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The Magdalen D U N D E E

U N I V E R S I T Y

S T U D E N T S ’

M A G A Z I N E

ISSUE No.29 | May 2012

Summer Lovin’ Festivals, Tories and Kinky Knickers

GUIDE TO EUROPEAN FESTIVALS SPRING/SUMMER TRENDS DUNDEE UNI’S COMMONWEALTH HOPE THEMAGDALEN.CO.UK - FACEBOOK.COM/THEMAGDALEN Issue 29.indd 1

03/05/2012 12:03


EDITORIAL In case you’re wondering where the pale guy with the glasses has gone, I am both sad and pleased to inform you that I am the new Editor of the Magdalen. Finlay Craig [pale guy with glasses/ old Editor] has done something with this magazine that no ordinary human being could have done: he made it good. From the general aesthetic to the content, The Magdalen has made remarkable progress this year and I intend for it to continue on this trajectory. There is no way substantial enough to pay homage to Finlay so I settled on putting a photo of him wearing a basket for a hat and pouring booze out of dolphin teapot on this page. This month has been chaotic – even by our standards. In case you didn’t know this, occasionally our office makes New Years Eve in Times Square look like a bucket of candy floss. However, thanks to The Magdalen’s fantastic team we have put together an another amazing issue, if I do say so myself. For all you staying in Dundee over summer jump to Lifestyle for your Dundonian Summer Survival Guide and for everyone looking to go a bit mental after exams, check out the central spread for Danielle’s list of the best festivals in Europe for 2012. I would also like to say a quick goodbye to all our fourth years here at the Magdalen. I hope you guys do not remain unemployed for too long and we will all miss you dearly! I wish you all a summer full of tans and tennents, and see you next year when I begin my official Reign of Terror. Melina Nicolaides

We will miss you Finnarz!

This issue of The Magdalen was brought to you by: Published By: Navid Gornall, DUSA, Airlie Place, Dundee, DD1 4HP - vpc@dusa.co.uk Printed By: Winter & Simpson Print, 16 Duninane Ave., Dundee, DD2 3QT Editor in Chief: Finlay Craig & Melina Nicolaides- themagdalen@dusa.co.uk Assistant Editors of: Submissions: Emma Gaffney Production: Ana Hine Online: Ashley Dorning, Henritetta Evans & Ciara McFadden Category Editors

Production

Current Affairs: Alex Shilling Features: Alice Harrold Entertainment: Kevin Fullerton Sport: Clare McCaughey Art: Ana Hine Lifestyle: Mhairi Rutherford Travel: Danielle Ames Fashion: Melina Nicolaides

Marketing: Nicholas Manderson Photography & Illustration: Steven Fullerton, Ceri Morrice, Cilein Kearns, Thomas Konarski, Melina Nicolaides, Andy Barrett, Michal Lukaszewicz, Robyn Beggs, Nikolay Mikhaylyuk, Adam Jackson & Phillip Capper.

Copy Editors: Ryan Fitch, Tiki Fhe, Jimmy Murphy, Jimmy McKee, Slaine O’Halloran, Nicholas Manderson, Alice Harrold, Melina Nicolaides, Emma Gafferty, Mhairi Rutherford, & Henrietta Evans.

Graphic Design: Jamie Law, Cassie Morrison, Danielle Ames, Cilein Kearns, Nicholas Manderson, Finlay Craig, Jennifer Yule, Alice Harrold, & Peter Hine. Proof Reading: Alice Harrold, Emma Gaffney,

Contributors: Alex Shilling, Alice Harrold, Kevin Fullerton, Clare McCaughney, Ana Hine, Danielle Ames, Melina Nicolaides, Ryan Fitch, Tiki Fhe, Jimmy Murphy, Jimmy McKee, Slaine O’Holloran, Nicholas Manderson, Emma Gafferty, Mhairi Rutherford, Henrietta Evans, Steven Fullerton, Ceri Morrice, Cilien Kearns, Thomas Konarski, Andy Barrett, Michal Lukaszewicz, Nikolay Mikhaylyuk, Phillip Capper, Cassie Morrison, Finlay Craig, Jennifer Yule, Peter Hine, Sean O’Dowd, Tom Coloquhoun, Jay Frazer, Katie Nicoll Baines, Martyn Simpson, Hannah Bradbury, Naomi Bridges, Harrison Kelly, Claire McPhillimy, Francisco Garcia, Ryan Swan, Adam Jackson.

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The Magdalen Sexual Harassment Pages 12+13

Assisted Suicide Page 16 Summer Guide Summer Guide Page 29 Page 6 + 7 Our Commenwealth Hope Pages 34+ 35

Art Fag Page 27 Kony 2012 Pages 14 + 15

Contents Editorial and Campus News

2+4

Lifestyle

Nightline Dundee Summer Survival Guide

Entertainment

Film TV+Music Music Festivals

Features

Sexual Harassment Kony 2012 Assisted Suicide Kinky Knickers

Travel

Festivals

Fashion

Spring- Summer Trends Style Crush: Jessie J Campus Style Contents Issue 29.indd 3

Societies

5 6+7

George Orwell Society

8 9 10+11

Kirsty Gunn: A Piece of Fiction DCA Exhibition Art Fag

12+13 14+15 16 17

Pimping & Public Policy Joe’s Liberal Ambition Conservative Conference Diary

Art

Current Affairs

18+19

24 25 26 27 28 29 30 + 31

Sport

English Football Sports Union News Our Commonwealth Hope

32 33 34+35

20 21 22+23

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CAMPUS NEWS - MELINA NICOLAIDES Grad Ball Alright all you soon-to-be graduates after four years of procrastination, headaches and hangovers, what better way to honour your time here in Dundee then attending Grad Ball? This year the notorious 12-hour party will be held on Saturday the 23rd of June and feature the legendary multiplatinum selling, Newton Faulkner, along with a swarm of other live bands, and DJs including Karen Whyte, Clanadonia, and the university’s big band. There will also be a hog roast, an arcade, a headphone disco, and enough champagne to drown out the memories of your dissertationinduced meltdowns. Tickets are £37 from the Premier.

Degree Show It’s that time of month again -Degree Show time! Can you smell the paint in the air? This year the DJCAD Undergraduate Degree Show will be taking place from the 19th to the 27th of May from 10am-4pm. Admission is free and the main entrance is on Perth Road. We look forward to seeing the best of the DJCAD students’ work! Last year the Show featured a pool of water that sang folk songs, an iceberg tent, a robot and a host of amazing photography and this year it should be just as good, if not better. Also, be sure to check out Katy Meehan’s feminist and performance theory inspired work in Fine Art.

Book Launch

This month, famed author and English Literature lecturer at Dundee University, Kirsty Gunn, will be celebrating her new book The Big Music. “We’re having a big event for the book on May 24 in the Dalhousie building, at which I will be reading extracts. We will also be showing a short film by Garry Garwin, who is studying Film and Text at DJCAD. It is a beautiful film of the area in which the book is set, up north in Sutherland. University rector Brian Cox, with his lovely voice, will hopefully be reading a section from the text. There will also be music composed by my father. I hope the event is going to be a beautiful, interdisciplinary piece.” Kirsty Gunn, Interview on page 25.

Silent Mutiny Plays at the Doghouse “Right folks, ‘Silent Mutiny’ is playing a charity gig ‘Be’live Forever Hope UK Charity Event’! on the 12th of May; tickets are £6. Honestly you have no idea how much us, the other people playing, the people organising it, and most of all the charity itself would appreciate it!” - Adam Garvin, Lead Singer.

Blackboard App Your new iPhone 4S can literally do everything now. The Library and Learning Centre has recently released a Blackboard app for smartphones and tablets. It willl give you quick and easy access to all your VLE needs while you’re on the go. Check announcements, download lecture slides and keep up to date - get it now!

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LIFESTYLE

Nightline Dundee Katie Nicoll Baines (Nightline Director)

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ightline is in place to deal with anything a student wants to talk about, including exam stress, problems with flatmates, anxiety and depression. The first Nightline was founded in 1970 with an aim to reduce student suicide and has now grown to over 40 services in the United Kingdom. Nightline is an empathic, confidential ear, here to listen and not lecture. Nightline Dundee officially launched on the 6th March 2012. As the name suggests, we are open at night when very few other services are available. We operate as a listening and information service for students of the University of Dundee. This means our Nightliners are available to listen to anything a student wants to talk about, as well as being able to provide them with any information they need. This can range from a taxi number, the phone number of an out of hours vet, or directions to somewhere they can get food at 3am, to name but a few examples. It is also possible to email the service if you don’t want to talk to someone over the phone. The service is run by students of the university, who are trained to deal with to anything a caller might want to talk about. We operate on the basis of six key principles: complete anonymity, confidentiality, empathy, as well as being non-advisory (we are simply there to listen), non-directive (we do not give opinions) and non-judgemental. Due to the anonymous nature of Nightline, our volunteers receive little recognition for the work they do. Their motivation comes from a willingness to help others and an understanding of the importance of having someone there to simply listen to your thoughts and feelings. “You know you are doing something good, it doesn’t matter that there isn’t public awareness or recognition of what we do as individuals, it is the value of Nightline to our service users that is important. When you have something you need to get off your chest, you don’t always feel like talking to a friend. That is where Nightline comes in, they just listen to what you want to say without making any judgements or telling you what to do” says an annonymous Nightliner. As Director of Nightline Dundee, I try to encourage a friendly atmosphere within our growing team of volunteers, ensuring

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that everyone has a voice and all our volunteers feel comfortable and secure with the work that we do. Volunteering with Nightline is an invaluable experience for any university student. It requires a strong commitment to helping others as well as motivation to work as part of a very close team of individuals. At the moment our Nightliners are on shift on a Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 8pm until 8am the next morning, and any emails we receive are answered within 48 hours. There are plans to expand this

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to every night of the week as the service develops in the coming months. We are always keen to welcome new volunteers to Nightline, so if you are interested in getting involved and would like more information about the application process, or just the service itself please get in touch by emailing nightlinerecruit@dundee.ac.uk. If you are interested in using the service, you can call us on: 01382 381 183 on a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday between 8pm and 8am, or email nightline@dundee.ac.uk.

