator Volkov, Tectonics offers a unique lineup led by Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai and Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffatt, as well as a diverse selection other Glasgow-based musicians and composers including David Fennessy, Martin Suckling and John de Simone. With a number of these artists having been commissioned by the BBC to write works specifically for the weekend, the Glasgow installment of Tectonics combines the BBC Orchestra’s reputation as a hugely respected contemporary music ensemble with Volkov’s passion for new music. The progressive nature of Glasgow’s music scene, as well as the exceptional quality of homegrown acts it has fostered, make the city an ideal home for Volkov’s festival. He said: “Glasgow is the perfect city for a project of this kind. The audience are open and ready for new experiences and surprises. It’s important for me that Glasgow-based artists and musicians are part of the line-up. Having worked

in Glasgow for over 10 years, I’m aware of the incredible range of musicians and artists in the city. “It’s also a very personal project for me as I have worked with many of the guest artists in other situations and some, like Alvin Lucier, are heroes of mine. I’ve also been performing contemporary repertoire with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for more than a decade, so they are the perfect partners for this radical project.” Lucier, who is celebrated throughout the weekend, will appear as part of the festival in a rare public appearance, as well as an orchestral performance of several of his most iconic performance pieces, an installation, and the world premiere of a new work, Criss-Cross. Despite the inclusion of these diverse international artists, placing Moffat and Braithwaite at the centre of the festival also seems a natural choice, with both Arab Strap and Mogwai paving the way for diverse Glaswegian acts ranging from Frightened Rabbit to Errors, but with their experimentalism and creativity also influencing artists further afield. Highlights of the festival include metal guitarist Stephen O’Malley performing the world premiere of Romanian-born electronic pioneer Iancu Dumitrescu’s guitar concerto, and a new electronic vocal piece by Icelandic

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cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir With a genre spanning lineup, Tectonics presents stages for these artists within some of the most atmospheric venues in Glasgow, utilising both main spaces in City Halls, the Grand Hall and Old Fruitmarket, as well as its other public spaces, with some of the works written or adapted specifically for the

location. The involvement of both these iconic city spaces and homegrown Glaswegian artists will, Volkov hopes, engage the city’s public with new and forward thinking music which lies at the heart of Glasgow’s scene, and promises to be one of the most musically progressive events of the summer.

Sir Colin Davis: 1927-2013

Xiayin Wang

The Journal mourns the death of a towering musical mind

Pianist to perform in up north this week

MUSIC

Matt Stuart

music

John Hewitt Jones Literary editor

Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

Over the last few weeks, British

Internationally-acclaimed pianist Xiayin Wang will perform in

public life has been dominated by a number of significant deaths. For many, however, a particularly momentous loss will have been the departing of a major voice in the world of the classical music: Sir Colin Davis. Davis’ achieved particular renown with his interpretations of works by the romantic composer Hector Berlioz, however, the breadth of his repertoire that achieved special acclaim stretched from Mozart to Macmillan. Notably successful performances – and subsequent recordings – of Michael Tippett’s The Midummer Marriage and The Knot Garden at Covent Garden would lead the composer to state “Colin has an instinctive understanding of what I want without our ever having discussed it. I just feel that as far as interpreting my music is concerned, he’s the tops.” Receiving his first big break with his appointment to the role of assistant conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 1957, Davis followed an unconventional route to the podium. Winning a scholarship to study the clarinet at the Royal College of Music with Frederick Thurston, he was unable to take part in conducting lessons because he did not play the piano, something he would later assert that he had no regrets over, declaring that “conducting has more to do with singing and breathing than it does with piano-playing.” Having started out with the semi-

professional Chelsea Opera Group, Davis went on to fill in for Otto Klemperer at a concert performance of Don Giovanni at the Royal Festival Hall, foreshadowing his appointment as chief conductor of Sadler’s Wells Opera in 1961. The same post at the BBC Symphony Orchestra followed in 1967; a role that allowed him to explore more contemporary repertoire, working in tandem with the BBC’s innovative controller of music, William Glock. In 1971, Davis succeeded the Hungarian conductor Georg Solti to begin his fifteen-year tenure as musical director at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. During this period that helping to nurture an orchestra that had seen a number of departing musicians and new appointments, establishing a reputation among many musicians as a great musical mind with an eye for calm, clear interpretation. As long-serving member of the orchestra Richard Peake Peake puts it: “He was always a gentleman. One of the old school who seldom

lost his cool.” Receiving his knighthood in 1980, Davis would begin the role that had previously eluded him, becoming the principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1995 following a spell at the Dresden Staatskapelle. Becoming the president of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2007, Davis would continue a fruitful career conducting orchestras across the world, also fulfilling the pedagogical role of the international chair of conducting studies at the Royal Academy of Music, alongside a similar post at the Dresden Conservatoire. The sheer number of tributes to Davis appearing from musicians of all stripes hints at the degree to which Davis’ musicianship will be missed. Speaking to The Journal, music director at the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano made his feelings clear: “He was a man of great humility. A total musician whose sensitivity was directly reflected in his music-making.”

