The Martlet - Issue 23

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OPINION

WINTER ISSUE

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THE UNITED STATES

A Ministerial Misconception?

What Makes a One Term President?

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FILM

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AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Under the Spotlight: Racism in Hollywood

Who is the Next GOAT of American Football?

Abingdon School’s Leading Newspaper

ISSUE 23

SCHOOL

The New Normal: an Interview with The Head Johan Nerlov speaks to Mr Windsor about Abingdon School’s reactions to COVID-19. When the buses left at the coach park at twenty past five on the 20th of March the world was a very different place. Few believed in earnest that the lockdown would stretch deep into the summer. By the time we all came back in September, it was clear that, for the foreseeable future, life as it was before the pandemic would have to remain a fond memory at best. But, somehow, the show must go on. While students and teachers were busy getting used to interacting on Zoom - and parents came to terms with living in a much more crowded home - the senior leadership team, led by Mr Windsor, set about ensuring that when the time came, Abingdon was ready to welcome back its over 1000 students. As hard as it seemed in the middle of July, even lockdowns end. The Headmaster himself acknowledges, like most of us, he thought that “we would be back earlier”. However, as the days rolled past and the cases mounted “views began to shift”. All of a sudden, it was vital to ensure that by September the school had a sustainable long-term plan with which it could re-open. As Mr Windsor puts it, “the challenge was understanding government guidance and turning it into a reality”. It quickly became clear speaking to Mr Windsor that this was harder that it might seem at

first. “A huge amount of information is pushed your way”; and, as the Head noted, it didn’t help that the Department for Education often made its guidance hard to understand. On top of all of this, as we saw in early October with Boris Johnson’s new traffic light lockdown system, guidance is released with barely enough time to implement it effectively. Probably the most difficult task faced by the school was separating all of us into our respective year group bubbles. Abingdon has essentially become six separate schools, each contained in its own building. However, with students now fixed in their respective buildings, the risk of spreading the virus inevitably shifted onto teachers and other staff who have to move in and out of yeargroup bubbles throughout the school day. In light of this, Mr Windsor explains, the challenge was to ensure that the health and safety of staff was never put into question. Not to mention the fact that a large number of teachers have important caring responsibilities - be it to young children or older parents. There remained the inevitable question of the school’s policy when it comes to new COVID cases at Abingdon. Even when everyone does their best to follow social distancing, wash their hands and wear masks it is nigh on

impossible to stop the virus finding an entrance. The senior leadership team and all the staff, Mr Windsor notes, understood full well that it was always “a question of when rather than if’’. That being said, as we have seen in the past few months, “the processes put in place have worked”. For example, when a positive case was detected in the U6th in early October, the effective track and trace system at school helped bring the number of people forced to self isolate down to as low as twenty. Thankfully, despite all of the complexity and confusion COVID brings with it, it seems that the Herculean task of making the return to school “feel as normal as possible” has been a success thanks to the efforts of everyone at Abingdon. During lockdown itself, we were all extremely lucky as students that we still continued to receive a good education. The Headmaster agrees that “from a curriculum perspective, the quality of the digital offering didn’t suffer”. Zoom learning, however, did present some challenges. While it is true that “some boys really exceeded what they would normally do at school”, it was essential that a support system was created to help those that found it more difficult. On the whole though, it was the sheer “dedica-

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News Letter from the Editor

D

ear Readers,

As we trek into the 2020 academic year, everything seems that little bit different. With masks donned, hands properly sanitised, and a lingering uncertainty in the air, it feels as though indefinite change is afoot. Nevertheless, here at Martlet HQ we persist. Like an overzealous lower schooler, we are running head-on into whatever may follow. Having had a couple of digital, but equally rigorous, issues under our belt, Issue 23 will hopefully be reaching many of you in a physical form if all goes to plan. I considered putting some inspirational quotes in here, but I think everyone might have heard a few too many sickeningly sweet motivations over the last few months. Instead, I would simply like to wish that this issue of The Martlet provides you with a sense of normality as we continue through our new abnormal. First and foremost I would like to thank our previous editor Samuel King. As the baton is passed, it’ll be hard to match the high quality issues produced in the last three editions. Under Samuel’s reign, The Martlet won two Shine Media Awards and was highly commended in three other categories, including Best Newspaper and Best Content, which marked our first successes since 2017. I hope I can even manage to submit the paper for the awards, let alone lead it to such avail. The editorial team this year sees a combination of new and old faces. Lachlan Jones and Sam Penrose return as our new deputy editors, as well as online supervisor and publications editors respectively. Johan Nerlov also returns, albeit in a new role in The Martlet as our first Contributing Editor. Taking on a combination of stylistic duties and a yearly mentored column with younger students, I have high hopes for Mr Nerlov’s new position and how he will personalise it. Ben Lisemore also returns as our loyal sports editor, a section with unprecedented growth in this issue. New to the editorial team are Rory Kind and Nicholas Chan as our News editors, and Kit Matthews and Felix Kind as our Features editors. If this issue is anything to go by, they are great additions to the team, and hopefully good successors in years to come. With a particularly large number of new staff writers as well, I hope this bumper issue will provide our readers with a great selection of content to choose from. In News we have topics ranging from Jack Tilley’s article on right wing populism to Nathaniel Jackson’s exploration of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein’s relations. Features will provide you with the likes of David Hrushhovski’s insight into the fashion industry’s impact on the environment, as well as Miles Gilroy and Harvey Allen’s exploration into the likelihood of commercial space travel. Finally in Sport, you can find football, Ferraris and more, as the section navigates what has been a rather sparingly sporting year. Thank you, and enjoy! Rory Bishop

Nicholas Chan & Rory Kind News Editors Under new leadership, the News section of Issue 23 comes jam-packed with a range of fascinating articles for readers to sink their teeth into. Whilst Covid has run riot across the world, there is plenty of other news to be found, and what better place to find it than The Martlet. In this issue we have deliberately tried to delve beyond just the pandemic to provide some much needed respite. Nathaniel Jackson takes us through the curious case of Ghislaine Maxwell in intense detail and explores her relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffery Epstein. Meanwhile Jack Tilley explains the roots and rise of populism, applying it to the current international politics and Deputy Editor Lachlan Jones explores the many travesties and human rights horrors still going on in the world. As America is engulfed in election fever Samuel King provides a stellar article (as per usual) on the American political landscape. Along this vein, the paper also looks into what impacts Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death may have on American society and it’s legal infrastructure. We also explore into a few matters a bit closer to home as the paper looks into the hallowed halls of Whitehall to discover what experience our ministers truly have and question the building blocks of policy implementation. Sticking with the British theme Freddy Chelsom gives a comprehensive evaluation of the women’s pension crisis backto60 and the tense battle with the High Court in an important matter that many of us might not have known about. Finally, this issue also sees Rory Bishop take aim at one of the most iconic areas of the UK, the high street, and answers the question of whether or not it is on its deathbed. However it is not purely a politifest here at The Martlet, Johan Nerlov takes a peak behind the curtain at how Abingdon’s senior team has had to navigate the perils of resuming school during the pandemic and last year’s mistakes regarding examinations and the government’s handling of the situation overall. In a time of masks and medicines, can Mr Windsor provide us with the comfort we seek?

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SCHOOL The New Normal: an Interview with The Head

THE UNITED STATES The End of an Era

OPINION A Ministerial Misconception?

ECONOMICS Death of a (High Street) Salesman

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INTERNATIONAL A Conspiracy of Perversity

LAW Human Rights Horrors

THE UNITED STATES What Makes a One Term President?

DOMESTIC Paltry Pensions or High Court Hot Air?


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News themselves, Mr Windsor would very much like to see Britain move to a “system of post-qualification university admission”. However, he remains very skeptical, seeing how “we never really got anywhere” with the idea. The Headmaster speaks for many of us when he says that “if there is a frustration, it’s that [government] decisions seem to be taken on the hoof”. It is true that dealing with the pandemic “would have been a struggle for anybody” but, truth be told, the Department for Education failed to “have a plan and communicate with schools during the crisis”. When it comes to the current Secretary

If I were Gavin Williamson, I would be asking some serious questions

Abingdon School spent months planning for students to return in September.

Continued from front page... tion of teachers” that helped negate many of the problems Zoom learning brings with it. But, as the Department for Education itself admits, this wasn’t the case throughout the country. For a large number of our peers, the help and care they needed to keep on learning simply wasn’t there and it is hard to see how that lost time will be made up. Looking ahead to this academic year and the ones to follow, it is interesting to speculate what will have changed permanently at Abingdon as a result of COVID. For one, Mr Windsor wants to see the new one-on-ones with tutors, that were introduced during lockdown, continue in order to improve the pastoral support offered to students at the school. Parents’ evenings will also probably remain on Zoom going forward. Teachers, students and parents alike have all found that Zoom is simply a far more efficient and flexible platform - not to mention the fact that there’s no need to run around Big School at seven in the evening any more!

sure that “we let young people live their lives” - they are the future, after all. With that in mind, we asked Mr Windsor what he made of last year’s A-Level fiasco. In his opinion, the steps taken by the government and Ofqual were “the worst way to handle it”. Indeed, things were “very much done to schools” with no room for genuine cooperation and discussion. For the Headmaster “exams could have happened last summer” if only the government had tried to plan a little more carefully. With regards to A-Levels

of State for Education, who has been heavily criticized since March for his response to the pandemic, Mr Windsor comments: “If I were Gavin Williamson, I would be asking some serious questions [about my career]”. In the end, it is fair to say most of us are simply pleased with being back at school, amongst our friends and with a slight but comforting semblance of normality restored. And yet, it is hard to ignore the strangeness of the time we live in. The philosopher Francis Fukuyama famously declared in 1989 that history had ended; I think it just started up again.