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Tennents, Tans and Tayside The Dundonian Summer Survival Guide HENRIETTA EVANS It can be a mildly upsetting fact that many students leave Dundee over the summer months. While this does mean no more late night group trips around Dundee, or reasons for socially acceptable 3am chips’n’cheese binges - unless that is your preferred diet of choice, then full steam ahead to you - it does not, however, mean that the fun of term time has to end abruptly. Although the campus does seem to acquire a somewhat Wild West ghost town type of feel - it is spookily quiet - Dundee still offers a variety of different things to do which can help wipe away any post-term blues and pass the summer away. Having spent the whole of last summer here in Dundee due to a placement, I learnt a few tips and tricks to keep myself busy and enjoy myself. The obvious choices of course would be, in good weather, having a BBQ and picnic on Magdalen Green or sitting in a Beer Garden, but for the more adventurous, here are just a few further suggestions up my sleeve that some may not have considered: The University’s free Bike Pool Something few students seem to be aware of is that the University has a free bike pool which you can hire bikes from for a day. With this in mind and having signed all the necessary paperwork - you need to sign an insurance disclaimer - a great way to spend a nice sunny day is to hire one of these bikes and cycle across the Tay Bridge to Tentsmuir Beach with a picnic, maybe even see the sunset over Fife if you stay long enough. If you fancy going somewhere further afield, the same goes for cycling to St. Andrews or even Perth for another potential (and healthy) day out. Botanical Gardens Many may not know that the University has a beautiful Botanical Garden just off Riverside Drive. Only a mile and a half from campus, it is easily accessible by bike or by jumping on a bus on the Perth Road by the Spar (the number 5 bus going towards Ninewells will take you right to the gates. Get off at the end of Perth Road opposite the Invercarse Hotel and walk down the hill until you see the entrance to the gardens). With a fully functional tea room, a hot house full of exotic plants and a garden full of different species of plants from all over the world, it can be a great day out. The best part is that as a student, you have free entry into the gardens with your matricula-

tion card. Open 10am to 4.30pm daily, the gardens also hold various events over the summer, including art exhibitions and a Shakespeare play which is performed every summer, usually at the end of July, and is set in the gardens. Last year’s production was ‘The Tempest’ and it was a thoroughly enjoyable performance. A walk through the Sidlaws If you have access to a car, it is possible to drive to the foot of the Sidlaw Hills, just 5 miles north of Dundee, and climb to the top for stunning views over vast beautiful landscapes. Craigowl Hill is the highest peak in the range and sits at the eastern end of the Hills, which you could attempt to climb. Go seal and dolphin spotting on the Tay If you are lucky enough, seals and dolphins can be spotted during the summer months in the Tay down by Riverside Drive. Seals especially are known for basking under the rail bridge during the summer months, and if you have time and are patient enough, you may just spot one. I was fortunate to see a seal last summer so it does actually happen! Maybe grab some lunch from town or Tesco, walk along the cycle path on the riverside and see if you can spot one! Dolphins are more frequently sighted on Broughty Ferry beach at dusk so maybe take the number 5 or 73 bus from town or cycle to Broughty Ferry and spend the evening looking for a dolphin to appear. You never know. Beforehand, you could even walk along the beach to Broughty Ferry’s nature reserve then onto Barnhill rock garden before returning to the beach on your dolphin quest. And not forgetting, for those not so nice rainy days that do occasionally happen... Apart from trips to town, you could visit the McManus Galleries for the day and see free exhibitions. These tend to change on a monthly basis. You could also visit one of the city’s many free libraries and, with a free library card, you can take out a range of books and even CDs for free. This includes the library in Broughty Ferry if you wanted to jump on a bus somewhere and read in a different location. The ISE also do summer gym memberships for £20 a month which are all inclusive. With no studies to work on, it’s the perfect time to relax, detox and get into shape in time for the next semester.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Kevin reviews some films:

Even though he promised not to write anything this month The Cabin in the Woods

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ometimes there’s a film that you don’t want to tell anyone about. Not because it was a poor film, or because you have some bizarre possessiveness over it, but because just the slightest plot detail could spoil everything for the viewer. It’s the position I find myself in when writing about Joss Whedon’s latest, The Cabin in the Woods. The writer, whose most notable creations Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel have a tendency to send me off into excitable, geeky ramblings, has taken the subversion of the teen-horror genre to its zenith with this fast-paced and hilarious film, with a narrative so tight that revealing anything but the most surface plot point feels like ripping a cog out of a perfectly functioning machine. So here’s what I’ll say about the plot (and I’ll try to be vague): a group of teenagers depart into the woods for a holiday to the titular cabin, only to find the usual genre tropes unleashed upon them by a sinister, unknown force. Soon every idea about the horror genre is being commented upon and criticised, with the humour and the horror of the situation perfectly pitched. The snarky one-liners and pop-culture references will be familiar to anyone who’s watched an episode of Buffy, and, though every now and then you feel like you’re watching a big-budget version of the show, the film still manages to hold its own. It’s a unique take on the horror genre that’s filled with likeable characters and a fantastic plot that keeps you on your toes throughout. And you won’t want to describe it too much to anyone: you’ll want to make them watch it and enjoy it as much as you did.

Into the Abyss

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ometimes when I leaf through the newspapers and see an article on a particularly gruesome event, I wonder how far the story should take its descriptions. At what point does public interest become lurid and needless detail written for the sake of our morbid fascination with violence? It was a concern I brought with me when I watched Werner Herzog’s latest documentary, Into the Abyss. Thankfully, it was a concern that was unfounded; Herzog handles his subject matter with an adept sensitivity, creating a touching and thoughtful film that never descends into the emotionally manipulative. The film is essentially a series of talking heads-style interviews discussing the crimes of Jason Burkett and Michael Perry, as the former sits just days away from facing the death penalty and the latter lingers in a prison cell with a life sentence. The string of murders they committed is discussed with the families of the victims, the officers who investigated the crime, and Burkett and Perry themselves. Herzog seems to be out to prove that despite the severity of their crimes, the sanctity of human life is such that nobody deserves the death penalty. Despite this transparent view from the director, the film never feels like it’s forcing his viewpoint on the audience. Instead, Herzog is giving the audience the tools to make your make up your own mind. In his quiet contemplation on the death sentence, Herzog manages to do something that a lesser filmmaker simply wouldn’t have the confidence to: he lets the subjects talk, and the viewer decide for themselves.

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‘[Whedon] has taken the subversion of the teen-horror genre to its zenith with this fastpaced and hilarious film.’

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ENTERTAINMENT

TV Review : Boardwalk Empire SEAN O’DOWD There are very few television networks that can boast the level of success that HBO has garnered. With this in mind, it was almost impossible for Boardwalk Empire to fail. The seedy corruption of the USA’s Prohibition era has been well documented through the years, yet this show brings something fresh and revitalising to the genre; notably the Sopranos-esque tone that blends surreal comedy moments with serious, gritty drama. Boxers with dwarfism and an impromptu murder go hand in hand without question. Alongside the obvious smuggling story arc there is a rich storyline for almost every character, barring, one particular German butler/ bodyguard/sexual deviant (for now anyway.) We are treated to a nobody rising through the ranks of the mob, an Irish maiden struggling with a drunken husband, and a husky war veteran with half a face, all of whom have plenty of screen time to appeal to everyone’s taste. The cast contains some fantastic actors as well, with Steve Buscemi on the front lines in the especially charismatic role of Atlantic City’s corrupt treasurer, who sets about keeping the alcohol flowing to the never-sobering masses. However, the cast’s trials and tribulations provoke more laughter than sympathy (killing four men because of “fucking deers”, startling a prominent Chicago mob boss before he makes the big time), admittedly detracting from any emotional attachment we may feel towards any of the characters. A chuckle accompanies most deaths, but that doesn’t stop Boardwalk Empire being any less entertaining.

Music : Kamelot

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fter seven superb albums, it seems that the iconic Roy Khan has left Kamelot. Since my tears can’t express my admiration of these works, my vocabulary will have to do. No other band has provoked the range of emotions from me that Kamelot have. The band’s symphonic style and Khan’s voice melds power metal and opera in a surprising fashion, creating a beautiful dynamic sound. If crowns and swords could transcend into music, this would be the outcome. Keyboards and violins sit naturally with drums and guitars, while shifting tempos and tones provide a vast array of sounds, from ‘The Zodiac’, a dark heavy metal song based on the Zodiac Killer, to the optimistic lullaby for an unborn child, ‘Anthem’. I’ll be the first to generalise horribly and declare that I think the music we hear blasted over speakers is passionless tripe. ‘You a Stupid Hoe’ gains national renown and ‘Karma’ is not even acknowledged. What happened to the radio? The last thing we need is another song concerning the attractiveness of a “sexy bitch”. We need bands with zeal, not necessarily power metal bands, but anything to stem the tide of artists that care nothing for music, but lust after money. Kamelot‘s many guest performances include the demonic Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir fame and the seductive Simone Simmons from Epica. They bring together the best of the genre into collaborations that will not easily be forgotten.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Your British Summer Music No passport required!

Rockness 8th-10th June Loch Ness For the 7th year running Loch Ness is holding one of Scotland’s most popular festivals. With headliners Mumford & Sons, Deadmau5 and Biffy Clyro on the bill, it’s sure to be a veritable mix for all your indie, dance and alt-rock needs. Other artists on the bill include Ed Sheeran, Justice, Friendly Fires, The View, Tim Minchin and many more that are sure to have everyone’s fists pumping at this early start to what is sure to be a blockbuster summer.

Download Festival 8th-10th June Donington Park, Leicestershire If indie and alt-rock aren’t your style, and you want to get in a good mosh pit or ten, Download is the festival for you! Already one of the top selling festivals of the year, 2012 is sure to be even bigger, with legendary headliners The Prodigy, Metallica (who will be playing the entire Black Album during their set) and the almighty Black Sabbath already confirmed. Other artists set to make an appearance include Slash, You Me At Six, Rise Against, Chase & Status and Killswitch Engage. One of my personal favorite highlights of Download this year has to be the return of Tenacious D, who will return to the UK festival scene after their mind-blowing performance at Reading Festival back in 2008. Horns up in the air, people!

Creamfields 24th-26th August Daresbury, Cheshire

One of the biggest dance music festivals in the UK, Creamfields promises a line-up guaranteed to get a beat throbbing through your head for days, featuring Tiesto, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Avicii, and David Guetta. Get yourself sorted for E’s & Wizz.

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Solfest 24th-26th August Cumbria

This extremely unique and outrageously eclectic festival is a novelty for anyone that appreciates good old fancy dress. From walkabout artists, to kite displays to workshops, and a healing garden, the Solfest weekend promises to be one of the colourful sort. Headlining are post-punk legends, Big Country and Grammy nominated KT Tunstall, and you can’t miss The Bootleg Beatles, a notorious Beatles tribute act.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Music Festival Round-Up 2012 Martyn Simpson

Isle of Wight Festival 22nd-24th June Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight With Glastonbury cancelled, this year’s Isle of Wight festival sees a battle of the heavyweights, with classic rock icons Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen all making an appearance this summer. Joining them will be Elbow, Biffy Clyro, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Example, Tinie Tempah, plus many more acts still to be announced. If you haven’t seen any of these guys live, now is the perfect time. Well? What are you waiting for?

T In The Park 6th-8th July Balado, Kinross Scotland’s premier music festival since 1994, T In The Park has proven to be popular with music loversfrom all around the world. And, with this year’s attendance set to break records, 2012 should prove to be bigger and better than ever. Headlining this year are regulars Snow Patrol, Kasabian and the recently reformed Stone Roses. Other acts include New Order, David Guetta, Elbow, Nicki Minaj and Calvin Harris, with more acts still to be confirmed. Perhaps even the good weather will stick around this year.