Scotland as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) presents an American festival. Conducted by Peter Ondujian, Wang and the RSNO will perform the Barber and Copland piano concertos. The inimitable Wang combines superb musicianship, personal verve and riveting technical brilliance to captivate audiences around the world as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist with stunning performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on her CV. The Manhattan School of Music graduate, who began playing at the age of five and was a product of the Shanghai Conservatory before moving to New York in 1997. There she was mentored by Dr Solomon Mikowsky and Nina Svetlanova, winning the school’s Eisenberg Concerto Competition in 2002, as well as the Roy M. Rubinstein Award going on to complete Bachelor’s, Master’s and Professional Studies degrees from the school. Wang has recorded a disc of Franck and Strauss sonatas with violinist Catherine Manoukian on the Marquis label and

a highly praised recording of Brahms’s Quartets for Piano and Strings with the Amity Players in June 2008. Her debut CD, Introducing Xiayin Wang was released on the Marquis Classics label in 2007 A recording of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F with the RSNO is also set to be released later this year. Wang’s recording of Rachmaninoff’s Moments musicaux, Etudes-tableaux and Variations on a Theme of Corelli, released last summer, was praised by music critics internationally. Veteran piano authority Bryce Morrison (Gramophone, September 2012) lauded Wang’s Rachmaninoff offering. He said: “Here, even in Rachmaninov’s most savage and turbulent pages, is playing of an awesome clarity and poise. “Xiayin Wang makes her chosen composer sound greater and more indelibly Russian than ever... you will surely be lost in wonder at Wang’s pianistic but above all musical glory.” Wang has been heard in some of China’s leading orchestras, including the Beijing Opera House Symphony and the Zhe Jiang Symphony, and in many of the country’s most prestigious concert halls. She will also perform this season with the Lithuania National Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Barbara Symphony, St. Petersburg Orchestra in South Korea before reuniting with the Lithuania National Orchestra .


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The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

• Scottish fashion designers exhibit in Beijing • New York charity event showcases Scottish designers • Holly Fulton makes waves in LA Oliver Giles Fashion editor, Edinburgh

With

increasing

numbers

of Scottish designers successfully making their mark in London, a small group of them are beginning to turn their eyes even further afield. Supported by Scottish Enterprise, Textiles Scotland and Scottish Development International, sixteen designers and textile companies were flown to Beijing in late March for the China International Clothing & Accessories (CHIC) fashion trade show. Although trade shows lack the glamour of international fashion weeks, they are important networking and moneymaking events for designers. With China expected to account for nearly £18 billion of global luxury sales by 2015, this was a unique opportunity to showcase the designers’ work. Talking just before the trade show, head of Scottish Enterprise’s textiles team Cathy Black explained: “We’re hoping to generate at least £1 million of additional sales for the participating companies and, given the size of the market, we think this could be the start of something very exciting.” The group covered the entire spectrum of the Scottish fashion industry: chosen participants ranged from young designer Iona Crawford to long-established brands such as Johnstons of Elgin. As well as showcasing their work, brand representatives and design-

ers were taught about the many legal and cultural nuances of entering the Chinese market. Another Scottish fashion event that had its eye firmly on the Far East was New York’s annual From Scotland With Love charity fashion show, which was held on 8 April. Now in its eleventh year, the event takes place annually to promote Scottish industry in the USA and to raise money for charity. This year’s event was given an extra twist when the theme of the fundraiser was announced as the ‘Scottish Lion Meets the Asian Dragon’. Explaining the theme, chairman Dr Geoffrey Scott Carroll said: “When we look at growth these days we look at opportunities in Asian markets. “We therefore wanted to engage new Asian buyers, designers, business and financial sponsors, models and celebrities. Indeed, we are pleased to announce that we have already seen a number of new collaborations for this show between Scottish textile companies and established Asian designers.” This year the fundraiser benefited the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that helps injured American servicemen integrate back into society. In a nod to its charitable cause, many ex-servicemen and women walked the runway alongside an eclectic mix of celebrities including Chinese supermodel Ling Tan and Scottish rugby player Richie Gray. Speaking to The Journal following

the event, co-host and vice chairman Peter Morris said: “The hallmark of our show has always been to highlight the best of the young and emerging Scottish designers. This year was no different as the designs of Hayley Scanlan, Judy Clark, Mhairi McDonald, Glen Isla and Rebecca Torres, to mention just a few, were showcased to an international audience.” Across America, another British fashion event was unfolding in Los Angeles: the British Fashion Council’s (BFC) LONDON Showrooms presentations, which were held in LA from 10-11 April before moving to New York a few days later. The LONDON Showrooms are unique presentations designed to help young British fashion designers enter the American market; this year young Scottish designer Holly Fulton was one of a select few to showcase at both events. Best known for her bold use of colour and print, the BFC have been so impressed by Edinburgh-born Fulton that they awarded her Fashion Forward funding earlier this year. With the BFC now promoting her collections in LA and New York, they are clearly hoping that Fulton will be the next British design star.