Abingdon has essentially become six separate schools

Now that the ‘new normal’ has just become ‘normal’, it is worthwhile reflecting on what could have been done better and how we can learn from this experience. Mr Windsor has no doubts that “opening schools was the right decision”.“We know the risks to young people are low” and, ultimately, society as a whole needs “to learn to live with the virus”. Perhaps most important is making

This year’s lockdown has caused one of the greatest disruptions to education in living memory.


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News THE UNITED STATES

The End of an Era Nicholas Chan explores the conseqences of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

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n September 18th 2020, Ruth Bader Ginsberg tragically passed away due to complications from pancreatic cancer at the age of 87. Her death sees one of the most capable individuals in the legal and political world - a true trailblazer who fought hard for the rights of everyone, from workers to women - leave the stage. Her contributions before and during her time on the Supreme Court will doubtless help build the foundations on which future laws will be built on. The Supreme Court is the highest ranking court in America’s judicial system. It acts as the court of last resort for all legal cases in the United States and, because of its power of judicial review, has the ability to strike down any federal and state laws it deems go contrary to the letter and spirit of the United States Constitution. It is the guarantor of the rights and liberties of all Americans. It is worth noting each justice on the Supreme Court, of which there are usually nine, hold incredible power. Several crucial cases are often decided by a single vote. In the last few years alone, one justice cast the deciding vote on several key issues, be it upholding the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), stopping Congress from scrapping DACA or indeed striking a recent Alabama state law that severely restricted womens’ access to abortion. Since the only cases heard in the Supreme Court are those that will set a legal precedent for the entire American judicial system, hearings run more like a debate

than a simple presentation of the facts. Justices always try to argue with and sway each other’s opinions, carefully balancing their meticulous knowledge of the US legal system with the ethical and moral considerations of the

Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion for equal rights. Her determination to improve the standing of women and all minorities in society can best be seen in her numerous dissenting opinions, in which she argued

Many crucial rulings have come down to a single vote, including upholding the Affordable Care Act case at hand. By nature of their position, they must try to be as non-partisan as possible and not allow politicians from either the Demcoratic or Republican parties sway their verdicts. They serve the people, not the President or Congress. Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself, while known for being one of the most lieral justices in American history, cultivated strong friendships with conservatives, most notably Justice Antonin Scalia. She is also credited with convincing them on some occasions to change some of their more conservative stances, such as in the Safford Unified School District v. Redding case of 2009. In her role as an associate justice on the Supreme

passionately for the need to reach true equality in America and introduce new legislation to achieve that valiant goal. However, she also paid close attention to rights within the employment system. For example, in 2007 Justice Ginsburg famously called on Congress in her dissenting opinion in Ledbetter v. Goodyear to pass legislation that would override a court decision that limited the back pay available for victims of employment discrimination. This inspired one of the very first bills to be introduced by the then newly elected Obama administration in 2009. She again dissented in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, where the Supreme Court upheld a previous decision by a lower


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court to allow for-profit companies to refuse, on religious grounds, to comply with a federal mandate to cover birth control in health care plans for their employees. She argued that such an action would “deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs, access to contraceptive coverage.” In 2013 when the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, Ginsburg once again dissented, likening the decisions by the majority of her fellow Justices to “ throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” This is only a small list of the countless dissenting opinions she has penned over the course of her tenure

Ginsburg was a champion for equal rights between men and women on the Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg truly had an immense impact on several issues, be it the rights of Native Americans, affirmative action, abortion rights or gender discrimatnion, to name but a fiew. It is also pertinent to ask what impact the death of Justice Ginsburg will have on the United States and its legal system. The most obvious of these is that the Supreme Court will now, most probably, become much more conservative. President Donald Trump has already appointed two justices during his term, Niel Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Should the currently Republican controlled Senate approve his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Amy Coeny Barnett, the Supreme Court could end up having only three Democratic, liberal, justices left. Chief Justice John Roberts, also a Republican nominee, has so far often found himself as the deciding vote in several important cases and has often voted together with

Ginsburg has been replaced by the ultra-conservative Amy Coney Barrett. the more liberal justices. Going forward however, it seems almost impossible that a Supreme Court dominated by conservatives will not, should opportunity arise, vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act or overturn previous rulings such as Roe v. Wade. While it is possible that the Democrats, should they win both the Senate and the Presidency come November, will choose to ‘stack’ the court and increase the number of justices to their advantage, liberals cannot rely on this happening. As such, many have taken to scrutinising and studying Trump’s most recent nominee for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, to gauge how she might change the dynamics within the court. Barret has served

Ginsburg was one of the longest serving justices and one of the few women to serve in the Supreme Court.

as an appeals court judge, just like Ginsburg did prior to joining the Supreme Court in 1993, and was mentored by former Justice Antonin Scalia. It is understandable, therefore, that she shares many of Scalia’s opinions. Namely, she adheres to the principle of originalism which dictates that the Constitution should be interpreted as it would have been when it was drafted in the late 18th century. Barrett’s voting record thus far, however, suggests that she, unlike Scalia, will be far less likely to vote in favour of liberal stances. One should remember that Trump himself states that one of the his most important criteria for nominating justices is ensuring that they are in favour of overturning Roe v. Wade. Barrett herself has spoken in favouting of reducing access to abortion throughout the United States several times and also was an ardent critic of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalise gay marriage and to not scrap the Affordable Care Act. It is safe to say, then, that the legacy of former Justice Ginsburg is far from secure. Ginsburg’s passing has also affected the ongoing US election. Her death allows Trump to distract the electorate from his own disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing attention on the possibility of the Rebublicans stacking the Supreme Court. The vacancy has also triggered the debate around abortion to come roaring back to the forefront of the election. Biden, understandably, has been careful not to talk too much about the issue during his campaign. However, Biden’s core message of returning to a sense of normalcy amidst the pandemic may be overshadowed should stances on abortion be introduced into the rhetoric of the election. At the time of writing, Amy Coney Barrett has just been confirmed in the senate, and has been sworn in and appointed to the Supreme Court, thus solidifying conservative control over the Supreme Court. In the end, Ginsburg’s death means that the Supreme Court could be dragged further right and remain so for years to come. Ginsburg’s legacy and her life’s work, though endangered, have nevertheless improved the lives of millions of Americans and inspired a whole generation to continue to fight for greater equality and humanity in the United States.


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News OPINION

A Ministerial Misconception? Rory Kind investigates how experienced our ministers really are.

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t is fair to say our government has not done itself many favours in the last few months. In the throes of Brexit and COVID-19, parts of our government seem to be crumbling before us. Boris’ ‘oven-ready’, Brexit-armed, pioneering cabinet now lies deflated and weak. The struggle with Covid has forced us to endure rushed responses in almost all walks of life. It is beyond doubt that many government decisions have failed miserably. It would be tempting to ask whether these are just unfortunate, rash decisions or if they are in fact a product of more deep rooted problems: do our ministers actually even know what they’re talking about? And if they don’t, do they need to? Our system operates so that the politicians decide the course of action, and the civil servants try to execute it. Civil servants act as a constant, regardless of the political party in power. With this in mind, surely ministers should give them greater respect and use them to create most of their policies? A clear example of the contrary, close to many Lower Sixth Former’s hearts is Gavin Williamson’s (Secretary of State for Education) almighty algorithm screw-up . Riddled with incoherency and confusion (not too dissimilar from Boris’ entire rule in general), Williamson’s blunder has been centre stage the results season hatched. The chain of events would have followed the aforementioned structure of cabinet ministers completely directing Civil servants, hinting that Williamson, helped along by his Tory comrades, is largely to blame. The uproar that followed the algorithm decided A-level results on the 13th of August put resounding pressure on Williamson. Despite formly saying “no U-turns”, what did Williamson do? He made a complete U-turn, stating that both GCSEs and A-Levels would now be teacher assessed. The unfolding of the events completely undermined his authority in every way and put ever-increasing pressure onto his potential resignation despite the fact he had already been warned beforehand of the likelihood of error. Nick Gibb, UK minister for Schools, and a close ally of Williamson, stated that he himself had been warned by Sir John Coles, a former Department for Education Direc-

Gavin Williamson has been under intense scrutiny over his actions in recent months.

Are the Government’s dark times temporary, or more systemic? The answer is a bit of both. tor General, about the complications and problems with the algorithm. This would have undoubtedly reached Williamson and the denial of Sir John possibly makes evident the sense of ignorance and self-worth that our government is infected with. Clearer evidence of this is shown through the dismissal of the government’s failure. Despite the intense scrutiny against Williamson’s ministerial status, the cabinet managed to push the blame onto someone else, prompting the sacking of Jonathan Slater: the chief civil servant for education. Slater had been at his post for 35 years, with invaluable depth of knowledge and experience, but as soon as the Tory plan went wayward the blame was on Slater and off he went. This is aptly summed up by what the FDA leader (trade union for civil

Ministers are mostly chosen for their allegiance to the PM, regardless of background experience

servants) Dave Penman said, in a very frank statement, “If it wasn’t clear before, then it certainly is now - this administration will throw civil service leaders under the bus without a moment’s hesitation to shield ministers from any kind of accountability.” Notice how Penman phrases it as ‘this administration’. Does this mean that our current government is an anomaly, wound tight with stress from Covid and Brexit, or is this a recurring and systemic problem? I think we can all agree with Penman’s notion of our power-grabbing government, but we can also question the grounds on which our government tends to resolve their problems. Ministers in our cabinet are seemingly picked in a pick-andmix sort of way. Ministers are mostly chosen for their allegiance to the PM, regardless of background experience.