Reading & Leeds 24th-26th August Leeds

Latitude 12th-15th July Suffolk

Finally, just in time for the August bank holiday, there’s the Reading and Leeds festivals. A truly unifying experience, Reading and Leeds brings together different fans from all genres of music. With The Cure, Kasabian and Foo Fighters headlining this year, this event is geared up for some of the biggest crowds on the festival calendar. Other acts on the bill include Paramore, Florence & The Machine, The Black Keys, Bullet For My Valentine and Kaiser Chiefs, but there’s still plenty yet to be announced for what is sure to be a fantastic weekend.

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The Magdalen

A laid back, chilled out festival staging Bon Iver, Lana Del Rey, and Metronomy, with Rufus Wainwright confirmed for the prestigious Sunday midday performance. Also signed, is Paul Weller providing a rousing end to the festival. Flower headbands are a mandatory addition to any outfit at this festival that breaches beyond the typical music scene to comprise elements of theatre, art, comedy, cabaret, poetry, politics, dance, and literature.

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FEATURES

Cat Calls Aren’t Cool NAOMI BRIDGES

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ntil recently, street harassment was not something I had devoted a lot of time and thought to. Until recently, street harassment was just an ordinary nuisance and a consequence of my gender and the society in which I live in. Until recently, I did not consider the incidents that had happened to me to constitute street harassment at all. Imagine, if you will, this scenario: a twenty-something woman is walking down a street in London simply wanting to get to the tube station from her house. A car slows down and she can hear loud laughing and shouting. She turns. In the car are three young men, smiling at her. She turns away, a little embarrassed, puts her head down and carries on walking. The car inches along slowly, following her down the street. Whilst the men wolf-whistle, she quickens her pace yet the car catches up until it is by her side. The men now shout lewd remarks, honk the horn of the car and continue to wolf-whistle. She is overwhelmed with anger and embarrassment. Rage bubbles up as she thinks to herself ‘How dare they shout at me like that!’ so she turns to face her aggressors and demands that they leave her alone. They laugh. She carries on walking yet the remarks she is receiving from the men are now more threatening. She turns around once more, shouts at them and in a moment of rage hits their car and flees into the tube entrance. Expecting that she is now safe from her attackers, she is surprised when she hears shouting and footsteps behind her. The men had followed her into the tube station and when she tries to escape, two of the men pin her against the wall. Luckily, some passers-by see what is happening and alert the station staff. The men are detained until the police arrives. Assuming the men would be arrested, the woman is greatly surprised that upon the arrival of the police the men are let go. When she asks why this is the case, she is informed by an officer that she had provoked the attack by not handling the ‘compliments’ she was receiving in the ‘right way’. She wants to press charges, so she goes to the Metropolitan police who give her similar advice and tell her that they ‘can’t police what people say’. This is Vicky Simister’s story. After realising that she was unlikely to get justice she

founded the London Anti Street Harassment Campaign, now Anti Street Harassment UK. Unfortunately, this is not an individual case. Upon hearing that there was a week in March dedicated to this campaign, I’ve resolved to get involved. I wrote a facebook note, spoke to many friends and colleagues and conducted a simple questionnaire which produced overwhelming responses. A staggering amount of women, and particularly those from the LGBT community, experience this type of behaviour in and around Dundee, yet accept it as the norm. One of the most worrying aspects is that many men do not realise that their behaviour can be incredibly intimidating, frightening and that it constitutes as harassment. Of course, some men carry on regardless because they believe that they have the right to harass a woman simply because of her gender. Some compliments are simply that, compliments. Most women will tell you that they have no problem receiving these. However, when that line is crossed it can make a woman be afraid to go out, change her route if she does or even alter her behaviour completely on the street. Someone commented: ‘I wish I was more confident in telling people where to go when they make comments, but a group of young men is intimidating to anybody, and provoking them seems the worst thing to do when you’re already in a vulnerable position’. I do not imagine that I am the only one who would gladly forgo a real compliment if it also meant that I would no longer have to put up with lewd propositions and intimidating manners. Changes can be made. If you notice a friend harassing a person, tell them to stop and change their attitude. If there is an area around campus or Dundee where you have been harassed frequently, report it to your local police station. They may not be able to find the perpetrators but they can make a note of the area when they are on the beat and step up monitoring there. Talk about your experiences, you may be surprised to hear about how many other people have already been exposed to similar situations. The Anti Street Harassment Week was the 18th-24th March, but how about we make every week an anti harassment week. Illustration by Cilein Kearns

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FEATURES

20 THE KONY AMPLIFICATION SPIRAL

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Features

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ON THE EVE OF APRIL 20, AS ‘COVER THE NIGHT’ LOOMS, HARRISON KELLY PONDERS WHETHER A THIRTY-MINUTE VIDEO CAN ACTUALLY INSPIRE AWARENESS. The process that turned Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 film into the fastest growing viral ever is a media phenomenon. ‘The Kony amplification spiral’ was a result of the film’s Hollywood, propagandistic style, and its rapid distribution. The campaign aims to spread awareness of Joseph Kony. Despite generating a large amount of publicity across the globe, its intention to actually inspire action remains to be seen. The video itself draws inspiration from Hollywood-like productions. Unlike appeals by conventional charities like Fairtrade or Unicef, that provide aid, Kony 2012 has a narrative. As filmmaker Jason Russell explains to his son (on camera), Joseph Kony is “the bad guy.” A despicable war-criminal, Kony provides the perfect hate figure to form a mob against. However there are plenty of others, like Uganda’s own President, who are just as reprehensible. Focusing on Kony oversimplifies a complex set of issues – issues that your average first-worlder might not get so riled by – and makes him a scapegoat. What’s more, Kony hasn’t been in Uganda for six years. He’s been on the run with his depleted forces and could even be dead in a ditch. Not that the film cares for such hindrances. As far as the campaign is concerned, Kony is the only obstacle between Uganda and paradise and we must catch him this year, or else. Scapegoating is just one populist feature of Kony 2012 though. The video also spends the first 5 minutes softening its audience up: a tiny Haitian child being saved from a collapsed building, an animated infant learning to cycle and an uncontainably happy deaf woman hearing herself for the first time. These are among the most heartwarming videos on the internet but they are nonetheless irrelevant. They are enlisted to play on the viewer’s emotional faculties, rendering them susceptible to trust whatever the voiceover tells them. Russell even uses his son as a gimmick. From Gavin’s birth video onwards he wraps his chubby little fingers around our heart strings and refuses to let go. Prodding the viewer for an emotional response like this is characteristic of propaganda, not awareness-raising. Accordingly, people should think critically when watching Kony 2012. For instance, personal accounts from victims of atrocities are valuable, and are especially relevant when demonstrating the human rights abuses of the Lord’s Resistance Army. However, Kony 2012 treats Jacob’s harrowing abduction story as justification to lobby for ill-advised military intervention. Although highly emotive, Kony 2012 would not be a sensation without Facebook and Twitter which enabled it to travel so fast. The target audience of such social media are teenagers, who are easy to impress. The makers understand this, and thus utilize social networking: “there are more people on Facebook than there were on the planet 200 years ago… Mankind’s greatest desire is to belong and connect.” In other words: the internet has created a global neighbourhood. The film also features a slick transitional device, which replicates navigating around a Facebook timeline, upon

which nine years of Jacob and Jason’s lives, and Invisible Children’s work, are represented. As interesting as this is or isn’t, you may wonder: “why discuss this now?” Presently, following the Kony 2012 phenomenon, ‘Cover the Night’ events seem pretty popular. Over 4000 people currently claim to be attending Dundee based events. But how many actually will? Because Kony 2012 is spread at the click of a mouse, it circulated the web nearly effortlessly. Yet all that essentially happened was people clicked a link. There is no way of knowing how many viewers watched the entirety of the video or how many watched it multiple times. Remember when everyone changed their profile pictures to cartoon characters for a day to stop child abuse? Naïve, wasn’t it? Likewise there is no guarantee that 100 million views online will translate into action. And if it did, would it be a good thing? Invisible Children brand Kony 2012 as an awareness campaign, but how much more ‘aware’ does it make people? It is shadily careful in the way it presents facts e.g. implying the LRA numbers 30,000 child soldiers, when that is really the entire sum throughout 30 years of activity (experts estimate the current number is 200). Plus it issues sensational clarion calls like: “Older generations are concerned. The game has new rules…This is the dream.” Targeting impressionable youths and compelling them to unite for the good of humankind seems to blur the line between awareness-raising and cult-forming. Ironically, some even argue the video spreads ignorance: people watch thirty minutes of pro-intervention propaganda then support the campaign, unquestioningly believing what it tells them. True, the Kony phenomenon proves people care about injustice. But that is worthless if people will ignorantly dive headfirst into a problem they don’t understand, just because a charity video promises a solution. Kony 2012’s success should not be measured by how many Youtube views, Facebook shares and retweets it inspires. Assuming you are reading this after the event, planned for April 20, if Kony 2012 truly has ‘spread awareness’ then no one should have turned up.

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(For further reading, I recommend Hannah Bradbury’s wellresearched piece on Invisible Children, Central Africa and the LRA on The Magdalen’s website http://www.themagdalen. co.uk/2012/04/1194/)