For more fashion and style coverage from The Journal’s team of fashionistas, log on to www.journal-online. co.uk.

Books agenda The Journal takes a look at the recently-published collection of letters between two literary giants HERE AND NOW: LETTERS Paul Auter & J. M. Coetzee

letters are a treat, and offer a valuable account of the life of the modern (Faber, £20 ) author. As the collection progresses, their Daniel Davies relationship becomes more intimate and less formal, eventually leading Here and Now collects the corre- Auster to confess that Coetzee has spondence between Paul Auster and become his “absent other” — a conJ.M. Coetzee, two writers who occupy stant companion to his daily life. similar constellations in the literary Time passes, novels are published imagination, written between 2008 (the collection covers the publicaand 2011. After meeting for the first tion of roughly four books), and a time in 2008, Coetzee proposed to vivid, gruelling portrait emerges of Auster they begin to exchange letters, the author in the global literary marin the hope they would: “God willing, ketplace. Errant critics, chaotic litstrike sparks off each other”. The erary festivals and charlatan literary

journalists all provide entertaining subjects for the authors’ penetrating gaze. The correspondence shifts between quixotic forays into global politics and more serious inquisitions into philosophical matters. Their treatment of the financial crisis (Coetzee’s solution is that they simply replace the old ‘bad’ numbers with new ‘good’ numbers) and the IsraelPalestine conflict (make Dick Cheney homeless and relocate the state of Israel to Wyoming, Auster suggests) typify their irreverent attitude towards major world crises. However,

when their attention is focused on an issue close to their hearts, such as sport, much of their analysis is generous, engaging and insightful. These are two of the greatest literary minds at play, each exchange peppered with wry humour, their strong personalities shining through every letter. Auster and Coetzee become welcome companions; slightly curmudgeonly old grumps railing against the decline and fall of modern society, yet warm and intelligent friends. Their genuine affection for one another is the lasting impression these letters leave.

The Journal reviews the latest offering from South Africa’s most notable contemporary novelist comic, intellectually profound and obscurely allegorical novel. Protagonists Simón and David — aged (Harvill Secker, £16.99 ) roughly fifty and five respectively — are struggling to make a new life for Vivek Santayana themselves in the Spanish-speaking, quasi-socialist utopia of Novilla. The Childhood of Jesus is a book Simón is embroiled in a desperate, that represents a significant diver- quixotic search for David’s mother, gence from the rest of Coetzee’s while David is becoming rebellious oeuvre. Instead of a bleak, dys- and recalcitrant. As he becomes protopian tale, this is a perversely gressively more unruly, his teachers

THE CHILDHOOD OF JESUS J. M. Coetzee

become tired of his insubordination, and along with his ersatz-parents he is forced to flee. The novel itself isn’t directly about Jesus, but it’s full of gospel allusions, continually appropriating biblical symbolism. Coetzee uses a narrative voice that conveys the untamed wildness of a child’s curiosity in order to raise broad philosophical questions relating to, among other things, the existence of

god, Zeno’s paradoxes, Marxist and Hegelian conceptions of history, a monist conception of the universe and macroeconomic scarcity. None of the questions surrounding these issues are resolved, but the reader is left in a state of profound ambiguity. It is, above all, a beautifullybalanced work of great intellect that reduces intractable philosophical quandaries into simple, comic images.


The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

@GlasgowJournal / journal-online.co.uk

A&E / 27

Alasdair Thomson: reshaping notions of sculpture Edinburgh sculptor challenges our concept of what is achievable in stone with his recent project, Fabricae Gillian Achurch Art & Design editor, Edinburgh

A

disconcerting

conflict

between eye and mind ensues upon seeing Alasdair Thomson’s most recent work. The light cotton garments which the former determinedly insists hang on the walls are anything but; these hooks support the weight not of woven threads but of heavy slabs of meticulously

sculpted marble in true embodiments of trompe l’oeil. The monumentality traditionally accorded to the figures in portraits, for whom garments are accessory, is here instilled in the clothing itself. A simple child’s dress, worn climbing shoes and folded surfer t-shirts become a testament to the sculptor’s skill. The concept for this body of work, entitled Fabricae, in fact grew from Thomson’s study of busts in the National

Portrait Gallery; eventually it was the form and fall of the cloth draped over their shoulders that became more interesting than the figures it adorned. The sense of weight that Thomson found intriguing is emphasised in his own work, through the addition of wooden pegs, hangers and coat hooks from which the sculptures ‘hang.’ This project is a departure from his usual focus on functional sculpture, with which he encourages the viewer to interact and employ touch to fully appreciate the work. He articulates his motives behind Fabricae, evident in the finished pieces: “I hope to challenge people’s perceptions of what is achievable in stone.” A History of Art graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Thomson’s studies of Classical and Renaissance figurative sculpture and the use of dress influenced this project. Visible too is the influence of the sculpted, veiled faces by Stephen Shaheen, with whom Thomson will be working in Italy this summer. He also notes an admiration for Australian sculptor Alexander Seton, who has similarly represented the convoluted forms of contemporary textiles and supple plastics.