Whilst this arguably forms a cohesive government that has the scope to supposedly get things done, it leaves a dangerous gap of knowledge at the very top. Historically, this has happened with almost every government so it is not a new problem and blame cannot be put onto our current government. Continuing to use Williamson as an example, he has served as Secretary of State for Defence and also Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (also known as chief whip). Both of these jobs have little overlap with education and none of Williamsons former jobs or experiences have any relation to education either. However, do our ministers need experience or are they only needed for their administrative purposes, giving us someone to bite the bullet and make the final decisions? Maybe. The Government set the grade fiasco in motion by directing Ofqual (the central exam system regulatory body in the UK) to come up with an algorithm determining grades. When this went horribly wrong, Sally Collier, the chief of Ofqual stepped down and therefore they took the blame for the faulty algorithm of their own creation. This was an expected result. In hindsight, one asks whether the algorithm idea was ever going to work or if it was just poorly made by Ofqual. The faulty algorithm idea has a direct link to the ministers and their lack of experience. Their thinking was skewed from the beginning and destined to fail. It was then made worse by the stubbornness of our current Conservative cabinet. Returning from hindsight and looking forward, this is an ongoing issue. Current Upper Sixth and Fifth Year students and teachers are still stuck in unknown waters when it comes to A-levels and GCSEs this year and potential cancellation still looms. In fact, Kenneth Baker, the Thatcherite who implemented GCSEs in 1988, called for Williamson to cancel this academic year’s exams, but much like Sir John Cole’s suggestion, Williamson and Gibb have taken little notice (to equally little surprise). There are also numerous initiatives gaining traction (Cognita and Big Education Trust) that are proposing a radical change to our examination system. However, these are long-term projects that won’t have immediate effect, especially with our current government. The undisguised lack of experience and flexibility exhibited by our government in recent months, epitomised by Williamson’s exam catastrophe and undignified treatment of senior civil servants, leaves a clear message in its wake: Boris’ cabinet must immediately jettison it’s misguided sense of self-worth and, systemically, our ministers need experience.


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News ECONOMICS

Death of a (High Street) Salesman Rory Bishop investigates how the death of the high street may not be as absolute as it seems.

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he highstreet is dying, or so has been the alleged case for about thirty years. With an average and steady decline of profits of about 2% per year, it seems like the constant debate of the failing highstreet seems to have been going on for quite some time. However, in spite of all the pessimism of recent times it also seems to have presented the idea that in spite of the gradual closures on shopping streets such as Oxford’s Cornmarket, the idea of tangible retail will seemingly always be needed. In the 1980s, various outlets seemed to already be condemning any idea of survival of the city centre shopping street. Shopping centres like the long since derelict Manchester Underground Market were posited as the alleged place to be, only to quickly draw to a close when increasingly competitive retail outlets meant that the mere existence of shopping was not a guarantee of its success. Manchester’s market included over 100 stalls but has since been literally concreted over and now only features echoes of long since abandoned tube lines and electrical lines strewn across the unlit hallways. This pattern is seen across the globe in locations like Paris and Los Angeles in La Samaritaine and Hawthorne Plaza Mall respectively. However, the high street survived and a cyclical pattern begins to present itself. Flash forward to 1990. Out of town retail parks are the next big thing. Endless Lidls, many PC Worlds, and a plethora of Sports Directs, what more could you truly want? Could the fate of the highstreet truly be held in the unforgiving hands of oddly named Ikea furnishings? Large warehouse style stores were once again presented as the next phase of retail development as towns like Swindon and Milton Keynes saw unprecedented growth. Milton Keynes saw its population more than double between 1981 and 2009 and an average 11% economic growth year on year in the 1990s. However, once again the growth only lasted so long. Many of those out of town sites have not been able to recover from COVID. This can be seen on the Botley Road as businesses like Homebase and Toys R Us have closed. Since 2013, even Tescos have been

reporting a gradual decline for the first time in over twenty years when it came to their oversized out of town sites. This is not to say the high street has not also been suffering in the same time period and to declare it as thriving would be negligent of the information that points in the

The internet juggernaut shows no sign of stopping, and why should it? exact opposite direction. Footfall was said to be falling approximately 3% per month in 2019, even pre covid. Brexit uncertainty and the forced administration of the likes of Poundworld, and Go Outdoors had already left many companies in a state of instability prior to the epidemic. Since then they have been joined by the likes of TM Lewin, Victoria’s Secret, Debenhams and the wonderfully middle class coffee house Pain Quotidien. The general outlook is far from positive. Online shopping, also known as E-commerce, is also an undeniable source of tensions. Regardless of the flack Bezos gets, the internet juggernaut shows no sign of stopping and why should it? If we ignore the more covert aspects of the company such as its working conditions, and often understated web service and data collection that accounts for over 50% of its output, it is an outwardly desirable service, it provides to the vast majority who do look over such issues, be it by choice or obliviousness. With one day delivery and actual price cuts, it has reached a point where any boycott of amazon would become as much a financial choice as an ethical one. Why spend 40

Milton Keynes exemplifies the growth of out of town retail centres in the 1990s.

pounds on electrical appliances when a company can get you them for half the price with minimal wait? Physical retail is forced into a tricky spot. As it loses out on competitive business, it is unable to reduce prices merely to stay afloat, and in turn a gradual straying in output begins to grow. Online retail now accounts for 19% of sales, and is estimated to exceed 50% by 2030. To ignore the doom and gloom feeling revolving around the high street would be negligent. On the other hand though, to completely denounce the high street as dead, or at least on its deathbed doesn’t consider the more human element of it. At the start of the lockdown, a similar argument was being made about office spaces. ‘Death of the office’ declared The Economist in April of this year. This statement was soon declared false. Despite the superficial analysis that one could work from home, it did not consider whether one would. With 50% of survey responders declaring burnout as a result of teleworking, offices are now reported to be at around four fifths capacity. Yes there was an impact, no it was not damning. The same can be said about the high street. As lockdown forced us to be indoors, the mere idea of getting out and being presented with something tangible seemed quite attractive and generally previously taken for granted. Similar to how going to a restaurant for the service, preparation and atmosphere is often preferred instead of

With a bit of adaptation the high street may just survive

the cheaper alternative of home cooking, store retail is becoming a premium service for the browsing experience. The high street may become more concentrated and less prosperous, but the chances of a proper ‘death’ are greatly exaggerated. The question is now how retailers will deal with this when it comes to profits. Higher value goods, showrooms, and the automation of workers have all been proposed, but for that only time will tell. In a time of general negativity and increased technological capability it is easy to be pessimistic and work in absolutes, but maybe jumping to conclusions on something so human as the high street is too easy. You can look at statistics all day long, but they are not necessarily reflective of a wider idea. Maybe, with a bit of hope and adaptation, the high street may just survive. It has survived the cyclical birth and death of shopping centres and retail parks, and maybe it can ride that bump a few more times.


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News INTERNATIONAL

A Conspiracy of Perversity Nathaniel Jackson details the recent events involving Ghislaine Maxwell and her involvement with Jeffrey Epstein.

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ong out of the public eye, Ghislaine Maxwell has recently made her return. The fifty-eight year old pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges on July 14th 2020. If the British socialite were to be found guilty during her trial which is scheduled for July 2021, she could face up to thirty-five years in prison. Naturally, these charges are linked to her close relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as she is being accused of sex trafficking minors for the recently deceased multi-millionaire. Her case has once again placed the spotlight onto the mysterious life of Epstein, a man shrouded in conspiracy and controversy. To understand the sort of person Maxwell is speculated to be, one needs to appreciate her backstory. Her father, a Czech called Robert Maxwell (1923-1991), was an enormous figure in British national life. During his life, he was publicly known as a Labour MP and as an owner of Oxford United football club. However, soon after his suspicious death he was discovered to have been a fraudster and a suspected spy. It was found out that R.Maxwell had illegally looted £460 million from the Mirror Group pension fund, which in due course he used to prop up his growing empire. Ghislaine’s relationship with her father is significant because it is argued that many of her traits are derived from him. She herself has been known as a bully who puts up a very convincing facade of immense charm to sway people, akin to her father. Epstein was the man Ghislaine gravitated towards after her father’s death: this might have been because he too was a rich and powerful man. It is clear that Ghislaine’s father influenced her moral compass and his illegal actions might have partly normalised criminal misconduct for her. The main thing that Maxwell’s recent trial has brought to attention are documents that were unreleased hitherto.