03/05/2012 12:04


FEATURES

Should you have the Right to Die? HANNAH BRADBURY

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he contentious issue of euthanasia, ‘assisted dying’, has been debated morally and legally for many years. On 12th March, Tony Nicklinson made headlines for winning the right to have his case decided by the High Court. Nicklinson was left paralysed by a stroke seven years ago and now can only communicate through limited head movements and blinking. He wishes to be able to end his ‘dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable’ life, but being paralysed, he would require assistance to do so, which is currently illegal under the Suicide Act 1968. Nicklinson is seeking for doctors to have the defence of necessity against any murder charge for assisting him to die. Despite the apparent sympathy and public support it is highly unlikely that Mr Nicklinson will succeed. The law has ruled on many similar cases before. In 1993, it was held that the withdrawal of medical treatment from Tony Bland, a victim of the Hillsborough disaster in a persistent vegetative state, was in his best interests and therefore legal. However, in 2002, Diane Pretty, who was paralysed from the neck down, in a comparable situation to Mr Nicklinson, was denied the right to die through her husband’s assistance by the European Court of Human Rights. Following the judgement Pretty exclaimed ‘the law has taken all my rights away’, and one cannot help but think that history may be about to repeat itself in this case. For both Bland and Pretty the law has drawn a harsh distinction between omitting to give treatment to bring about death and performing a positive act to end someone’s life. The former is seen as acceptable in the eyes of the law, whilst the latter is viewed as aiding and abetting the death of another, which is illegal. Although

one could argue that by omitting to give a patient treatment, doctors are contributing to their deterioration and subsequent death. Sheila McLean, a professor of Law and Ethics in Medicine at the University of Glasgow, has pointed out that from ‘a common sense perspective, removing the ventilator...is an act’ as opposed to an omission, demonstrating the tenuous reasoning behind these cases which has led to so much continued suffering. It may sound inhuman and insensitive. However, Bland, since being in a persistent vegetative state, was neither aware of his condition, nor did he have any concept of an assisted death via withdrawal of treatment. In the interest of compassion, it was right to give him as dignified an end as possible. Nevertheless, Pretty and Nicklinson’s situation is arguably worse; becoming progressively trapped inside their bodies with full mental capacity, eventually entirely unable to communicate. These are individuals who would otherwise end their lives themselves but are prevented from doing so by their debilitating and degrading illnesses. It is a failure in the law,

that they should be denied the dignity that a brain-stem dead individual is wilfully given. Where is the justice in an incapacitated person being treated more sympathetically than a sentient one? Nicklinson’s wife, Jane, a former nurse, said ‘it is no longer acceptable for 21st century medicine to be governed by 20th century attitudes to death’. It must be acknowledged that death is an important constituent of life and therefore should be accorded some kind of protection, especially if the process of dying is unpleasant. Conversely, Dr Chris Farnham, a consultant in palliative medicine, said a victory for Mr Nicklinson would have damaging implications: ‘It would set a precedent that would fundamentally change the relationship between patients and doctors and create an expectation that we can deliver something that, within the law, we currently can’t - namely to actively kill our patients.’ As such the Minister of Justice has stated the plea is ‘a matter for parliament rather than the courts’. If the law did change, perhaps it would be more favourable to have private clinics, specifically for the purpose of peacefully ending one’s own life, which in turn would avoid implicating and radically altering the role of doctors. Whether Nicklinson’s case will radically change the law remains to be seen, but at least it has kept the issue fresh in the mind of society. Perhaps there should be a right to die but it is apparent that real change could be a long time coming. Let’s not forget that Mr Nicklinson is rejoicing at just being permitted to argue his case: a mean feat in itself under the current legal response. Overall, acquiring the right to die will be an uphill struggle; morally, politically and legally. Illustration by Ceri Morrice

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Features 03/05/2012 12:04


FEATURES

Mary’s Bottom Line | Our retail future? NICHOLAS MANDERSON

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ashion and retail guru Mary Portas has been very prominent in the press and on our TV screens this year. Beginning with her governmental consultation on the status of Britain’s high streets and now with her underwear project, she’s fast becoming an important champion for not just British fashion, but British industry as a whole. ‘Britain used to be a manufacturing colossus, renowned for its world-class clothing industry. But today, most fashion is made cheaply abroad. Mary Portas wants to reignite the UK clothing industry by starting her own production line to manufacture a key staple in any woman’s wardrobe: 100% British knickers.’ - Mary’s Bottom Line @ Channel4.com Mary Portas’ show is undeniably a noble endeavour to challenge the fashion industry, but it manages to go much further than that. The show exposes the clear benefits that making and buying British can have. Ms. Portas throws down a gauntlet both for British fashion brands and the consumer to think British. A key aspect of the entire project is reexamining what we all mean by value. In these strained economic times our pound doesn’t go nearly as far as it did four years ago. Our purchases now need to be intelligent. Mary’s knickers retail at £10 a pair, which on the surface of things might seem expensive compared to 3 pairs for £10 in a high street retailer. Mary’s knickers, however , offer a quality valued both by the consumer and by the people involved throughout the entire manufacturing process. In pure economic terms, when you buy British your pound stays in Britain. London in particular is certainly seeing

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an increase in the number of small designers and retailers focusing on British design and manufacture. Oliver Spencer, Folk Clothing and Percival Clothing, to name but a few, are all menswear designers making great clothing in Britain. Percival Clothing (percivalclo.com) started up about three years ago. Everything is designed in their East London studio. On top of this they manufacture much of their stock in the UK; failing this they look to the continent. Unlike large scale brands, Percival Clothing keep an interesting and intimate blog dividing their website between the online store and their journal, allowing customers see the development of the company and products from square one. ASOS (a personal favourite on the sartorial list) offers customers a great range of clothing, but also provides new designers a helping hand. ASOS also blogs, tweets and features lots of extra web content about the clothes they sell and how they work. Depsite a large quantity of ASOS’s own brand products being manufactured abroad they are designed in London. ASOS is also a major and important buyer for many new British designer/manufacturers, like Percival Clothing. In the third and final part of Mary’s Bottom Line, Mary Portas introduces the viewer to all the people involved in the manufacturing and distribution of her ‘Kinky Knickers’ brand, demonstrating the direct flow of money from the retail store to the bloke that made the material for the underwear. The scenario highlighted in Mary’s Bottom Line is not unique. The aim and

The Magdalen NO. 29 - MAY 2012

goals of the project are paralleled in many different industries across the country. Dundee witnessed the decline of the jute mills in the early 20th century, bringing centuries of manufacturing history to an end. With only a few small exceptions, there is no manufacturing and production left in the city today. Perhaps by employing the principles in Mary’s Bottom Line something can be reborn from that heritage. Vital manufacturing skills and knowledge are gradually passing away with the generations, continuing the trend of the ‘brain drain’ from Dundee. It is questionable how many of DJCAD’s textiles and design students remain in the city after graduation. Many understandably head down south. Surely small scale production can find a place in Dundee? Mary Portas’ production line was comprised of eight previously unemployed persons, all aged under thirty. In Dundee there were 1,645 people under the age of 25 in December 2011, claiming job-seekers allowance[1]. If there are no new workplaces willing to accept and train inexperienced people, what chance do they have? Recent graduates suffer too with few entry level positions and internships. If there are no new opportunities, how does change come about? Mary’s Bottom Line is an inspiring and informative piece of television. It shows that even when money is tight and the government’s purse strings even tighter, there is funding and investment out there if a little spark and endeavour are demonstrated. Watch the show, and give it some thought, but most of all buy British..

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5th-8th July 2012

Rockskilde

Not that there’s anything wrong with T in the Park, but we at The Magdalen strongly believe in broadening your horizons, even if that just means pre-drinks in a different postal code. With our thoroughly researched guide to festivals, we’ll have you sipping Sangria in Spain, skinny-dipping in the Adriatic, and clubbing in abandoned castles. Warning: Sunstroke may not be the most effective cure for a hangover, however in conjunction with a decent Bloody Mary, it’s known to work wonders.

Beyond the ‘T’ From exams to euphoria

TRAVEL

Travel

03/05/2012 12:04


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03/05/2012 12:04

PAGE 19

Done.

Be There If: You’re looking for that drunken pull to the melodic croning of Radiohead, and LMFAO, with a foreigner that doesn’t speak a word of English. Stumble back into your tent without a drop of cocktail weather chat. Or any chat at all, for that matter.

13th-15th July 2012 Lisbon, Portugal

Optimus Festival

Don’t Forget To Pack: Your tightest skinnies, the ones you need a minimum of three flatmates assistance to get off. You’ll need em for this hipster scene of beach and Crabbies featuring the Stone Roses.

12th-17th July 2012 Just North of Valencia, Spain

Benicassim

Tap this Festival if: your political banter is up to par, and you don’t mind clubbing in abandoned fortresses. A festival certain to fire you up and set you shouting ‘stick it to the man.’ Exit is equal parts political and musical. Perhaps it’s the historical venue of the Petrovaradin Fortress of Novi Sad that gets crowds hot blooded and riled up, but we at The Magdalen have got a hunch it’s a little something to do with the line up, this year including Guns’N’Roses, New Order, Duran Duran, and Brodinski. Not one to miss for aspiring anarchists, a perfect excuse to pour back the pints and raise a little hell.

Exit

12th -15th July 2012 Serbia

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NO.29 - MAY 2012

Travel Travel

Hit This Festival If: You’re trying to prove to all your friends that you were into festivals before festivals became big. This obscure Romanian music festival will fool all your mates into thinking you actually have a taste in music, and aren’t at the festival just to get shitfaced. However, we here at The Magdalen are familiar with the obscenely low foreign pricings on alcohol, and aren’t fooled for a sixth of a second. Plus the website for this festival is all in Romanian, keep the screen up in the library, and you’re guaranteed to look sophisticated.

6th-8th July Bucharest, Romania

B’estfest

Be Here If: You like going to festivals with names you can’t pronounce. This alternative open-air festival idiosyncratically blends new blood with big names in a collection of around 200 acts spread around eight stages. Line-up featuring Bjork, Black Keys, and Hot Chip.

16th-18th August 2012 Hasselt, Belgium

Pukkelpop

Hideout’s Your Scene If: You’ve got a bit of a thing for getting wasted on sandy beaches, and clubbing in abandoned castles. I’d check it for the DJ Set by Chase and Status, not to mention special guest, Shrillex.

29th June-1st July Croatia, Isle of Pag

Hideout

Reason Enough Alone: The nude run the Roskilde Festival Radio organizes annually around the camp site should tell you enough about this festival… A nonprofit festival intended to develop music, culture and humanism. Chummy up to this save the whales sort of crowd in the natural environment of experimental art and design. Offering organic hangover food, and a line up featuring Bjork, The Cure, Bon Iver, and Bruce Springsteen, we’re not sure there’s much this festival doesn’t have to offer. If festivals were measured in love and dreads, this one would take the cake - gluten free and vegan friendly of course.

5th-8th July 2012 Denmark

Rockskilde


Fashion Trends

Spring - Summer 2012

MELINA NICOLAIDES ‘

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lorals? For spring? Groundbreaking.’ Anyone who has watched The Devil Wears Prada as much as I have will appreciate the reference. It is inevitable that whenever spring trends are mentioned I will hear those words, which are then always followed by an image of Meryl Streep’s icy facial expression and chuckle to myself. Why? Because it’s true. I distinctly remember walking through the Overgate last March and being affronted by enough floral dresses to trigger my pollen allergies. Thankfully, this year the fashion gods - Lagerfeld, Galliano, Jacobs - smiled down on us mere mortals and blessed us with something other than florals. Perhaps the biggest trend spotted this Spring is pastel separates and while this is in no way revolutionary, ingenious, or unexpected it’s still different from the floral trend that’s been taking over. From Louis Vuitton to Erdem, the runways were dotted with mint, baby pink, and light yellow. Fear not, you don’t have to stop eating for a month to buy that fabulous Prada mint dress, pastels have flooded the high street. After a quick scan of all the stores here in Dundee, purely for research purposes of course, I have see an array of pastel jeans in H&M and pastel skirts, dresses and blouses in Zara. The next trend on the table, and on all the mannequins at Harrods, is pleats. Pleated maxi skirts, pleated mini skirts, pleated dresses, and pleated gowns were shown across the board at Paris, London and New York fashion week. They’re lighter than air and have enough movement to ensure you don’t feel like you’ve been saran wrapped into an outfit. That’s right, the skin-tight bodycon look is dead. Well, until Lagerfeld decides to resurrect it. For pleats I’d say go to Zara, they have a fantastic selection of dresses and skirts. Admittedly, I’ve already bought two pleated skirts this season. Of course it wouldn’t be spring without lace and thanks to Marc Jacob’s genius, it’s bigger than ever this season. As the models floated around the runway at the Louis Vuitton 2012 Spring/Summer show in Paris it became obvious that it wouldn’t be long before lace hit the high street shops. H&M’s spring collection has the best selection of lace – we’re talking skirts, tops, the works. If H&M’s pastel lace pieces aren’t your thing, head to Topshop, they have a white lace bustier dress that is almost an exact replica of one of theVuitton dresses. The final trend of the season is tribal prints; chevron stripes, bold colours and wild patterns are hot. If you don’t want to blow the remnants of your student loan on the latest Burberry tribal print maxi skirt head to Topshop for nearly identical prints for a sixteenth of the price. Zara also has a few gorgeous tribal print dresses that would fantastic for a short summer holiday. Pair a bright solid-coloured bag with your tribal print dress and you’ll look like you fell off the runway.