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After graduating in 2004, Thomson began exploring for himself the techniques of the Renaissance sculptors he had studied. An apprenticeship to American sculptor Mark Mennin followed, before a diploma completed under Italian masters in Siena three years ago. Earlier this year, Alasdair received the People’s Choice Award for ‘Blouse’ at the Royal Scottish Academy’s Open exhibition. Fabricae was exhibited in February at Fettes College, which recently also commissioned a group of sculptural seating pieces from their alumnus. Thomson remarks that as an arts centre, “Edinburgh has a lot of untapped potential.” He adds: “There are a lot of talented, creative people here,” and that with new galleries and pop-up exhibitions, “opportunities to exhibit are increasing.” As a stone sculptor, working in Edinburgh poses challenges due to the lack of readily available, large blocks of marble. Many of the works in Fabricae are carved from found blocks, the design largely dictated by the existing dimensions. Although he finds a greater freedom in sculpting smaller works, Thomson hopes that future commissions will offer him the opportunity to

execute larger pieces. Not yet feeling that he has exhausted the theme of drapery and clothing, he envisages one day producing an ambitious life-size, free-standing marble sculpture of a wedding dress, adorned with pearls and sequins and presenting a multitude of textures and folds. As a medium, stone has its own voice in the resulting work, sometimes fracturing unpredictably. The Carrara marble from which most of the works in Fabricae are sculpted is softer and easier to carve than others, allowing for some of the incredible intricacies in evidence. A pair of climbing shoes, for example, are drilled with fragile holes to allow for the incorporation of real laces. Noting the eternal variations, intricacies and challenges that clothing and fabric offer, he believes that he will continuously be drawn back to this theme. Thomson is currently seeking opportunities to exhibit in London, and will be participating in the Bristol Festival of Stone from 31 May to 9 June. He has submitted work to the Paisley Art Institute Open, hoping to exhibit here in May, and to offer Edinburgh another chance to admire his work during the Festival this summer.


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F1: Red Bull dominance warning Ali Wollaston looks back at the teams’ fortunes after the opening four races of the 2013 Formula 1 season Ali Wollaston Staff writer

Red Bull

prove vital in his championship quest. The return to form of Felipe Massa will also delight the Ferrari garage, and there are real signs that the Brazilian is finally recovering from his accident in Hungary in 2009.

After some early season criticism, Sebastian Vettel’s dominant win in Bahrain sent an ominous message to the rest of the field. The triple world champion had faced questions about his ability to defend his title - with other teams appearing to have closed the gap to Red Bull in terms of race pace - but he has responded emphatically with wins in Malaysia and Bahrain to top the standings after four races. The win in Bahrain also reinforced Red Bull’s reputation as consummate race strategists, pitting Vettel at the right moments to give him clear air ahead and allow the defending champion to manage his tyres perfectly. Concerns still remain over the consistency of Mark Webber, but on his day the Australian has the guile and experienced to compete with the very best.

McLaren will be looking for positives after quite literally suffering a slow start to the season, with their car failing to match the pace of the top teams. The team still do not appear to have recovered from the loss of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes, but in Jenson Button they have an experienced racer who has repeatedly proven his ability to manage his car peerlessly in changeable conditions. The young Mexican Sergio Perez has yet to truly deliver behind the McLaren wheel, but an improved performance in Bahrain - in front of his wealthy Mexican sponsors – showed his battling qualities and bodes well for the future.

Ferrari

Lotus

Fernando Alonso remains firmly in the championship frame and his victory in China confirmed that Ferrari have delivered the Spaniard with a car that can truly challenge the dominance of Red Bull. Alonso’s raw talent allowed him to battle Sebastian Vettel last year, but the poor qualifying pace of his Ferrari too often put him at a disadvantage on the starting grid. Despite some early concerns over the rear brake balance of this season’s car, Ferrari have finally found the qualifying speed to give the former world champion the grid position that could

Kimi Raikkonen was tipped by many as a dark horse for the 2013 championship, and the Finn showed his credentials by winning the opening race in Australia with a brilliant display of tyre management. Consistency has been the key to success for Raikkonen since his return to Formula One, and his Lotus has been on the podium at three of the four races so far. Romain Grosjean also made it onto the podium in Bahrain, and the Frenchman’s increased maturity will please the Lotus team, with the errors of last season seemingly behind him.