The first of these is a 2015 email exchange between Maxwell and Epstein in which Epstein seems to be reassuring her. He tells Maxwell that ‘you have done nothing wrong’ and he urges her to ‘start acting like it’. Epstein might have sent this email because Maxwell had felt that she was in a vulnerable position after accusations of Epstein started to amass. This exchange is significant because it contradicts the claim made by Maxwell’s lawyers on July 14th 2020 that she had not been in touch with Epstein for more than a decade. Further documents released during the trial in July include a near 350-page paper containing the testimony

She further alleges that Maxwell herself abused her, both physically and mentally, on a regular basis. Giuffre strongly believes that Maxwell ‘deserves to come forward and have justice happen to her’. In a 2016 deposition, Ms Maxwell denied all the allegations made against her by Virgina Giuffre. Other potentially revealing documents that are still yet to be released but may be in Maxwell’s trial in July 2021 are flight logs from Epstein’s private jet. Although these will probably not contribute to the incrimination of Ms Maxwell, they could possibly reveal people of high status who have been on board Epstein’s jet during its trips to

It is clear that Ghislaine’s father influenced her moral compass of Virginia Giuffre from 2016. Mrs Giuffre is one of the most proiminent and outspoken survivors of the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking ring. The accusation comes from her now-settled civil defamation lawsuit against Ms Maxwell. Giuffre alleges that Ms Maxwell recruited her whilst she was working at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago around twenty years ago in order to subsequently use her to be trafficked to various places around the world.

Prince Andrew’s involvement with Epstein has been much disputed.

Epstein’s private island in the Carribean. Famous people who have previously been associated with Epstein and have visited his island include: former President Bill Clinton, former CEO of Victoria Secret Les Wexner and the now deceased Stephen Hawking. Obviously, the majority of Epstein’s acquaintances were not aware of his predatory behaviour and only travelled to his island for business reasons. However, some people of high status that were associated with Epstein, such as Prince Andrew, are also being accused of crimes that share similarities to what Epstein was being accused of. Prince Andrew claims that he and Epstein ‘were not that close’. However, due to frequent encounters and even a holiday to Thailand together, it has been speculated that the pair were friends. The Duke of York said in an interview with BBC newsnight that he met Epstein in 1999 through Ghislaine Maxwell. However, a 2011 letter to the Times of London from the Prince’s then private secretary, Alistair Watson, contradicts this statement and says that the pair knew each other from the early 1990s. The pair are known to have attended several private dinners, parties and fundraisers together. One of their most notable encounters was in 2000 when the pair, along with Donald Trump, partied together at Trump’s residence in Palm Beach, Florida. There have been accusations from Virgina Giuffre that Prince Andrew had sex with her while she was being trafficked by Epstein and whilst she was still his ‘sex slave’. Prince Andrew denies all the allegations and says he has ‘no recollection’ of meeting Ms Giuffre, despite being pictured with his arm around her in a now notorious photo. Prince Andrew and friends say the picture is a fake, claiming that his fingers are ‘much chubbier’ in real life. Surely the evidence against Prince Andrew is rather substantial and requires a more thorough investigation to be conducted? For now, all allegations against Maxwell and others are put on hold. However, her trial in July 2021 has the potential to expose the 58 year old along with other famous and powerful people.


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News LAW

Human Rights Horrors Lachlan Jones examines two ongoing brutal cases of human rights abuses in China and Iran.

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he modern meaning of the term ‘human rights’ has undergone fairly recent elaboration. First employed in the successive Geneva Conventions dictating the laws of modern warfare, the term was famously immortalised in the landmark Universal Declaration of Human (UDHR) in 1948, a non-binding element of international law adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The phrase has increasingly entered common vernacular, but its practical meaning is often attributed to terms listed in the UHDR, such as Article 5 which states that ‘no one should be subjected to torture.’ Conflicts concerning these rights are nothing new, however recent developments have come to light concerning grave abuses of human rights internationally which have highlighted just how crucial the term can be. INTERNMENT CAMPS, XIJIANG, CHINA

International concern has quickly increased at the developing situation in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China. Concerns over Chinese persecution of the Uyghurs, a 12 million population minority native to north west China, is not recent. However, a recent report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute found that the Chinese government constructed a further 380 internment camps over the last two years, ranging from low security camps to fortified prisons. This information is supported by a major leak of documents in November 2019. The so-called ‘China Cables’ obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism is a 13 page telegram, described by the Chinese Ambassador to

Those sent to the camps are not tried in any form of court

the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming as ‘fake news’ and ‘a fabrication.’ It included a number of details concerning the running, objectives and policies of these camps. The document contained alleged breaches of human rights, most notably that ‘Inmates [are] be detained indefinitely, but must serve a minimum 12 month term in the camps before they can even be considered for completion and release.’ Preventing escape, whatever it takes, is a priority for the camps. 24 hour surveillance with ‘no blind spots’ to monitor inmates behaviour and control every aspect of daily life are implemented in all camps. Inmates must earn credits, increasing chances of release, for what the officials describe as ‘ideological transformation’, ‘compliance with discipline’ and ‘study and training’.

Anti-government protests swept across Iran in 2019 in response to corruption. Reports by the New York Times detail forced labour as a regular occurence in many of these camps. An estimated hundreds of thousands of inmates are alleged to work in textile factories and oil drilling camps. This corresponds with data produced by American and German based researchers which estimate that over a million people are currently detained in these camps; the vast majority of whom are from the Uygur, Kazakh and Kyrgz ethnicities. The US State Department had previously commented that the sorts of abuses inflicted upon ethnic minorities of this scale had not been seen ‘since the 1930s’. According to an Amnesty International Report in 2019, inmates were forced to chant ‘Long Live Xi Jinping’ before meals, were hooded for twelve hours, and were shackled on their arms and legs. Those sent to the camps are not tried by any form of court, are unaware of any charges laid against them, and have no legal aid. The breach of international law on human rights, such as Article 9 of the UDHR ‘No one should be subject to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile’ is clear if these reports are found to be true. Indeed, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated only in October 2020 that the UK could ‘boycott’ China’s upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing due to ‘egregious human rights abuses’. This crisis, which is ongoing and shows no sign of slowing in regards to the number of detentions, has the potential to tarnish the People’s Republic’s international reputation as an eminent world superpower. TORTURE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS, TEHRAN, IRAN A newly released 80 page report by Amnesty International entitled Trampling Humanity - Iran’s 2019 Protests details the brutal and gruesome response of the Islamic Republic’s response to widespread anti-government protests in November 2019. Widespread torture has been alleged to have taken place against over 7,000 political prisoners arrested for protesting. The report, compiled by interviewing over 70 victims of alleged arbitrary arrest and written

evidence from several hundreds detainees, as well as analysis of court documents, concludes that a ‘torture endemic’ was employed en masse against suspected protestors by Iranian security services. This physical torture took the form of: ‘mock executions, waterboarding, forcible nail extraction, electric shocks, beating with sticks and batons, prolonged solitairy confinement for up to months as well as pepper spraying genital areas’. Victims from Khorasan Razavi province reported ‘whipping of feet with metal cables’, while another described electric shocks administered by security officers using cattle prods. These horrific descriptions of torture, reminscent of Iran’s Death Commissions of 1988, where 6,000 were killed, mostly by torture. Also incredibly concerning is the use of forced confessions by the security services. Confessions, a key element of the criminal process under Iran’s sharia law, are alleged to be induced under duress from torture. Hundreds of prison sentences, with protestors charged with crimes such as ‘insulting the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei] and ‘colluding to commit crimes against national security’. Little semblance of law or respect for human rights can be found in these allegations - those arrested had no access to legal aid, and both Iran’s own Constitution, as well as international human rights law, can be seen to be willfully ignored by Iran’s security forces. Dozens of executions have also taken place since November. The high profile killing of wrestler Navid Afkari generated global headlines as international appeals suspected the 27 year old athlete had signed a confession under the duress of torture, and was innocent of the crime of murdering an officer of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran has a long legacy of human rights abuses, stemming from the 1940s and exacerbated during the Islamic Revolution, but these recent cases on such a large scale should be a major source of concern for the United Nations and any just government. Despite this being the age of information, much is still under wraps.


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News THE UNITED STATES

What Makes a One-Term President?

Samuel King looks at what history could tell us about the current prospect of a one-term Trump presidency.