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Fashion 03/05/2012 12:04


FASHION

Style Crush: Jessie J CLAIRE MCPHILIMY

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nless you’ve been living under a rock the past year, you’re pretty much guaranteed to know who J-J-Jessie J is. She is the gorgeous brunette who’s been singing up a storm in charts around the world, doing it like a dude on dancefloors and radios everywhere, and getting a little too, erm...excited...about a recent game of dominoes. As if it’s not enough to be one of the busiest and most popular music artists around Jessie is also going to be hitting our screens every Saturday night for the next few weeks as a judge on new talent show The Voice. The show itself is a pretty predictable, moneymaking, X Factor type show, but with one big exception- auditions are ‘blind’ and the judging is all about the talent, not about appearance. Jessie clearly cares about nurturing talent, her own undebatable talents as a vocalist as well as those she’ll be mentoring as part of the show, but she has also been constructing an instantly identifiable personal style as dramatic and full of attitude as her voice. Swinging from a

tomboyish sportswear inspired stage look in a range of multi-coloured and patterned fabrics, to a bombshell red carpet look that is 100% Hollywood glamour, Jessie’s look is pretty hard to sum up in just one label. Not sports chic, not classic, not indie, not ultra-feminine but not scared to flaunt an hourglass silhouette- it’s certainly hard to pin down. Its constant contradictions can only really be pulled off as a result of her take-no-prisoners attitude of Essex confidence and kooky craziness all rolled into one. After an accident last year it was this powerful attitude that made Jessie look like the only person in the world who’s ever purposefully broken their foot just to give themselves a new fashion accessory to play with. Semi-following in the foot of other stars like Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga, Jessie J has an outlandish and creative style you’ll either love or hate. What separates her from these other out-there artists of the moment is the fact that her style is not completely random and unconnected. There is a cartoonish exaggeration present in all of her looks- be it

Fashion

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that blunt black fringe, those bold colours or that sharp, smooth silhouette- that is easily identifiable. Crop tops, jumpsuits and high waists are a couple of key shapes which we have come to expect of Jessie J and she makes them look like a fashionable but fun alternative to short and revealing night looks. Love or hate her look, it’s certainly not always a mainstream crowd-pleaser, but it’s pretty hard not to admire her dedication to lycra. After all, it’s definitely not the most comfortable or flattering fabric to rock, but somehow Jessie J manages to make it work. Either way I’ll certainly be tuning into The Voice over the next few weeks to see who turns up- the glamorous Hollywood Jessica, the fun, playful Jessie J or perhaps an entirely new version altogether. Whoever does arrive on screen, it’s sure to be a look that’s hard to forget.

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Campus Style MELINA NICOLAIDES & CLAIRE MCPHILLIMY

NTH ! O M E H T F USH O R C E L Y T MEL’S S Unable to get my hands on a camera until the good weather had ended, I was ecstatic to find first year medicine student, Leo Pope, rocking one of the most finely crafted wool peacoats I’ve ever seen. Of course he had picked it up at American Apparel - in New York City. Leo brilliantly paired the peacoat with a classic white collared shirt and the retro-Americana striped sweater creating a perfect, smart-casual ensemble. The rolled up skinny jeans and the taupe suede oxfords gave the look the versatility to be worn to either a nice dinner or a dull lecture. To put it bluntly, this outfit is the definition of ‘stuff I wish my boyfriend would wear - every day.’

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Fashion 03/05/2012 12:04


FASHION

Trend Report: Summer Denim Denim jeans are one of the staple pieces of m ost students’ wardrob and over the past co es, uple of decades the w earable fabric has been knowledged through its acconstant reworking by the fashion indus These three students try. show us how to wea r some of the current trends around campus denim this summer.

Laura Masson

Louis Masson

Nikki Barrett

Second year Product Second year Product Design Design

Second year Primary Education

Laura’s loose fitting denim shirt (Topshop) is a lighter alternative to the jacket for hotter summer days and gives, along with the tribal patterned skirt (New Look), a wearable, trendy nod to the grunge look. Hinting on the importance of accessories, the red bag (Accessorize) ties all the colours of the look together and the laced boots toughen up the short skirt length.

Nikki’s looking bang on trend with two denim must-haves in one look. These coloured skinny jeans (Topshop) are flattering and stylish for day or night, and the cropped pale denim jacket (H&M) is the perfect summer cover-up for chilly days. With just a pretty floral scarf to pull it all together, she embodies casual chic.

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Bucking the trend for low necklines, this denim shirt with white detailing (Topshop) buttoned up fully to the neck gives a slightly preppy edge to his relaxed mustard jeans (Arkive). A pretty common colour combination for guys on night outs, Louis shows us how to make denim work for a chilled summer’s day on campus.

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SOCIETIES

George Orwell Society

FRANCISCO GARCIA

Photograph by Francisco Garcia

S

couring the various societies at Dundee University, I noticed a distinct lack of really literary minded groups (obviously excluding the Lit and Film society). My setting up of the George Orwell society is the first attempt in remedying this; hopefully in time for next semester. When Orwell observed that Dickens was a “writer well worth stealing”, he made a comment easily transferable to himself. It is doubtful whether any other 20th century English author is as widely known, read and quoted (I won’t accept any nominations for JK Rowling). In our not-exactly-bookish times that says rather a lot. A great number of people have read, or at least heard of, the titles of his two late and great satires ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’. Strangely enough, it is the very ubiquity of these two texts that have prompted me into starting up the society. They loom menacingly about any discussion; two burly great bullies always on the verge of rudely butting in. Teachers are partly to blame for this, with very little view ever given of Orwell’s wider body of work. The idea that he might have more than two novels worth reading is never entertained (he does, read ‘Burmese Days’!), and to even suggest that his wonderful essays and journalistic work

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might be worth consideration would be met with vacant, incredulous stares. Perhaps I’m being slightly unfair on Secondary school teachers throughout Britain, though my experience was grimly narrow. The aim of this society is to tease out a much wider discussion of Orwell, with due consideration of his novels, yet with a great deal more emphasis placed on his rather divided and thorny political leanings. An icon of the left, some would even ironically suggest a saint, his actual positions on many of the central issues of the 20th century are far from Socialist orthodoxy. In a recent article in the New Statesmen, various people who identified themselves as ‘right wing’ were asked to name a ‘left wing figure they admired’: all but one immediately said Orwell. What does this actually mean? It is pretty difficult in our chastened times to really grasp the distinction between ‘Left’ and ‘Right’. We live in broadly apolitical times; an age that can come up with ‘New Labour’ and not see the gruesome ironies. Orwell lived through an age in which political distinctions were paramount: the struggle as he saw it meant victory or utter annihilation. The usual tags attached to Orwell are either ‘decent’ or ‘honest’, again this takes some qualification. This is a man

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who fought for the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War (getting a sniper’s bullet to the throat for his troubles), yet refused to comply with the Stalinist line of propaganda, even under the overt threat of being tarred a Fascist. His literary style, carefully cultivated, is that of a plain talking, slightly gruff Englishman named George Orwell. In reality, Eric Blair (Orwell is a pen name) was an Eton educated member of the “Shabby Genteel Upper Middle Class” (his own phrase). The contradictions and conflicts in Orwell’s life and works make for almost inexhaustible debate and discussion. I hope some of you agree and take the time to join up. Even if you have never read a single word of his prose but have an interest in 20th century history or contemporary politics then there should still be of something of interest. Every type of political persuasions is more than welcome; the broader the scope the better the argument, I’m sure Eric Blair would have agreed.

Any questions and queries please direct to me at: f.garcia@dundee.ac.uk

Societies 03/05/2012 12:04


ART

A Piece of Fiction ALICE HARROLD & FRANCISCO GARCIA

A: So, it’s based on a true story? K: I wrote it as a piece of fiction. It is a novel, in the sense that the whole thing is invented.

F: So, many people fall into the biographical/factual fallacy when reading fiction. It’s as if a work of the imagination isn’t as meaningful as something rooted in fact. What do you think about this? K: Yes, people seem to think that a work is only worthwhile if it’s real. This idea has been absolutely played out in the literary marketplace. We have seen the awful decline in fiction coupled with the awful rise of memoir. There is a place for everything of course, but how many autobiographies do you want to read? One cursory glance at the best-seller list is enough to make the heart despair.

A: How does this new book compare to your last work?

W

e interviewed Kirsty Gunn, writer and University of Dundee English Lecturer, to discuss her upcoming book ‘The Big Music’. Her walls are covered in bookshelves housing a wealth of contemporary Scottish novels as well as works by Adrienne Rich, Shakespeare, and an entire row of Virginia Woolf.

Francisco: What can you tell us about your new novel? Kirsty: It’s my seventh book. I actually never use the term ‘novel’ because I’m a bit funny about it. I’m like Virginia Woolf, who always called her works of fiction ‘elegies’. I think of my work as simultaneously art, pieces of fiction and elegies. I think of this particular book as an installation; a place that the reader inhabits, experiences, and comes to know. As one moves through the room one is transformed by contact with that space. The book is a story about an older man coming towards the end of his life, casting his eyes back and wondering what it all amounts to. It becomes something quite reflexive, because as he’s doing this he’s writing a piece of music that will describe his life. Through this process he comes to realise that the piece is a lament: a lament for himself.

Alice: In the book, do you primarily write from this man’s perspective? K: Not really, because I don’t do that kind of thing. It’s a very complex structure actually. There is an important preface at the beginning of the book in which I explain how I came into possession of papers that slowly started to reveal the story of a place and family, which I shuffled around and was able to give shape to. In the papers there was an organised narrative underpinning the story.