McLaren

Mercedes Back to back pole positions in China and Bahrain proved that Mercedes have the car to compete in 2013, but the Silver Arrows results have suffered due to greater tyre degradation than their rivals. Lewis Hamilton sits third in the standings after Bahrain however, and with Nico Rosberg also showing promising pace the future looks bright for Mercedes. Guided by team principle Ross Brawn, Mercedes have set targeting the 2014 title as their top priority, but will be seeking race wins this season to provide a platform to challenge next year. Best of the REST Force India have started brightly and Paul di Resta was unlucky to miss out on the podium in Bahrain. Both the Scot and teammate Adrian Sutil have made positive openings to the season and there are signs that the team aren’t far from challenging for race wins. Rivals Williams and Sauber have both made disappointing starts, but Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg are proven talents who should aid both teams progression as the season unfolds. Red Bull feeder team Toro Rosso also have cause for optimism, with young Australian Daniel Ricciardo displaying decent pace. At the rear, Caterham and Marussia have shown little sign of the improvement required to appease their sponsors, and will have to bring updates to the car to stand any chance of competing this season.

Calderwood takes fight of night in Glasgow Jim Alers takes the vacant featherweight title in the main event, but Joanne Calderwood leaves everybody talking at Cage Warriors 53 at Kelvin Hall Callum Leslie Staff writer

Mixed martial arts returned to Glasgow as Cage Warriors 53 took place at the Kelvin Hall with a stacked card. A decent crowd witnessed a number of hometown stars, with the hall around two-thirds full. In the main event, Jim Alers defeated Joni Salovaara to win the vacant featherweight title, which had been vacated by recent Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debutant Conor McGregor. Alers had been in line for a title shot for a while, and finally brought home the gold with a submission victory in the fourth round. Seven of his previous nine wins had come by submission, and Alers spent most of the fight looking for another, coming close in rounds one and three. Alers improves to 10-1, and will be tough to beat going forward. In the co-main event, hometown girl Joanne Calderwood stole the show

with a knockout of the night victory over Sally Krumdiack, improving her record to 6-0. After just three minutes of the first round Calderwod unleashed a barrage of shots that dropped Krumdiack, where she lay motionless for around a minute after the fight was stopped. This was Calderwood’s last fight before heading to Invicta FC, where she has signed the promotion’s first six fight deal. She will fight Claudia Gadelha at Invicta FC 6 on July 17, a card headlined by the hotly anticipated featherweight title fight between Marloes Coenen and Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Santos. Speaking after her victory, Calderwood said: “I’m speechless right now. The crowd went wild and that’s all I want — I just want to entertain everyone, especially on home soil. “Especially after showcasing KO of the night out, hopefully I can go over and show the same in Invicta.” Calderwood’s partner James Doolan, making his Cage Warriors

Clive Mason/Getty Images

debut, was less successful, coming up short in a submission loss to Portsmouth’s James Pennington in the second round. This loss proved controversial, as Pennington had a point deducted in the first round for an illegal elbow to the back of the head that left Doolan reeling. In a card full of strong finishes and not too many judges’ decisions, Ireland’s Neil Seery looked impressive in a quick TKO victory over Romania’s Paul Marin. After some hard stand up straight from the off Seery hit a strong kick to the body that buckled Marin leaving him with a nasty rib injury, and Seery took the victory. Seery will fight for the promotion’s inaugural flyweight title at Cage Warriors 55 in Dublin against Mikael Silander. Elsewhere on the main card Mats Nilsson defeated Chris Scott via unanimous decision in a dominant performance, and Jason Ball defeated Jason Cooledge in another submission decision.

SMILING TO THE TOP: Seb dominates F1 again to lead WDC

by Ruth Jeffery Scotland’s cricketer Denness dies aged 72 Former

England

cricket

Captain Mike Denness has died of cancer aged 72. Born in Belshill, Lanarkshire but brought up in Ayr, Denness was the only Scotland-born England Captain. Although dabbling in rugby during his youth, he gained a love for cricket while playing for Ayr Cricket Club and in 1962 joined Kent on recommendation from fellow Scot Jimmy Allen. Denness, a batsman, made his Test debut in 1969 and was named Captain five years later. After his playing career ended he worked as an ICC match referee between 19962002 and was an ECB pitch liaison officer. Tributes have poured in for Denness on Twitter, with former England Michael Vaughan saying “classy batsman and lovely chap.”