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he 2020 US Presidential election poses an interesting question: what makes a oneterm President? By implication this query arises fairly regularly but because of President Trump’s atrocious poll ratings and the overall impression that a victory for his campaign is highly unlikely it can be raised this year as a tangible possibility. The quandary is so pertinent as during a period where predictions for the outcome are awash with misinformation and solid analysis is rare it can provide some grounding during this period. Primarily, this unpredictability can be attributed to one person: Trump himself. Any speculator, no matter how considered and justified their reasoning may be, has to remember that with Trump, anything can happen. Thus, to appreciate the determining factors for one-term Presidents historically may produce some insight into the current state of American Politics. Obama famously said that he would rather be a really good one-term President than a mediocre two-term President. In the midst of a flagging economy and an unprecedentedly poor response to the global pandemic Trump is facing up to the reality of blending together Obama’s two options, that is to say being a mediocre one-term President. However, history would suggest that Trump has to go a little further than merely being ‘mediocre’ to lose out on another four years. For the people to vote out the incumbent, the President has to have performed phenomenally poorly on multiple fronts. For instance, many attribute Jimmy Carter’s defeat in 1981 to the unpromising economic outlook. Carter was most definitely chal-

lenged by inheriting high inflation after years of spending for the War in Vietnam - a financial problem amplified by the Iran-Iraq War which caused oil prices to skyrocket and plunged American into recession. But a Republican

seen for almost three quarters of the Trump Presidency. Unlike Carter, Trump has not governed over four years of high unemployment and inflation rates. Without the pandemic Trump would have a comfortable argument

Many attribute Jimmy Carter’s defeat in 1981 to the unpromising economic outlook

victory was by no means a given until they landed their new star candidate in Ronald Reagan. Reagan provided the perfect counter to a depressed message of cuts and reduced expenditure from Carter. Many argue that Joe Biden mirrors the dynamic in the 1981 Presidential race by promising to restore the soul of America, campaigning on a message of hope and love in contrast to the racism and hatred spewed by the Trump team. But the comparison disregards both the charisma boasted by Reagan as a candidate, which the gaffe prone Biden certainly lacks, and the relative economic stability

Trump’s re-election chances swiftly worsened after the pandemic struck.

of economic prosperity to cushion him against attacks of moral decrepitude from the Democrats. The final factor to compound Carter’s battering in his re-election campaign, which Trump has avoided, was a challenger from his own party sparking a wave of division within the ranks. Carter’s cautious and fiscally conservative approach meant that many liberals in the party favoured Teddy Kennedy instead. Although Carter did beat Kennedy in securing the party’s nomination, it deeply bruised his public image and re-election chances. Over the course of Trump’s time in office the Repub-


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created?’ and Trump has relatively little to point towards. He shares with President Bush an embarrassingly incomplete manifesto. Just like Carter, Bush was challenged in the primaries by an opponent who posed a serious threat with Pat Buchanan running as a right-wing populist. Although Buchanan failed to secure the nomination, just like Car-

a charisma and charm akin to that of Raegan. Taking Presidents Carter and Bush as the historical comparison for a one-term President, Trump appears to be clearly in a similar situation in one respect: the economy. Ever since the pandemic struck the situation has looked increasingly dire with the shutdown causing unemployment rising to 14.7% in April from the 3.5% in Feb-

Just like Carter, Bush was challenged in the primaries by an opponent who posed a serious threat ter’s challenger, he demonstrated just how divided the Republican Party was. To worsen the situation, Bush was also troubled by a reputable third party candidate as Ross Perot garnered a base of supporters and even led the polls at one point. This question of party unity seems to be a repeating issue for Presidents who fail to secure a second term and remains a dilemma which Trump has avoided so far. Similar to the relationship between Reagan and Carter as candidates, Clinton promised a positive and powerful alternative to Reagan’s economics which President Bush was still adhering to. President Clinton had also nurtured

ruary. Although improvements have been made, allowing the figure to drop to 10.2%, it still remains higher than statistics seen after the 2009 financial crisis. However, Trump has not been made to preside over a party divided at its core and weighing potential alternatives for the candidacy. Moreover, Biden’s laboured oral style and old age take away any fresh faced charm that helped carry Clinton or Reagan to the Presidency. A Biden victory therefore, will mark a definitive break from historical precedent, proving once again that, with Trump, anything can happen.

Jimmy Carter lost his re-election campaign to Ronald Reagan in 1981. lican party has stood strong by their President, enduring his erratic decision making and inexperience in power. Broadly Trump’s agenda and that of the pillars of his party like Senator Mitch McConnell have remained the same. However, the recent confirmation hearing of Justice Amy Coney Barrett provided a rare opportunity for the Democrats to place a wedge between the President and his party, an opportunity that they did not capitalise on. For Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, the chance of the Republicans losing the whitehouse for the next four years is a price worth paying in exchange for securing a conservative majority in the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future. The Democrats could easily ask Barrett to excuse herself from any votes which would determine the outcome of the election in the case of a contested result in exchange for confirmation. This transaction would not faze McConnell. But it would infuriate Trump who understands that his best chance of reelection is a conservative Supreme Court ruling in his favour after he refuses to concede the election. Thus, the Republican Party would be divided along the lines of its two most influential figures. The last Republican to lose a re-election campaign was President George H W Bush in his race against Bill Clinton. Many invested their trust in Bush because of his famous campaign promise, ‘no new taxes.’ The message resonated with a core group of voters anxious for simple conservative economic policy. But with the deficit climbing Bush was forced to go back on his promise. Trump has also had his fair share of failed pledges over the course of his Presidency, (there is still no wall between America and Mexico). More importantly, the majority of campaign assurances the President has been able to achieve have been destructive goals. In other words, coming out of the likes of the Paris Climate Change Accord and the withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal has left many asking the questions ‘what have you built?’ or ‘what have you

Biden has run his campaign on the promise of restoring America’s moral compass.


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News DOMESTIC

Paltry Pensions or High Court Hot Air? Freddy Chelsom examines the recent High Court battle brought by the backto60 campaign.

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oanne Welch stood deflated outside the High Court. Despite their unsuccessful legal battle, the backto60 campaigners refuse to give up their fight. But what exactly are they so passionate about, and have hundreds of thousa- nds of women been cheated out of an equally large sum of money? The Pensions Act 1995 led the Pension age for women to change from 60 to 65, over a period of ten years (April 2010-2020). This continued a long trend of a gradual increase in the age that people can begin to claim their State Pension, driven by rising life expectancy, and a succession of governments eager to save millions of pounds each year. In 2011, the Coalition Government legislated to speed up this process in the Pensions Act 2011. This act accelerated the time frame for the p#Pension age increase, starting in April 2016, when the Pension age was 63 and meant that the Pension age would reach 65 by October 2018, and could then increase again to 66 by October 2020. The Government’s initial plan was for the, then equal, State Pension Age to be increased to 66, by April 2020. However, due to many concerns raised by campaigners at the time of the bill, the Government gave concessions in the final stages of legislation. Campaigners pointed out that the changes to the timetable would lead to short notice, drastic changes for some women’s pension age, as much as two years in some cases. The concessions that the Government made at the time came at a cost of almost £1.1 billion pounds. They guaranteed that the maximum change any woman would see in her state Pension age, relative to the original 1995 timetable and the new one, would be 18 months. Of course, not everyone was happy with the Government’s acceleration of the Pension age increase. The issue has been debated many times in parliament, but the Government has been keen to stress that the issue was already debated in 2011, when the bill was created, and that concessions had already been made.

The Government has stated that it will ‘make no further changes to the Pension age or pay financial redress in lieu of a Pension.’ Why then is the backto60 campaign still ongoing, and what was the basis for their Court case? The backto60 campaign argues that the succession of pension deferrals has created the ‘meanest state pension in Europe’ that is backed up by the fact that, as a percentage of the average wage, the UK has the least generous State Pension in the developed world, more stringent than Romania, Poland, and Latvia. The backto60 campaign stresses the mental and physical suffering that women have endured through the process of Pension deferral. In some cases, the effects have been so drastic that women have reported the ‘loss of their identity’ and that their ‘family relationships have deteriorated’. The backto60 campaign emphatically describes how women have been left ‘lonely, confused and unsure of what comes next.’ These significant concerns are not, however, the main basis for the Court case which the campaign brought against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The backto60 campaign’s case was instead based on the grounds that the mechanism for bringing about the Pension age increase discriminated unfairly on the grounds of age and sex. They claim that this is due to the fact that women were given a more sudden, and severe increase in eligibility age than men, although they are now given the same amount as one another. They also sought a judicial review of the Government’s ‘alleged failure to inform them of the changes.’ On 3 November 2019, the High Court dismissed the claim on all grounds. In response to questions, on 9 March 2020, Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman said, “full restitution would cost something in the region of £215 billion […] a case was before the courts last year: on all grounds, these ladies lost their case. Clearly, that matter is subject to appeal, but the case was lost in respect of every ground, including notice.” The backto60 campaign did not give up the fight

there, however. They continued to the Court of Appeal only to have it dismissed on 15 September 2020. When dismissing the appeal, the Court affirmed that ‘adopting the same state Pension age for men and women does not amount to unlawful discrimination under either EU law or the Human Rights Convention.’ They also concluded that the ‘publicity campaign implemented by the DWP had been adequate and reasonable.’

The UK has the least generous State Pension in the developed world The Court of Appeal also denied leave to appeal, meaning that the campaigners would have to apply directly to the Supreme Court should they wish to take their case any further. Speaking on Women’s Hour, Joanne Welch, the founder of the backto60 campaign, said “I know that Julie Delve and Karen Glynn have been actively considering next steps. I believe that they are going to go ahead with an application for permission to have this heard in the Supreme Court”. This indicates that there may be further legal challenges ahead, although, following the previous judgements of the Courts, they are, if precedent is consistent, unlikely to be successful.

The High Court was established on 1 November 1875 and has been a key point of contention in the debates over womens’ pensions.


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Features 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 24

HEALTH Is Veganism the Future?

FILM Under the Spotlight: Racism in Hollywood

Felix Kind & Nikita Matthews Features Editors

SPACE Turning to Space

MUSIC Rock is Dead (But so are All Genres)

FASHION The Fashion Industry is Ruining Our World - Can Anyone Stop it?