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K: Well, my most recent book is called ‘44 Things.’ It is kind of a scrapbook. It’s a meditation on domesticity and the way that one can make writing. It says that writing doesn’t need the privilege of the closed study door; that it can be created in the interstices of life, in the stolen moments. I have two daughters and obviously we don’t have time as women to write huge novels because we’re making tea and giving baths. But does that make the work that comes out of it less valuable? Well no, of course not.

A: How do you manage to juggle writing and being a mother? K: When the children were little I worked away on ‘The Big Music’ but as they got older life became more complicated. My husband and I were out for supper celebrating my 44th birthday; the girls were under the table playing. And my husband, who’s a publisher, said to me, “When are you going to get back to the novel?” because it had been a while since I’d been able to tackle ‘The Big Music’. I said “Look at our lives. We’re just moving house.” What I’d been doing was writing a few little pieces in between tea and fish fingers and so on and I said, “They’re just things but here I am, I’m 44, I’m going to make ‘44 Things’”. So I made that book. Time moved on, the children got older, I took on this job at the university and I went back to the ‘The Big Music’. Now, after eight years of writing, it’ll be a great relief to be finished with it.

F: How do you balance being an artist with the need to be published? K: Since I was 12 I’ve wanted to be published in the New Yorker; I still really do. Four or five years ago I wrote a story about the death of an old friend and a group of people coming to his funeral, which has since been published in ’44 Things’. The

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New Yorker editors came back and said “We love this story and we want to publish it, but we need a couple more paragraphs at the end to describe Andrew’s life and what he was to these people”. I wouldn’t do it. So at that point I realised that I’m very far from any sense of the Bourgeois notion of writing. That said, I really hope that a lot of people will buy this book. It’s always thrilling to know that someone is reading your work.

A: [University of Dundee Creative Writing lecturer] Jim Stewart has described you as a poet. How do you feel about that? K: Actually I’ve just come back from Mexico where I was the UK representative at the San Miguel Poetry festival. I was the first prose writer that they’d invited. I’m totally in awe of poets and I although would never describe myself as one t’s a great honour to have someone like Jim seeing me that way…because he knows his onions.

A: looking back, how do you feel about the film adaptation of your first book, ‘Rain’? Would you consider allowing adaptations of your other books? K: I’ve never seen that film because I have no respect for the thinking that went into it. I met with the people involved and made suggestions of people for the roles. A great friend of mine who’s a wonderful actress did a screen test which was just ravishing. But when they gave the roles to other people and started to talk about what they were going to do with the story I just thought, “Oh, back off”. That said, I wouldn’t mind allowing another adaptation because as my husband says, “Take the money and run!” because they pay very well. Besides, this book is like nothing else. It’s completely itself and people will interpret it in different ways, but that doesn’t change what I’ve written. Now, if say Terrence Malick came to me and wanted to do a film based on ‘Featherstone’ I wouldn’t even need to read the screenplay.

F: And finally, what advice would you give to aspiring writers? K: There’s no great romantic sense of mystery about all of this. We’re not waiting to be visited by ‘The Muse’, smoking opium and sitting in some attic. You simply need to set aside some time and write hard and fast, Hemingway said “write about what hurts”. I don’t think it necessarily needs to hurt but you have to do the hard and fast part. Set out to write a certain number of pages and then put them away and go do other things. Then later, with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, pick up those pages and go through them, thinking “what’s interesting and what’s rubbish?” Start to take an account of these processes and from that you can work out what you want to write, what kind of writer you are, and what kind of interests you have.

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ART

Not sure what to make of this production… TOM COLQUHOUN

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preceding shelves, but displayed by itself and transformed by castors and a backrest into an impossible chair. “I like that it has an element of slapstick, in that if you tried to sit on it you would slip right off,” says Scott. Humour has always been an important part of his work, as evidenced by the ‘STABILA (Black and Blue)’ series which leads us fluidly into the next room. A lithographic print run in black and blue, ‘STABILA’ is a reworking of an older interpretation of Myles’. ‘STABILA’ is based on a series of evidence photos from a court case in which a Glasgow man escalated an argument by striking another man repeatedly with a Stabila brand spirit level. Scott is fascinated by the idea of a tool of

shelters, one upended and stacked atop the other, the two of them painted to appear as mirrors; it oozes post-industrialism and a very basic SCOTTISHNESS. Messages and symbols, scorched with disposable lighters into the plastic by unknown figures, are granted an absurd sense of gravity, as if they were paintings on a cave wall, messages from the depths of time. Scott proudly points to a plaque which reads ‘South Side Construction’, proof of the objects’ authenticity. However perfectly Analysis may capture Scott Myles, the centrepiece is undoubtedly Displaced Façade, a brick wall which divides the space. Façade was inspired by the original appearance of the DCA, in

“If you dig postmodernism in general or Scott Myles specifically, you won’t be disappointed.” balance being used in such an unbalanced way. The irony is that the works were hung with a spirit level. This is the heavy tone of post-industrial apathy and confusion. The repurposing of obscure but meaningful brand names is another pronounced aspect of Scott’s sense of humour, as witnessed by ‘Schema (Habitat)’ which mourns the death of the furniture chain to Ikea, and ‘Untitled (ELBA)’, a series of huge reproductions of Elba brand manila folders, carefully measured so the artist could fit inside if he so desired. By happy coincidence, ‘Elba’ is the name of the island that Napoleon was exiled to, perfectly capturing the themes of containment and isolation that are constantly hinted at in This Production. Analysis (Mirror) probably sums up the exhibition pretty well. Two Scottish bus

Scott’s time an abandoned factory in which he used to skate. From one angle, the wall appears to be solid, and blocks the viewer’s path. However, take one Sidestep, and the wall opens to reveal an escape. “Do you feel like you had to escape from Dundee, 15 years ago?” I ask Scott with a grin. He chuckles. “I wouldn’t want to say that.” In conclusion, This Production is a diverse and interesting experience, with a lot more going on than I can mention here. If you dig postmodernism in general or Scott Myles specifically, you won’t be disappointed. If not, you may well find it lacking any clear punch, or indeed any particularly memorable artworks. Me? I’m on the fence. Keep an open mind for this one.

Scott Myles, trying to ignore all the unfinished work around him (presumably)

his Production marks a homecoming of sorts for Glasgowbased artist Scott Myles. It is both his first major solo gig in the UK and his first show in Dundee since he graduated DOJ in 1997. The exhibition features some older work, some brand new work, and one installation directly inspired by his Dundonian heritage. Things were pretty hectic in the DCA when I arrived: less than 7 hours until opening, and the room was flooded with workmen and scaffolding; Scott Myles himself was nowhere to be found. Jessica Reid, DCA’s press officer, apologised to me for the state of the space and the problem of getting good photos in an environment with so many a) foreign elements and b) reflective surfaces. I gratefully accepted her offer to email me the DCA press photo pack instead of letting me take my own. Unfortunately, over half of these turned out to be of the same piece, many with Scott posing in the foreground, so the photos displayed here really don’t do his exhibition justice. Eventually the artist appeared, apologising profusely for getting held up. He agreed to do a walk-round of the exhibition with me, talking about each piece in turn and answering my questions. “The idea is that it’s a shelf, displaying itself.” He tells me about the first object, which, initially, appears to be made of marble, but on closer inspection reveals itself to be wood painted white and pulled through a mixture of black ink and water. The effect is rather beautiful. Scott tells me the ideas of coupling and time are important, the former (at least) recurring often throughout the exhibition. The next piece, enigmatically dubbed ‘Interview’, is a similar form to one of the

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ART

Art Fag JAY FRAZER

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s some of you may have noticed, artistic bollards have been popping up around the city. For those slightly less observant, these bollards have been spray painted to look like cigarettes and each bear the words ‘Art Fag’. It strikes me that while this may be slightly offensive to the many Art students buzzing around Dundee (as it implies they are pretentious, if not homosexual), I have found them kind of refreshing. It’s always comforting to see people play around with art in the streets and push the boundaries in order to evoke a public reaction. My attempt to find the guy behind these new ‘Dundee icons’ was quite unsuccessful. A friend of mine is a good friend of the artist, but his attempts to try and tempt him from his flat for an interview failed. Apparently the guy is pretty happy chilling on his sofa playing video games and is motivated only by finding another perfect street object to deface. I decided to rather not bother him, though I did hear the background story and motivation to his idea though. Eventually I made it up to the guy’s flat for a chat. I was informed of many of his artistic opinions and finally heard the background story. As a budding artist he was updating a ‘flickr’ blog with his work on a frequent basis and was receiving a lot of comments from friends in a mocking tone claiming he was an ‘art fag’. After his friend requested that he turned a bollard into a cigarette as a joke, he decided to do so. He realized he was onto something and it developed from there. I asked him in general what he would say to people about his Art Fags, what I got from him was this “It is a bollard painted to look like a cigarette, It’s what it says on the tin, take from it what you want.” As a mockery of all us ‘art fags,’ creating pretentious works of a contemporary and conceptual nature, I like it. It’s comforting (and, again, refreshing) to see art that doesn’t necessarily involve a huge amount of skill and is not attempting to achieve a certain aesthetic. This project is raw and rather inyour-face, popping up as a reminder to us all not to take life too seriously sometimes. To use and abuse the environment around us. There is, however, the debate as whether or not this is vandalism. I noticed an email sent to all Duncan of Jordanstone students requesting that students did not graffiti the university grounds. To quote Caroline Peters, the DJCAD School Secretary, “Some students are defacing DJCAD estate with graffiti. This is not acceptable.” I presumed that this must also apply to

Photograph by Jay Frazer

‘art fag’ as there is one happily supporting a tree on the grass just outside the Matthew building. This amuses me, as while the artist is not actually a Duncan of Jordanstone student he probably accessed the building at some point to reach his canvas. The strict new regulations on identification within the art school could be trying to discourage exactly this, along with its prime purpose; theft prevention. The fact that Mr. Art Fag

but only to brighten up the public’s day and to make more accessible art. I did notice that I was being slyly advised to steer away from things such as pasting and stencilling by various tutors. Perhaps there’s still an issue to overcome concerning the legalities of street art. For me, street art can be much more affecting and relevant than a lot of art that you may see in galleries; as it is imposing and exciting and it could

“It is a bollard painted to look like a cigarette, It’s what it says on the tin, take from it what you want.” has made his mark slap bang in the centre of a creative hub full of ‘art fags’ just leaves us full of respect for his poor frustrated mind. If he was a student at the art school would his work be accounted for? After all, it is effectively illegal. In my own practice I have been interested in working on the streets,

be gone tomorrow. I like to be surprised or taken back by a piece of art outwith a typical artistic environment. For these reasons I approve of ‘art fag’ and think we should all learn to lighten up, to observe our surroundings closely for more ‘art fags’, and of course to encourage more street art in Dundee!