McCoy tumble means no Punchestown outing AP McCoy will miss this week’s Punchestown Festival in Kildare, Ireland after a fall during Cheltenham on Thursday 18 April left him with broken ribs. The jockey, who will be Champion Jockey for the 18th time at the end of this season, fell from Nicky Henderson-trained horse Quantitativeeasing during a three-mile handicap hurdle. McCoy told Friday’s Racing Post: “I’m very sore around the rib area but other than that, I think I’m fine…I expect to be out in the morning.” McCoy also missed out on last week-

end’s

Scottish

Grand

National.

US athlete Crawford receives heavy ban Former Olympic Champion

Shawn Crawford this week received a two-year ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after failing to inform them of his whereabouts. Under the USADA rules, athletes must fill out forms four times a year and must be available for drugs testing. Crawford shunned these rules three times in the last 18-months, meaning that the 35-year-old has had all of his previous results disqualified. He is well known for his 200m gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics and his silver medal in Beijing four years later.

Pirlo autobiography reveals all Andrea Pirlo has written an autobiography entitled ‘I think, therefore I play,’ due out soon (date undisclosed) and Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport has published some extracts. The Juventus midfielder has always been held in high esteem by the footballing world and had a fantastic ten years at Inter Milan before joining the Bianconeri in 2011. His new book is set to reveal insights about Milan, Juventus and manager Antonio Conte. Stories previewed by La Gazzetta include being given a pen as a leaving gift from Milan and Conte throwing bottles of fizzy water in the dressing room.


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The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

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TENNIS WOMEN’S FOOTBALL

Scotland women face tough 2015 World Cup qualification Sweden, Northern Ireland and Poland could dent hopes of reaching a first major finals

Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

Scotland have been handed

a tough group for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 qualifying campaign. Anna Signeul’s side were drawn in Group 4 with Sweden, Poland, Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Faroe Islands. Responding to the qualification draw on the Scottish FA website, Signeul said: “The Sweden link stands out, but this is a very interest-

ing group, full of teams that we have never faced in a qualifying campaign. “We were glad to avoid the likes of France from Pot A, but make no mistake, Sweden are a very, very good team. “It will be interesting for myself and [assistant coach] Ann-Helen [Grahm] to face our home nation, but more than anything it will be fantastic for the players. “It’s always a positive overall experience to play in a country where women’s football is one of the most popular sports, where the profile is high and you can expect to play in

front of a big crowd.” Scotland narrowly missed reaching the play-offs for the 2011 Women’s World Cup, finishing second to Denmark after a 1-0 defeat at Rugby Park in June 2010 left them needing a win over the Scandinavians in their final match against in Vejle in August. Signeul’s side had already cruised through matches against minnows Bulgaria and Georgia, but without injured top goalscorer Julie Fleeting, the Scots could only manage a 0-0 draw to miss out on a chance of reaching their first major finals by

TENNIS PRO12 RUGBY

Warriors slay Ospreys to reach Pro12 play-offs for third successive year RaboDirect Pro12

WARRIORS

35

OSPREYS

17

Michael Mawdsley Staff writer

On a stunning evening at Scots-

coun, Glasgow Warriors demolished Ospreys to confirm a play-off spot in this year’s Pro 12; a first for head coach Gregor Townsend and a third consecutive appearance in the final stages of the competition for the Glasgow side. Townsend’s side currently sit second in the table, although if Leinster defeat bottom club Zebre on Sunday they will return to third in the table. The evening was very much the familiar story of Glasgow’s season as they ran five tries past the Welsh visitors, with prop Ryan Grant scoring twice as the pack and backs enjoyed prolonged periods of near total dominance. Sean Maitland, Niko Matawalu and DTH van der Merwe added further scores for the home side, with replacements Cai Griffiths and Sam Lewis going over for the Ospreys. A sad note for the Warriors was the injury to young fly-half Duncan weir, who appeared to have trapped his studs in the turf at the bottom of a ruck and received lengthy medical attention before being taken to hospital following the final whistle. The game was massive for both sides but Glasgow remained composed throughout and should have stormed into an early lead, but Weir missed a penalty within four minutes after Matawalu was obstructed chasing a chip over the top. The Ospreys then enjoyed a rare foray in the first half, with Welsh international Dan Biggar converting a penalty given against Glasgow’s scrum. John Barclay then had a chance: a quick break by Maitland who played Barclay inside, but on his 150th