FILM Cinema’s Solution to 2020 Politics

MUSIC From Juvenile to Giant: Jazz in the Early 1900’s

ART Drawing Inspiration from Success in the Arts

CULTURE Of Masks and Muses

Bored of COVID? Tired of Trump? In desperate need of an article that doesn’t show everything that’s wrong with the world? The Features section is just the place for you. Under new staffing, The Martlet features section brings you an eclectic range of articles, covering art, fashion, music and space travel, perfect for someone looking for a niche argument or topic on world events, past, present and future. Featuring Freddie Chelsom’s exclusive interview with Jo Sandleson, a prominent cartoonist and Rory Bishop’s gripping evaluation of Banksy’s work during COVID, the features section is teeming with material for our dear readers. This issue also sees David Hrushovski look at how fashion has shaped society throughout the years (without failing to mention Lady Gaga’s meat dress) and one of our newest members Finn Murphy investigates the diversity problems in the film industry and what people are doing to change it. This term the features section also explores the moral and ethical reasoning behind veganism, and the long standing impact of COVID on arts and culture in a time when they have perhaps been underappreciated and taken for granted. In terms of the arts, the section has music well covered. For music lovers, this section looks at both Rock music, and whether it is surviving, as well as the evolution of jazz in the early 1900’s and key figures in its history. You really couldn’t ask for more of a range and we believe that there is something for everyone in this edition. So, whilst our lives are consumed in the monotony of politics and the virus, why not take a well earned break and dive whatever article peaks your interest.


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Features HEALTH

Is Veganism the Future? Harvey Allen and Miles Gilroy venture into the world of veganism.

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hen most people hear the word vegan, they often conjure images of tacky and cheap, chopped vegetables, crudely pressed into whatever fashion of meat they are attempting to emulate. Whilst this seems valid, is this really the way of vegans? This reason, among many, is why many simply refuse to tolerate the thought of joining their herbivorous comrades, despite the fact that the argument against meat substitution have little weight to them. In early August 2013 Marcus Johannes Post, a professor of physiology at Maastricht University in Holland, presented the world with what may perhaps be the future of meat consumption. Although in early stages of development, he revealed what looked to be a humble burger patty. However, instead of being made in the traditional fashion he stated that he grew the muscle fibres of the patty in a lab. These burgers were a product of an emerging field of biotechnology called cellular agriculture, which uses small amounts of tissue engineered into the edible products, including fats, proteins and minerals, which had previously come from livestock.

Veganism can easily aid in the fight against climate change and many health problems so long as it is taken seriously The idea of eating some strange, lab grown, foreign form of meat may seem weird to some, however, this is simply because people are not aware of the true cost of meat that they are eating. They make various ambiguous claims that in fact being vegan is worse for the environment, due to the fact that all the ingredients have to be sourced from around the world. However this is evidently not the case. Firstly, and somewhat unbelievably, the meat production sector alone is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all fuel powered vehicles combined. Not only does nurturing a cow through its entire life take a large amount of resources and materials but then transporting and processing the products only adds to that. Essentially, all of the energy that we receive, be it from meat, crops, or any other form, originated from the sun. By feeding and rearing cows, you are simply transferring this energy extremely inefficiently from one store to another and losing some amount of energy at each stage. To put this into example, for every 4 Joules of

The key to veganism is finding a balance in your diet. energy that you put into meat production, you only get 1 calorie of energy out. Most often this energy loss takes the form of heat loss. During the production of meat, animals only act as a middleman for transferring energy from the sun into you, and by increasing the number of processes you are increasing the amount of energy lost as waste. By contrast, eating plants directly means you can eliminate this middleman and decrease the amount of energy wasted through unnecessary energy conversions. This ultimately has a positive effect on the environment as less excess greenhouse gasses are released. Veganism isn’t only better for the environment than the alternative, but it has more health benefits than eating animal products. Veganism can promote weight loss, reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers and manage diabetes by lowering your blood glucose levels. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as it may sound. As with any diet, it can still easily be unhealthy if not done correctly. The key to making the most out of a vegan diet is the planning; deciding how to incorporate important nutrients such as protein into a vegan diet is very difficult. Protein, vitamin B12, essential fatty acids, iron and vitamin D are all important nutrients that are not as easily accessible from a vegan diet as with meat. However, it is far from impossible to acquire these

essential nutrients. Protein is widely considered to only come from meat but in reality, soy products such as tofu and edamame are packed with protein. Also, vitamin B12 can easily be obtained from fortified cereals and rice which most meat eaters eat all the time anyway. Fatty acids, meanwhile, can be found in leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale and even nuts (although they are pretty high in calories). Furthermore, iron is also considered to only come from red meat. While red meat does have the highest iron content out of any food by far, it is also high in cholesterol. This makes black-eyed peas, tofu and fruits a healthier alternative despite the lower content of iron. Finally, vitamin D is the easiest to obtain as it is present in sunlight meaning the only requirement to get enough of it is to be outside for a small amount of time. Although veganism presents a few problems, as a whole it is very beneficial to the person’s health if done correctly and can be much more energy efficient than a meat filled diet. This means veganism can easily aid in the fight against climate change and many health problems so long as it is taken seriously and planned effectively. At the end of the day veganism can end up being bad for your health if you have not done your research but if carried out properly, veganism really can be the future.

There are a lot of misconceptions about veganism that have limited its reach.


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Features FILM

Under the Spotlight: Racism in Hollywood Finn Murphy sheds a light on racism in the film industry and the efforts underway to eradicate it once and for all.

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he debate about the lack of minority representation and the amount of prejudice in the film world has been apparent for many years. Now it has become a particular topic of debate after a woman named April Reign started the movement #OscarsSoWhite. In January 2015, when the movement started, the academy membership was 92% white and 75% male. For perspective, only 31 of the 2900 Oscar victories have been awarded to black nominations. In 2019 the academy membership was down to 84% white and 68% male; this may be an improvement but there is still a huge majority of the academy that are white and male. The 2019 Oscars were no exception to the white and male dominated award shows that we are now used to. There were a few films and people who won awards from minority groups, most notably: Black Panther (2018) (winning multiple awards), BlaKKKlansman (2018) (Best Adapted Screenplay) and Mahershala Ali (Best Supporting Actor). However, the rest of the awards went to white and male actors and filmmakers. It is only recently that many notable actors, actresses and filmmakers have been speaking out about prejudice and confronting the academy themselves. When presenting the Oscars, Australian actress Rebel Wilson and English comedian Sasha Baron Cohen both mocked the Oscars and other awards shows by publicly talking about the way they are dealing with prejudice and the lack of minority representation. Jordan Peele is an African American director who has directed some very influential films: Get Out (2017) was a film that spoke out about the stereotypes against black people and the prejudices they face, and Us (2019), his most recent film, spoke out about discriminating against people

for their race, gender and sexual orientation. It also spread the idea of equality which is rare for an otherwise traditional horror film. Yet, despite being very popular with audiences, neither of them were nominated for any awards. In a recent interview, Danny DeVito,

From last year’s BAFTAs alone, you can see how diversity guidelines influence the award shows for the better Don Cheadle and Sam Niell expressed support for #OscarsSoWhite due to the lack of black nominations for any main awards for the second year in a row. The lack of diversity in the voters is the obvious reason why. The Oscars have released plans for new criteria and guidelines for the best picture awards that are set to take effect in 2025. They require films to meet two or more of the following criteria. The most important are that at least one of the main or supporting roles is played by an ethnic minority, at least 30% of the ensemble cast represent an ethnic minority, or the main storyline or narrative is centred on an underrepresented group of

Many believe Jordan Peele was snubbed when Us and Get Out were ignored at various awards shows. about it possibly going too far and it becoming too easy for ethnic minorities to get an award and it being harder to do so for white and male people. Since the release of the new criteria for Best Picture, they have also invited 819 new people to vote who are 48% female and 36% non-white and these voters will be in place for the 2020 Oscars and not just from 2025 and onwards. Last year, the BAFTAs also introduced diversity standards to two awards: Best British Film and Best British Debut. Last year, Sam Mendes’s one shot war film 1917 (2019) won many awards due to the narrative fitting the diversity standards. Parasite (2019) was even more successful, winning the most BAFTAs that year. It fit the criteria as it was Korean made, with an almost all Korean cast, commenting on the current financial and corruption issue in Korea with the rich people leeching off the poor. From last year’s BAFTAs alone, you can see how diversity guidelines influence the award shows for the better but whether this would have the same effect on the Oscars as it did on the BAFTAs, we don’t know. It is safe to say that something along those lines is necessary for the academies to implement moving

It is only recently that the biases of the film industry are being truly recognised

Whilst the Oscars have received most criticism, the BAFTAs made the first move towards more diversity.

people. However, there are also many more areas to fulfil to be eligible for the Best Picture Award in particular. Many people are applauding the Oscars for finally making this step and some are even criticising them for taking this long. However, many people are complaining

forward. The BAFTAs have since released a statement after the success of the awards show last year stating that it was ‘Delighted that the academy has released its new representation and inclusion standards.’ They also said they will ‘continue to review and expand.’


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Features SPACE

Turning to Space Harvey Allen and Miles Gilroy explore the future of space travel.