One of the ‘art fags’. Photo by Jay

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

Pimping & Public Policy RYAN SWAN

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rostitution is a lucrative business. And, contrary to popular belief, it is not confined to the dark realms of the black market. It is also found in the dark realms of political parties. Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond is currently finding life very uncomfortable indeed after revelations by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch that the two of them had enjoyed a “warm” relationship over several years, where many personal dinners were enjoyed and gifts were exchanged between the two of them, and that this was behind Murdoch’s Scottish Sun’s endorsement of the SNP during the last Holyrood election. Salmond also conceded during the subsequent Leveson inquiry into Murdoch’s relationship with UK politicians that he agreed to lobby UK ministers in support of News International £8 billion takeover of BSkyB. This episode comes only a couple of weeks after a piece of undercover reporting in the Conservative Party in March caused similar embarrassment to Prime Minister David Cameron. Posing as international financiers, journalists met the Tories’ co-treasurer, Peter Cruddas, and were offered access to Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne for a donation of £250,000. As expected, Cruddas was told by Cameron to put down his crown and cane and leave the party. In reaction to the video leak, Cameron said: “What happened was completely unacceptable. This is not the way we raise money in the Conservative party, it shouldn’t have happened”. Cruddas, in a tragicomic attempt to explain himself, said: “Clearly there is no question of donors being able to influence policy or gain undue access to politicians. Specifically, it was categorically not the case that I could offer, or that David Cameron would consider, any access as a result of a donation”. Fortunately for Cameron, he didn’t say – as goons and villains often do when they are caught – that he was ‘just doing his job’. Reclining in an office, talking to ‘financiers’, Cruddas offhandedly enumerates the steps donors should take to cultivate a relationship with the Tories. He says: “a hundred grand [£100,000] is not Premier League, it’s not bad – it’s probably bottom of the Premier League. Two hundred grand, two-fifty is Premier League. If you’re unhappy about something… we’ll listen to you, and we’ll put it into the policy committee at Number 10 [government headquarters]. We feed all feedback into the policy committee”. So, if you donate a quarter of a million pounds per year to the Conservative Party, you can have a say on how UK public policy

is formed. While it is not illegal to receive obscene amounts of money as donations, it is illegal to receive them from non-UK sources. The undercover reporters purported to aim to donate money coming from a foreign wealth fund, and Cruddas coolly informed them that there were “ways to work around it” – by establishing a subsidiary company in the UK. In a bid to appear honest and have his party’s funding processes seen as transparent, Cameron released a list of dinners he has hosted since his inauguration as prime minister for wealthy donors – these included hedge fund managers and British financiers – who have given a total of £23 million to the Conservatives. He also pledged to have an internal party inquiry, which will no doubt be as effective as having McDonalds carry out an investigation into causes of child obesity. This is not the first time that a British political party has been in trouble for trying to sell themselves. It is the Tories that have been caught out this time but the sleaziness in British politics is not confined to the Conservative Party. The Labour Party are just as culpable, with the now infamous “cash for honours” scandal under Tony Blair’s government, while the SNP are also far from first-time offenders, as Alex Salmond’s recent private tea party at his Edinburgh residence with Lotto winners Colin and Chris Weir- worth £131 million, and the donors of £1 million to the party- goes to show. To his credit, current Labour leader Ed Miliband is attempting to move the party away from their image of the past and recently published a list of all forty three donors who he has hosted at office or home- whereas Cameron’s list only released a list of “significant” donors. Nevertheless, any change will take time and the sleaze in British politics is evident across the board. That money – or rather, the lust for it – pervades the political scene is not new. The problem is that public policy can be twisted and corrupted because certain figures within political parties are conducting themselves more like prostitutes than elected representatives. There is, however, one shaming difference between the two: what a streetwalker may do out of necessity, the political parties are doing out of greed.

BEING A PIMP IS PARTICULARLY UNSAVOURY, EVEN BY BRITISH POLITICAL STANDARDS.

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

Joe’s Liberal Ambition ANA HINE L to R: Joe Derry Setch, Rebecca Shearer, Tim Farron MP, Willie Rennie MSP, Andrew Bullick and Oli Fletcher.

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n the night of the 2010 general election my friends and I stayed up all night, glued to our multiple screens. There were drinks, there was laughter, but for the most part we were watching to see which way history would go. I don’t want to assume, but I’m pretty sure we’d all voted Liberal Democrats. We were Humanities undergraduates living in Edinburgh. We were a bit like that. Who would vote Liberal Democrat now? Have you felt the liberalising hand on the shoulder of the Conservatives? Neither have I. Willie Rennie came down to the University the other night to assure us that it was there. The University of Dundee has a new Liberal Democrat society, ‘Liberal Youth Dundee’. Founded this semester by Joe Derry Setch, a Politics student here at Dundee Uni. It’s been brewing for a while and I want to do it justice. In my heart I’ll always be a bit of a Lib Dem. Joe’s scored well, landing both the leader of the Scottish branch of the party, the aforementioned Rennie, and the general party president, Tim Farron. Unfortunately, though Rennie’s been in his position for nine months, it still seemed like he was on his first day of the job. He kept glancing at Farron, who kept smiling encouragingly. Maybe this was a training exercise? Even so, a bunch of students should not be this big of a deal to the Scottish Leader of the party. We’re obviously here because we’re sympathetic (or in the case of the tiny bunch of SNP society members, or the Pro-Palestinians at the back, because we’re taking a look at the new opposition). This feels like a team meeting, a time for recuperation. As I say, I do vote Liberal Democrat, but I get the sense of being an intruder. It makes me want to herd everyone who isn’t 100% committed to the party out so that the new society members can get some advice from their elders. It’s important for like-minded people to come together once in a while. Groups need to be free to discuss their beliefs without having to constantly defend themselves or explain themselves from the ground up. The launch of ‘Liberal Youth Dundee’ seemed like it shouldn’t have been a public event. John Alexander (the former President of the Dundee Uni SNP society and a candidate for the

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local council elections this month) shouldn’t have been there. The new Liberal Democrat society needs a chance to sit and talk with their elders in private; a chance to talk about what it actually means to be a Liberal Democrat. Saying that, the evening itself was fine. Rennie and Farron discussed gay marriage, freedom of information, independence, the coalition, the NHS and competently responded to questions from

“GROUPS NEED TO BE FREE TO DISCUSS THEIR BELIEFS WITHOUT HAVING TO CONSTANTLY DEFEND THEMSELVES” the floor. It just felt, well, like a slightly wasted opportunity. So Joe, and the rest of the new society members, take a word of advice and have a ‘Lib Dem only’ event next time. You need to establish who you are before you can defend yourself against the larger student body. And someone give Rennie some sweets for being such a good boy. Joe Derry Setch is also standing in the council elections this month. He’s going for one of the Lochee seats. Just, er, so you know and so that I don’t get accused of biasing this magazine.

Find out more about Liberal Youth Dundee:

Facebook | Liberal Youth Dundee Twitter | @LibYouthDundee NO. 29 - MAY 2012

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

Scottish Conservative Conference Diary ALEX SHILLING

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roon’s a nice wee town. Without wishing to waste the reader’s time with burbling, effervescent descriptive narrative, one couldn’t have asked for a nicer location to enjoy (or not) a party political conference. I entered the conference hall after exchanging a few cheery words with the guy on the door (“You actually look like your picture on your conference pass, most people don’t.” “I look like a mass murderer.” “You should come and work for us, then!”) and after a painstaking search for conference goodies yielded only a Holyrood magazine and a few funny looks (RockStar stains on tie? Ah.) I headed upstairs.

Day 1 - Friday, 23rd March

Speeches digested

The SNP are bad and want to destroy Britain, Labour are bad and take Scotland for granted - particularly in Glasgow which is, as everyone knows, a shithole full of scum, but we’re the Scottish Tories and we’re down with ordinary people. Whatever that means. Oh, and everyone hates us through no fault of our own and never saves us a seat at the Holyrood lunch bar or shares their expenses with us. We just deserve a chance, we will <insert Scottish politician’s stock expression incorporating words “stand up for Scotland/get right deal for Scotland” here>. It’s not easy being blue.

“Belief in the union is not a statement of timidity, it is a statement of intent” - Ruth Davidson, MSP

Day 2 - Saturday, 24th March News from Westminster

This features Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South and Mark Menzies, MP for Fylde (a small borough near Blackpool). How this relates to Scotland, I can’t really say. The two English MPs discuss a variety of issues affecting Scotland - so it’s not so much “news from Westminster” as what English MPs think about Scottish issues. It’s more a case of making the conference aware of current Conservative policy than engineering any serious political debate. Pints at the Union? Up steps Maurice Golden to speak on independence and proceeds to make a passionate, logical and coherent speech which raises some salient points. Golden is the spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Conservative Association, a local Tory association the likes of which are dotted all over the country. Sadly, after that, quite a few so-called career politicians seem to momentarily forget where they are, as Peter Murrell is denounced as a “blockhead” and jibes are aimed at Alex Salmond’s weight. It all gets a bit silly, but blessedly, it is time for a serious speech from a serious politician. Theresa May takes the stage. Come visit Scotland, we’ve got a famous fighting spirit! Mrs May does come across rather like a guidebook for Scotland, stating several times how fond the whole world is of Scotland. One wonders if she’s travelled to Troon solely for the purpose of telling us

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how great our country is. But no, it appears and as such, she doesn’t actually have to she also wants to talk about Scottish say very much or speak for very long. independence! “I want Scotland to be part Davidson then takes audacious swipe of the UK because I believe in the union.” at the Prime Minister for his comments Coherent, if a tad obvious. “The SNP defeat the previous day that the Scottish their own logic by devolving more powers Conservatives need to stop being so timid to Scotland then handing over powers to - “belief in the union is not a statement of the E.U... how dare they claim independence timidity, it is a statement of intent.” This on patriotism alone - is not everyone in this is followed by a disappointingly cliched room a patriot?” Two fair points there, last politician’s comment (“we are standing comment roundly applauded and cheered up and being counted on the issues that by conference. matter”) but focus regained. Davidson Essentially, there are three main themes concludes that “there are dividing lines in in this speech: politics, but there are lines which unite us 1) Scotland is the greatest country in the too,” and states that “today we stand on the world. Ever. brink of history - the world is watching.” 2) Together we are stronger, let’s all come together and have one big haggis-tea-leekpeat bog fusion. We need you. No, really. 3) The SNP aren’t nationalists - they don’t Ruth Davidson’s inspirational speech know the meaning of patriotism. I’m will trick many at the conference more patriotic than Alex Salmond “Scotland’s strength is about the whole into overlooking the many faults will ever be. SNP are bad - do not vote that currently lie within the for them. They’re trying to brainwash being greater than the sum of it’s parts.” Scottish Conservative party. There you and your children. Labour are - Theresa May MP, HOME SECRETARY are still bad apples within the party; bad too because they let too many there are still remnants of a “Tory people into this wonderful country. “Scotland’s strength is about the whole old boys club” and there is still Theresa May’s speech rather fell apart being greater than the sum of its parts.” much work for Davidson to do. But today, at the end thanks to terrible coughing fit, the Scottish Tories have shown that change well recovered with “I should have had Ruth Davidson enters the fray in the final is always possible and with Ruth Davidson whiskey in that” quip. The Home Secretary action of the conference. - a dynamic, innovative and strong-minded concludes with more Visit Scotland Somehow broad and specific at the same leader - as well as bright young politicians adverts, but still manages to earn a partial time, listening to this speech, it becomes coming through, the country writes the standing ovation. Some credit due; for the obvious that the party leader’s main party off at its peril. most English person on the planet Troon is strength as an orator lies in her ability to a tough place to come to. make her audience think while she’s talking