appearance for the club he came inches short of converting as the TMO adjudged the ball to have been held up. Glasgow would not be denied and score within a minute, with several phases off the subsequent scrum resulting in Grant bundling over from close range with Weir successful with the conversion. Minutes later, the TMO again was called into action as Matawalu sent an insightful kick over the top of a ruck, Maitland raced onto from just inside the 22, touching the ball down inches from touch. An anxious Scotscoun held its breath, but the try was awarded. Weir missed the conversion, the second of four kicks in the first half he failed to convert, a surprisingly poor showing for a man praised for his kicking. The Ospreys struck back, but Glasgow’s defence was absolutely resolute. A period of between 20-25 phases passed, but the Ospreys, famed for their attacking prowess, could not break through a wall of blue shirts. Glasgow, who have taken more bonus points this season than any other side in the Pro 12, were rampant. A smooth flow of passing, which saw Matawalu throw a backhanded ball to Moray Low, resulting in an interchanged between the prop Graeme Morrison and ended in the hands of Grant who went over to score his second. Weir converted, then took another three points following a penalty given against the Ospreys for an infringement at the line-out, allowing the home side to run in 22-3 ahead at the break. The second half had barely begun when Grant and Adam Jones were sin binned for failure to comply with the referee’s wishes at the scrimmage, and the Ospreys coped better with the loss of their prop. Blessed with more space than previously granted, they started to throw the ball wide and, although they seemed more anaemic than usual, their pressure allowed for replacement prop Griffiths to burrow over to score under the posts from a scrum.

For a period it appeared that Glasgow had lost all signs of composure, and fears of a repeat of last week’s 33-3 battering by Llanelli Scarlets. On that night, capitulation had become rapidly inevitable despite a positive start, but Glasgow’s Fijian talisman Matawalu thought differently. Taking initiative from what had become a rare foray in the oppositions 22 Matawalu took a quick penalty, danced cleanly through three challenges before going over in the corner to score the fourth try. The subsequent bonus point is Glasgow’s 12th of the year, of which 10 have come from scoring four or more tries, and outstanding return from 21 fixtures. Weir missed the conversion, and moments later on the follow-up play found the fly-half at the bottom of a ruck. The referee having seen an infringement blew up to reveal Weir straddled on the floor and in great deal of pain. Immediate medical assistance was rendered, including oxygen, but his game was over. Peter Horne replaced him. Ospreys responded and Sam Lewis, off the bench somehow managed to break through the Glasgow defence to score, which Biggar converted with aplomb, enjoying an unbroken night with the boot. Horne then converted a penalty from 30 yards to put himself on the score sheet for the first time. A late flourish from Glasgow saw Horne nearly score, but he knocked on short, before Morrison was to spurn what seemed like Glasgow’s final chance. An excellent run from Stuart Hogg, accompanied by a swift offload to Grant saw Morrison clear and streaming for the try-line. However, with inches between him and the line he lost control, knocking on. What would’ve been a final try on potentially his last home appearance for the club sadly did not occur, but Glasgow were not finished yet. With seconds ticking down, Horne plucked the ball in midfield and sent a lazy kick across the pitch, which van der Merwe stole from the onrushing Lewis to score.

just one point. Sweden will provide the toughest test for Scotland, but wins would be expected against the Faroes and Bosnia, and, despite a step up in difficulty, wins results against Northern Ireland and Poland will determine how far Scotland will go. Signeul added: “Poland are an upand-coming team with quick, skillful players and Northern Ireland are another developing nation who we can expect to give us two tough matches. Bosnia and the Faroe Islands will be a completely new experience for us.

“We are very much looking forward to getting this qualifying campaign underway.” Scotland faced both Poland and Sweden in May 2012, winning 3-1 in Gdansk, but suffering a heavy 4-1 to Sweden at Raith Rovers’ Stark’s Park. The qualifiers will run from September 2013 to September 2014 with the seven UEFA group winners qualifying for the finals. The four best runners-up advance to the play-offs in October and November 2014. The finals will be held from 6 June to 5 July with the final at BC Place in Vancouver.

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Scots open 2014 Six Nations in Dublin Scotland will face England and France at Murrayfield in next year’s Six Nations Gareth Llewellyn Deputy managing editor

Scotland will begin their 2014 Six

Nations campaign against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. The tournament fixtures for the next two years were announced by the Six Nations Council on Tuesday. Following their opening match on Sunday 2 February 2014, Scotland will host England for the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield just six days later. They then travel to Rome on Saturday 21 February for their second of three away games before their final home match against France on 8 March. Their final match will be against reigning champions Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday 15 March. Scotland captain, Kelly Brown said: “I’m pleased that the 6 Nations Council have been able to confirm the dates for the next two seasons today because that will help our supporters plan ahead and as a player anything

that makes it easier for the supporter is something that I applaud. “Looking at the fixtures in their entirety every country has one Sunday match in each year. For us, both our home games next year will kick-off at 5pm on the Saturday. “We’ll need to maximise our recovery time after our opening game in the 2014 championship with a tight six-day turnaround, but every country will face that scenario at some point over the two years, so that seems fair enough to me.” In 2015, Scotland open with a trip to Saint-Denis to face France on Saturday 7 February. Their opening home game of that championship will be against Wales eight days later. On Saturday 28 February, they then welcome Italy to Murrayfield, before two difficult matches to round off the campaign against England at Twickenham on Saturday 14 March and Ireland in Edinburgh on Saturday 21 March. Scotland’s 2013 autumn internationals will be announced this week.