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lthough the idea of private space travel may appear as a fictional fantasy, in reality it is much closer than you may think. Since the start of the 1960s, NASA has depended upon private contractors to manufacture spacecraft for every single human space flight programme, starting with the numerous Apollo missions, and continuing to the current day space flights. Currently, NASA’s Commercial Space Program is expanding on this prospect and through it, NASA is working with SpaceX and Boeing to build vehicles capable of carrying the everyday person to the great outer space. SpaceX is a company to pay particular interest to. The founder, Elon Musk, is widely considered as the most ambitious entrepreneur alive; today, if not ever, and so far so that some even believe he is crazy. The special quality about Musk is that the majority of his ambitions have turned out to become a reality or have at least come very close, for example, the hyperloop which already has many projects underway all over the globe. Musk has always talked about his desire to colonise Mars and to commercialise space travel, and with the recent successful hop by SpaceX’s Starship SN-6, which saw the rocket take off and land more or less by itself while still being useable afterwards, it is not too difficult to visualise a world in which we can go to and from space at will. If you think about how much humans have developed as a species in general and specifically in the exploration and research of space, and how ahead of their time these developments seemed to the everyday person, it is obvious that we will reach a point where private companies are selling tickets to the moon or to Mars much earlier than we may expect. The first breakthrough was on July 20, 1969. At 4:17 eastern time, the first manned spacecraft ever to travel the 384,400 km away from our oasis of life, landed on the moon. It was a monumental occasion and marked the

beginning of a new era for space travel. This event, taking place over 20 years prior to the internet, would have seemed far too ambitious for anyone to possibly imagine, yet, it happened. The next step, although seemingly impossible, is the colonisation of Mars. This hypothetical idea actually has some foundations and has received interest from public space agencies and private corporations, as well as

and existing technology, Mars One has calculated that to bring the first four people to the planet will only cost a mere six billion dollars. Despite the promising outlook of this, there are endless problems associated with taking people to Mars. Will it be safe? Is it sustainable? Is it truly ethical? The list is truly endless and the simple answer is we don’t know. No one knows. Nothing like this has ever been undertaken

NASA has depended upon private contractors to manufacture spacecraft receiving extensive treatment in sci-fi literature and film. As seen previously with the Apollo missions, it will inspire further generations to attempt to achieve larger and greater things. Private organisations have offered plans to establish permanent or partial settlement on Mars, however, no one has yet set foot on it. Despite this, there have been several missions by robots to explore and map the surface of the red planet. Mars is another step for humankind along the journey into the universe. Establishing a colony will allow for further exploration into the origins and future of not only our planet, Earth, but the universe itself. The most notable example of a company attempting to send people to Mars is named Mars One. Their mission is to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Despite appearing like an extortionate claim, this is a completely feasible undertaking. Through the use of in situ resources,

The summer of 1969 saw the first ever manned space mission to the moon itself and remained useable.

before. In addition to this, what most people forget is that these four people will be alone millions of kilometers away from earth. What psychological effect will this have? These people will essentially be establishing a nation, and with this comes a responsibility for everyone to cooperate together. Mars One states that during the presumably extensive preparation program, they will be lectured on all sorts of forms of social hierarchy on Earth. They must be informed about distribution of power, approaches to decisionmaking, kinship structure and management of resources to name but a few areas. Mars One seems to be the closest to becoming the first organisation to colonise Mars, however, they are still a long way off. Despite saying this, we may be seeing more public coming about this in the not too distant future.


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Features MUSIC

Rock is Dead (But so are All Genres) Rory Bishop explores rock music’s current state and how it continues to change.

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liched as the title may seem, it does appear that rock as we formally know it is dead. During lockdown one of the few things I did achieve was catching up on various backlogs of music and meticulously fiddling with my Spotify playlists. With conservative pop being ever popular and the concurrent rise of hip hop as a dominant force, taking up over 30% of the current charts, it seems ever harder to find the guitar driven songs that previously dominated the mainstream. This does not mean they don’t exist, but the question is why they have fallen so far out of favour. With the backlash of supposed rock festivals like Reading and Download festivals decreasing rock based line ups, the prominence the genre formerly held has now, beyond question, fallen substantially. As artists seek desperately to catch trends and evolve their sounds, it is worth asking if the pure, unadulterated rock many had become accustomed to is even truly present anymore? THE GHOSTS OF ROCK AND ROLL PAST - ‘LIKE A ROLLING STONE’ ‘To rock and roll...what’s left of it’ toasts Bruce Springsteen in a recent interview for Rolling Stone magazine. The Boss is perhaps the closest there is to that pure rock sound few have recently emulated. His latest venture Letter to You is the first E-Street album since 2012’s Wrecking Ball, and the first album of his to be recorded live since 1984’s Born In the USA. One of the last standing pre 1980s legacy acts, Springsteen is one of the few acts that sustains the idea that rock is very much alive, albeit changing. Whilst this year’s album is traditional, last year’s Western Stars saw a country influenced solo album from the Jersey native. It rose to number one on UK charts - showing that rock can still be successful even if it needs to change. This is one of many signs of increasing crossover between genres that is ever more prominent nowadays as we stray from the more traditional confines of genre. Springsteen isn’t the only classical hero trying to keep rock alive. The Rolling Stones recently went number one in the UK in September. The caveat is that the album itself was an expanded reissue of 1973’s Goats Head Soup. Similarly, both Springsteen’s new albums and his last three have had old but revived material, and the question that arises is if the classical rockers are merely riding a nostalgia wave. Trends in music are inherently cyclical, and much like the current eighties resurgence and disco influences of pop music that has topped the charts recently, it seems rock is having to hinge on these memories too. The same can be said about the Adam Lambert led Queen that has received much backlash from major publications for being just a shameless cash grab. Opportunities for change in the pre 2000s generation are often poorly received. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have received criticism for the space pop sounds of their recent EPs, whilst Blur’s latest album was released to little fanfare. Compare this to Liam Gallagher’s Oasislite album, hinging off name driven nostalgia, which sold about 40% more in the first week to a comparative album from his brother. It is easy to see why the genre is between somewhat of a rock and a hard place.

backed by long since pocketed finances, the more modern rockers are doing something differently entirely. Post 2000s indie and alternative rock bands seem to have become fluid, with traditional drum patterns and riffs being abandoned in favour of throwing various styles at the wall and seeing what sticks. This can be seen in The Killers, the very band that sparked this article. Whilst the Vegas born brightsiders are in no financial trouble, having recently sold out a now delayed UK stadium tour, they have also just released their sixth album, which pivots from their previous efforts. August’s Imploding the Mirage sees an album that wears its influences very heavily on its sleeve. Gone are the days of The Smiths-esque guitars, New Order beats, and The Cars style vocals, in exchange for Springsteenian glockenspiels and Depeche Mode synths. There is a forced adaptation, equally seen in Sheffield indie rockers Arctic Monkeys. Gone are fast paced thrashing guitars in exchange for Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino, a concept album that sees Alex Turner croon over piano ballads about monster truck backflips. The Strokes’ return, the aptly titled The New Abnormal was seven years in the making and yet also sees new sounds in electronic post punk rather than the garage rock they were famous for. Bands are being forced to adapt or fall by the wayside. Where on earth are the likes of Franz Ferdinand or Bloc Party now? THE GHOSTS OF ROCK AND ROLL FUTURE - ‘THAT SOUND’ What about the potential saviours of rock one might ask? There are undoubtedly good rock acts out there. Boygenius, and especially Lucy Dacus all show hope in a guitar revival, as do the likes of Snail Mail, Circa Waves, and Gerry Cinnamon. However, if you’d like the pure rock sound that you may have found even fifteen years ago, it is likely that you will find yourself out of luck. Boygenius and Gerry Cinnamon are both rock acts, but most certainly draw on folk singer-songwriter influences, whilst Circa Waves and Snail Mail seem to be softening their early

sounds in favour of radio-play appeal and success in valuable markets. Punk is also seeing a revival with bands like Fontaines DC and Idles, whilst my eyes (and ears) are personally on The War on Drugs as the next big rock sound. The Pennsylvania natives combine heartland American, and psychedelic influences into the closest we get to whatever might constitute modern rock. The landscape just doesn’t accommodate pure rock anymore. Cross genre appeal is the only sustainable survival tactic, especially since streaming has seen independent acts or small label bands struggle to make a living. There’s undoubtedly potential in cross genre appeal and it is by no means bad music, but it is also why genres like rock don’t resemble their past selves. SO IS ROCK DEAD OR NOT? Whilst exaggerations of rock’s death have been greatly exaggerated. The reality is that the genre is becoming increasingly dismantled. Love her or hate her, (or refuse to have an opinion as I do) an act like Billie Eilish is seeing success by mixing genres, incorporating pop, alternative, hip hop, and electronic elements to appeal to a wide audience. Same can be said for chart toppers like The Weeknd and Disclosure, both with strings of number ones under their belts. Genres are no longer the boundary they were and the factionalism of tastes no longer defined. Whilst rock is much closer to its arguable death, it seems most genres are soon to collapse in on one another anyway. The greater problem is one can become a victim of being a bit of everything and a lot of nothing. Acts like Marshmello or Taylor Swift are often (and rightfully) criticised for the corporate approach to what is in the end of the day an artform. Rock will likely see a revival in the future, as trends are naturally cyclical. If you are left resigned at the state of modern music, you need to ask yourself, firstly if you’re not even skimming the surface of it, and secondly, whether change is in fact a healthy part of an artform’s history.

THE GHOSTS OF ROCK AND ROLL PRESENT ‘GLAMOROUS INDIE ROCK AND ROLL’ Whilst former paragons of rock ride this wave of nostalgia,

Our boss versus The Boss. Guitar music most certainly isn’t dead.