Conclusion

Your link to the legal profession We offer a full range of courses to prepare you for life as a legal practitioner. GDL/LPC/BPTC/LLM/MSC/MBA Flexible full-time, part-time and distance learning routes available

visit NorthumbriaLawSchool.co.uk Current Affairs Issue 29.indd 31

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SPORT

Athletics Interview

Sarah Kelly tells us about her Commonwealth dreams Pages 34+ 35

Sports Union News

It’s awards season at Dundee Uni Page 33

Player Profile

We speak to Badminton player Allan Nixon Page 33

Remember When Football Was A Gentleman’s Game? CLARE MCCAUGHNEY

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here is something rotten in thew state of English football. While watching “Match of the Day” during a visit home for the Easter holidays, I was struck by the indiscipline and lack of team ethic on view in many of the games. In the Bolton Wanderers v Wolverhampton Wanderers match, the away team’s goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey, and up to this point inspriational central defender Roger Johnson squared up to each other after poor defending, this unseemly confrontation made all the worse by the fact that Johnson is the club captain. On the same day over on Merseyside, West Brom were 2-0 behind at Everton when Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie, having been castigated by his goalkeeper Ben Foster for twice failing to pick up Everton’s playmaker Steven Pienaar at corner kicks, reacted by thrusting his head into the goalkeeper’s face. When another player, McAuley, tried to calm things down, the West Brom striker tried to start a fight with him aswell. However, undoubtedly the most unedifying moment of the whole programme, was the sight of the vastly overpaid players of Manchester City squabbling over who should take a free kick. City’s maverick Italian, Mario Balotelli, had to be hauled away from Aleksandar Kolarov and Vincent Kompany after a juvenile spat over the free kick. This happened during a week where Balotelli turned up uninvited at Inter Milan’s press conference, completely gate-crashing the party for the unveiling of his former club’s new manager. The fact that he was on a two-day break from training, and spent his teenage years in the Italian giants academy does little to mask an almost constant desire to be the centre of attention. City’s manager, Roberto Mancini, seems to be a thoroughly decent man, but appears lacking in the steel of the famous Scottish

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managers like Stein, Busby and Shankly who would not have had such an individual about the place. It is also difficult to envisage his counterpart at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson allowing such mutinous behaviour to permeate the corridors of Old Trafford, as the Scot has several times in the past sold prima donnas at the first sign of them causing trouble, a lesson Mancini appears yet to learn. Ferguson’s recent spat with City regarding the return of former United striker Carlos Tevez to their fold illuminated this point. Here we have a player reputedly earning £250K per week, who refused to prepare himself to come on as a substitute for City in a champions league match against Bayern Munich, at a time when his side where trailing by two goals to nil and desperately needed his ability to drag them back into the game. At the time Mancini declared that the Argentine would never play for City again, and yet six months later all is forgiven. Meanwhile, over in London the situation is even worse. Chelsea Football Club’s overpaid senior players appear to have so much power that John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, to name but a few, severely undermined the promising management career of the young Portuguese boss, Andre Villas Boas, to the point where he has now been sacked. Indeed it could be argued that he may not recover from this setback, coming at such an early stage of what is often a high-pressure career. It is worth noting that Chelsea have now had nine managers since the Russian Billionaire, Roman Abramovich, assumed control of the club in 2003, only two of whom, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti could be considered to be successful in their time at Stamford Bridge. Evidently, there is something rotten in the state of English Football.

NO. 29 - MAY 2012

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SPORT

Sports Union News CLARE MCCAUGHNEY

Player Profile

A Month of Sporting Success The 2011/12 academic year has seen some truly outstanding achievements in sport. These achievements were celebrated with the Blues & Colours awards ceremony, which recognises the all the hard work put in by athletes and volunteers across all sports. Without these gruelling hours dedicated to sport both on and off the field, the Sports’ Union would not be what it is and the university is incredibly proud of everything that all this year’s award winners have achieved. Achievements are recognised though a variety of awards: Full Blues The highest award which can be achieved by an athlete. A ‘Full Blue’ athlete must be of outstanding ability. Their skill performance should be of an international standard and in some sports it is necessary for the athlete to represent British or National teams. This year’s Full Blues were awarded to:

Alastair Moon (Canoe) Mhairi De Sainte Croix (Fencing), Gavin Robertson (Men’s Rugby), Nick McKelvey (Ski & Snowboard) Jennifer Green (Tennis) Sportswoman of the Year – Eilish McColgan (Athletics) Eilish has an incredible set of results and achievements including numerous record breaking times. She’s won BUCS, represented GB and Scotland numerous times, achieved 3rd in the U23 European Championships and a Silver in the UK World Trials. This year’s winner is truly an outstanding athlete and is on track to make it to the London 2012 Games this summer! Sportsman of the Year – Gavin Robertson (Men’s Rugby) Gavin has represented Scotland at U17, U18 and U20 level. He has gone from strength to strength and is an outstanding athlete. He’s recently represented Scotland in the U20 6 Nations Squad, a truly incredible achievement.

NAME: ALLAN NIXON AGE: 19 COURSE: LAW HOMETOWN: TROON Allan is the current captain of the University Badminton team and used to play badminton for Scotland

1. What sport do you play? Badminton.

Team of the Year: Men’s Rugby 1st XV Most Progressive Club of the Year: Karate Club of the Year: Netball

2. Where do you train? ISE Dundee. 3. How do you socialise with your teammates? We all go to our sponsored pub after matches and have a few drinks. 4. Is it hard to have a balance between your studies and your sport? Yeah, it can be. It depends whether I have an importan match/ tournament coming up. If I do then it can be hard trying to keep up with classes/assignments etc. whilst trying to focus on training. Normally, though, playing sport is a nice way of escaping from my studies. 5. What is the best part of being in the Badminton club? Palying the sport itself. 6. What influenced you to begin this sport? My big brother started playing it so I copied him.

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The Dundee Student Dreaming of Commonwealth Success Clare McCaughey speaks to Sarah Kelly Why did you choose to study at the University of Dundee? I chose the university of Dundee because Dundee is where my training group is based so it made sense to pick a uni where I could stay and train with the same group and coach. Is it hard to keep a balance between your studies and training for competitions? It does get hard sometimes, like when I have a lot of work due in but fortunately as I have just finished second year I haven’t had a full timetable and have been able to fit training around classes. Are your lecturers lenient, understanding your circumstances? I don’t think my lecturers this year are aware I compete in athletics, so no. However last year, as I was away on UKA training camps during exam time I was allowed to sit my exams abroad which was a massive help. When did you first become an “athlete”? I first became an athlete when I was 16, before that I competed at swimming and also previously have done triathlons and aquathons. Who first coached you? Dave Francis from Fife Athletics Club first coached me when I first started running for my triathlons, and then when I decided I wanted to try running more full time I moved to Liz. When did you first become good at track events? I was always okay at cross country but that was more to do with the amount I was swimming rather than running, so I was lucky I was quite fit when I decided to take up athletics, I had a lot of success in my first full year at athletics, when I was 16, in 2009. That would probably be when I started getting successful. What memorable competitions come to mind, in your career so far? I have a few memorable races, my first would be when I made the final of the World Junior Championships, and finished 7th for 800m in 2010. I wasn’t expected to make it past the semi-final so that was nice, and I ran a big pb to get to the final. I also competed in a junior race at the Zurich Diamond League and won it, also for 800m. Then when I got my first senior GB vest, at the start of last year at the Glasgow Aviva International Match, for 1500m, I’ve heard that you have had some serious injuries recently, is it easy to bounce back straight into training? The injuries have been in my foot, so it’s not been easy to get back as whenever I get back into it too quickly my injuries flare up again, so I have to go back to cross training. So when I get back into running it will take a few weeks to build up to my full programme. Do you keep to a strict diet; do you stick to a certain amount of calories to offset the energy expenditure? The diet isn’t completely strict, everyone should be able to have the odd treat, but I try to eat as healthy as I can so I can be in the best

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shape possible. I don’t count calories but I am aware of what items have high calories compared to others, so tend to go for the items with lowest calories. What meal would you have before competing in a race? If it was the night before, then either pasta or rice, but if I was competing at night then I always have a jam sandwich for lunch before a race. Liz McColgan, your coach, must be an influential figure in your career, how does she help motivate you? Liz was an incredible athlete who achieved an unbelievable amount during her career, so she is able to motivate me as well as the rest of my group through her experience, she knows what she is talking about so whenever we are tired or feeling sore, she has been through it so is able to push us to do the best we can. Are you looking to perhaps compete at the next Commonwealth games? Yes, I would definitely want to be competing at Glasgow 2014. We are able to start qualifying for it next year, so that should be exciting. Graduating your course then competing in the Commonwealth games, must be exciting? It is very exciting thinking that my graduation year is the same year as the commonwealth games, but it will probably be the hardest year ever! Fourth year is tough at uni, and training will be hard trying to be in the best shape I can for the games! But hopefully it will be very rewarding! Would you prefer to compete at the games abroad, or will having a home crowd be of a major advantage to you? I would love to compete abroad, as its exciting being able to travel and experience new things, but having a home advantage will be unbelievable. We will be used to the climate, won’t have to adapt to time differences, and will have a home crowd to compete in front of. What advice would you give to aspiring athletes? Just to work hard, but be sensible and know your limits. I love athletics, so it’s easier to want to train, so you should always make sure you enjoy the sport. Do you have any sponsorships? I am sponsored by BMW as part of the BMW London 2012 programme, I am supported by the Harry Fairbairn garage in Kirkcaldy. I also get funding from Winning Students, which is based at the University of Stirling, as well as the sports scholarship at Dundee. What’s in the future for you? In my future, I will be getting back into full training so I can get back competing, then hopefully the commonwealth games in Glasgow, and then the Olympics in 2016.

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“I would definitely want to be competing at Glasgow 2014.”

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THE MAGDALEN ONLINE

W W W . T H E M A G D A L E N . C O . U K

BY STUDENTS, FOR STUDENTS

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Issue 29 - May 2012  

Summer Lovin' - Festivals, Tories and Kinky Knickers; Guide To European Festivals; Spring/Summer Trends; Dundee Uni's Commonwealth Hope

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