The Journal Wednesday 24 April 2013

SPORT// 31

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TENNIS SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALL

Jenga-esque reconstruction plans wobble Scottish football’s new dawn is still shrouded in mist as plans falter Gary Paul Staff writer

The future of Scottish football is up

in the air once more as the latest proposals for league reconstruction failed to gain the approval of a necessary majority of SPL clubs. Under the proposed set up, Scotland’s 42 professional clubs would compete across three leagues (12-12-18) with the top two leagues ‘splitting’ into three groups of eight after two rounds of fixtures. The top eight then contest the title and European qualification, the middle eight play for promotion and relegation in and out of the Premier Division, and the bottom eight fight to avoid relegation to the third tier. This all sounds very complicated, almost unnecessarily so, but SPL chiefs and club directors were convinced such a format would increase meaningful games for all clubs, throughout the season. This in turn would reportedly increase interest and investment from sponsors and attempt to make Scottish football more financially stable. Along with the formation of one governing body, fairer distribution of wealth throughout the three leagues,

and development of a pyramid system below them, this promised a forwardthinking future for Scottish Football. The SPL clubs were on board, agreeing to sacrifice some of their own income to allow for such change. All except two, that is. Ross County and St Mirren both elected to vote no to these proposals, and quickly came in for a torrent of abuse from the media and directors of other clubs, most notably Stewart Milne of Aberdeen. He accused Stewart Gilmour of St Mirren of having a selfserving agenda and putting Scottish football in jeopardy in a tear-soaked outburst on Monday. Gilmour took his time in releasing a statement defending his stance and silenced his critics stating that he had acted in the interest of his club’s fans in rejecting the new league format and criticising the ‘all or nothing’ nature of these talks. He plans to seek an alternative and took particular issue with the existing voting structure within the SPL. Currently, a number of matters need an 11-1 majority in order to pass. This is a bizarre system that existed to allow the Old Firm to dictate change in the SPL; the two could effectively veto anything

which would assist smaller clubs and this helped in part to propagate their dominance before Rangers’ decline last summer. Ironically, it is this 11-1 system which halted the progress of talks this week as just Ross County and St Mirren needed to vote against them. Even more fittingly, when a change to this system was proposed at the start of this season, Aberdeen elected to maintain the 11-1. They perhaps saw themselves as the emerging ‘second force’ but instead are languishing in the bottom half of the table. A number of clubs have expressed

their disappointment, but questions have to be asked as to why it was all or nothing. Gilmour wants to see almost all matters reduced to a 9-3 majority, and was in favour of most of the other changes proposed; he simply could not say yes to a system which maintained the ridiculous voting system which typified the self-serving nature of the SPL. Scottish football needs a single governing body to take control of the game, it needs fairer distribution of wealth, it needs a pyramid scheme at the bottom to allow for ambitious clubs, and in truth, it needs a change at the top. Fans clamouring for a bigger league need a

2013/14 vacancies

We’re looking for people to join our sports team for the 2013/14 academic year: if you’re a student at any of Glasgow’s higher or further education institutions with an interest

EDITORIAL

in sports journalism or sports photography, The Journal is the place for you!

I N T E R E ST

M S I L A N R U S JO T R O P S N I ED

reality check — we don’t have the quality for an 18-team league, and a 16-team league does not allow for enough fixtures and associated income for clubs to survive. Whether 12-12-18 and 8-8-8 was the way to resolve this we may never know, but there needs to be an increased opportunity for promotion into the top tier (perhaps from play-offs) with the infrastructure to stop the teams who are relegated from falling off a financial cliff-edge as seen with Dunfermline. Most importantly, right now we must not lose the hunger for change; if we lose the initiative now, it could be a long time before it returns.

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JOI N

• Sport editor • Assistant sport editor • Matchday reporters

MEDIA • Matchday photo/videographers

The Journal is a fantastic place to gain invaluable experience in sports journalism. We are Scotland’s largest independent student media organisation, and our all-student editorial staff produce award-winning citywide student newspapers in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, alongside an ambitious and fast-paced web presence. Many of our sports contributors enjoy unrivalled accreditation to high-profile sporting events across Scotland while honing their skills covering college and university sports on Wednesday afternoons. We have won awards for print excellence and digital innovation, and our alumni have gone on to work at — among others — The Guardian, The Scotsman, The Financial Times, Daily Mail, STV and the BBC.

EVENTS WE COVER • Scottish football • Scottish rugby • Braehead Clan (ice hockey) • Glasgow Rocks (basketball) • Glasgow Warriors (rugby union) • British racquet sports • Boxing and martial arts • Formula 1 and other motorsports • Athletics


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The Journal - Glasgow Issue 24  

Issue 24 of The Glasgow Journal, published on Wednesday 24 April 2013.

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