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Features FASHION

The Fashion Industry is Ruining Our World - Can Anyone Stop it? David Hrushovski evaluates the detrimental impacts brought about by the fashion industry.

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nything and everything is fashion. Whether it’s tying a tie a certain way or wearing a dress made of meat, fashion both consciously and inadvertently shapes our world. Throughout society, it is impossible to escape. Marie Antoinette, for example, used clothing as a way of connecting with the French people, only for her luxurious dresses to end up being a mark of the exact social divide for which her head was ultimately cut off. With the industrial revolution, textile and sewing machines changed the game of fashion completely. Wages went down, clothes became cheaper, and people began owning more and more garments. Fabric shortages in the Second World War led to the standardisation of fashion production, and eventually companies began producing clothes in a four-season schedule. The speed of this cycle increased, and near the 1990s brands started recreating top-end looks at lowered prices, with very high public demand. As a consequence today H&M have $4.3 billion in unsold clothes and this is why the clothing industry produces 10% of global carbon emissions ( even more than aviation). The number of clothes bought by the average European has increased by a staggering 40% in fifteen years. This is fast fashion. Most people these days are aware of the detrimental effects of the fashion industry. With everyday activists blocking city transit and Greenpeace knocking on your door, it’s hard to be unaware of it all. As a result of this, clothing brands now feel compelled to take responsibility for their behaviour. Practically all the big brands have some sort of sustainability statement that they throw onto their website, designed to sit there as a green light for any shopper worrying about their environmental footprint and reassuring them that they can safely shop on. The truth is that the only reason brands have

Nihang Sikh men traditionally wore headwraps, and this practice is now a part of their cultural fashion.

to care is because being good is easily marketable. This social performance, nowadays known as greenwashing, is one of the ways in which companies present a smiling green face in front of ashy corporate greed. Companies like Zara, H&M, and Gap advertise themselves as

outfits, but we will get nowhere unless we take responsibility ourselves. The immediate solution is simple: shop less, and wear what you already own. If this principle is followed, then with time clothes will be made at a slower rate due to decreased demand. More durable and less

No world exists in which fast fashion can sustain itself

sustainable whilst using 20,000 litres of water for every pair of jeans and a t-shirt. In reality, no world exists in which fast fashion can sustain itself and that’s where the problem lies. The moment a customer feels like the power is in their hands, that they are making the right and eco-friendly choices, they stop paying attention, and thus innocently shift that power right back to where it came from. The way in which the fashion industry makes itself undefeatable is by combining people’s unwillingness to care, and powerlessness if they do. As empowering as it would be to pretend that an individual, or even a large group could overtake a $2.4 trillion industry, we need to take a step back before we can take one forward. Rather than fighting a losing battle, we need to take a look at how it became a losing battle in the first place. We can blame the capitalist free market that induced fashion brands to get out of control, or the models and celebrities that created a culture that discourages rewearing

cheap materials will be used, solving the problem of clothes with short lifespans and potentially reducing the need for sweatshops. The only thing is, not many people are able to change. The ability to modify one’s shopping habits is a position of massive privilege. One of the key factors in the booming success of fast fashion is its affordability. To most reading this, the list of environmental consequences created by the fashion industry would be completely detached from everyday life. We don’t see forests shrinking, skies darkening, or water supplies becoming contaminated, and it’s understandably hard to feel compelled to change our lifestyle for things we do not witness first-hand. But that list is much more familiar to those who make clothing for less than a living wage, or to those whose limited choice forces them to buy it. Making any sort of difference in the fashion world requires a combination of will, time, and money. If you happen to possess all three, let that difference be you.

Lady Gaga wore a dress made of meat at the 2012 Music Video Awards that was very controversial.


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Features FILM

Cinema’s Solution to 2020 Politics Samuel King assesses how recent films can inform us about the politics coming to define our times.

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hristopher Nolan’s latest blockbuster Tenet, which came to British cinemas in the middle of the pandemic, has been described by Esquire Magazine as ‘Bond without the baggage.’ It isn’t hard to see where the critics are coming from. The film sees John David Washington kitted out in elegant three piece suits whilst being paired with a disheveled Robert Pattinson in a linen suit. Nolan’s A-list cast certainly look the part for a romantic spy thriller. The director gives nothing unexpected as an unnecessarily complex plot is punctuated by equally unnecessarily large-scale action sequences. Although many of the car stunts hark back to some of filmmaker Michael Mann’s finest films, I could only recommend that one spends the time to go through Mann’s superior work. Beyond any superficial dazzling, the film failed to pack a lasting punch. However, if anything did stay with me after the film, it was Nolan’s acute awareness of modern day politics. Instead of some Dr No esque evil villain pitted against the protagonist, the audience is presented with Kenneth Brannagh and a Russian accent constantly slipping out of place. Brannagh plays an unsettling oligarch with a suitable blonde supermodel (played by Elizabeth Debeki) by his side. His portrayal acts as an effective counter point

Pattinson is the standout star for Nolan’s film as a mis-cast John David Washington underperforms.

to the crowd pleasing violence and destruction of the film- yes they did crash an actual Boeing 747. The driving force of the character is his ability to communicate with those in the future and as a result, he has been able to organise global devastation when he dies. When he passes, the world goes with him. It is the ultimate power play and boasts an elegance one can often find in Nolan’s

Luther King has gone down in history as one of the most important pacifists of all time whereas Malcolm X proudly declared that justice must be sought ‘by any means necessary.’ Not necessarily two perspectives one might expect to be coupled then. Here lies the importance of Lee’s work. Only a filmmaker of his calibre and experience is able to pair those two men without

Beyond any superficial dazzling, Tenet failed to pack a lasting punch writing. However, the reality of power hungry oligarchs may be closer to home than we realise. One only needs to look to one of Oxford University’s latest developments and question the name: The Blavatnik School of Government. Blavatnik, the key source of funding for the institute, is himself an oligarch. In order to buy his way into Britain’s elite he launched a flurry of investments across the country, the one in Oxford being a prize example. Currently estimated to be the 45th richest man in the world, Blavatnik has donated mass sums to various beneficiaries across the world, including enough to buy him a wing at the Tate Modern in London. After major donations to the Trump Presidential inauguration he was swiftly given a knighthood by our head of state in 2017. In August of that year and as a consequence of the connection with the Trump Administration, the political scientist Bo Rothstein, a key figure of the Blavatnik School of Government, resigned from his position. Spike Lee’s latest film Da 5 Bloods, which tracks the passage of four African American Vietnam War veterans through Vietnam, can also provide insight into the political dynamics coming to define our time. The movie links back to two American classics bringing a myriad of parallels between the works. Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece Apocalypse Now and John Huston’s challenging narrative in The Treasure of Sierra Madre condense the American story down to its most basic elements: war and gold. Lee’s film sees an African American voice taking over that story on his own terms by which he re-defines the classic western for the black man in a way that Tarantino failed to do with Django Unchained and gives appropriate recognition to the black people who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. The film is peppered with flashbacks to the characters’ younger selves, battling their way through the vietnamese jungle and led by Chadwick’s Boseman’s character. The Veteran’s return to their place of combat works through the pain and suffering experienced by soldiers there and which is so often silenced by the American government. Their intention for the journey is to locate and recover the remains of their former leader Stormin’ Norman (Boseman), a character they regularly refer to as: “Our Malcolm and our Martin.” Those two infamous Africian American civil rights leaders shared little in outlook on how to tackle a racist nation in the 1960s. Martin

questions being asked by capitialing on the sheer power of his African American voice and refusing to lose sight of the overarching movement against racism in America he has forever been a part of. Thus, Lee filters out the debris which clouds modern discourse about race dynamics. He bridges the gap, recognising that what is now needed more than ever is unity. For Lee, the most crucial issue facing the African American community is not the ethical questions of how to fight for liberty but the idea that a portion of his demographic support Trump. Paul, who loses grip on reality over the course of the journey in the jungle,

Lee re-defines the classic western for the black man

brandishes a MAGA hat in the first act causing noticeable discomfort in his comrades. As Lee films Paul, played by Delroy Lindo, he wishes to predict the demise of black conservatives who suspend their moral compass in exchange for staunch capitalist economics - Trump’s hat is noticeably left soiled in the mud along with Paul and his rucksack of gold. Paul’s son is left at the end of the film as the new hope. Throughout he has been the proud bearer of a Morehouse cap and T-shirt, (the same institution that Dr King attended), and acted as a voice of morality, counterbalancing his father’s demise. Lee leaves it with the next generation, after exorcising their past demons left in Vietnam, to carry on the fight.


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Features MUSIC

From Juvenile to Giant: Jazz in the Early 1900’s Felix Kind investigates how jazz evolved in the early 1900’s and looks at the key figures involved in its rise.

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azz is whatever you want it to be. Improvised by nature, and therefore constantly evolving everyday, jazz has become a genre that encompasses such a wide variety of sounds that it is hard to distinguish. From languid beats to sporadic blasts, I ask where did jazz come from and how did it become such a popular form of entertainment in the early twentieth century. The concept of jazz wasn’t simply created overnight in a bar in New Orleans, but originated from the mixing and amalgamation of a kaleidoscope of musical backgrounds, inspired through the rich and diverse culture of New Orleans around the late nineteenth century. The Victorian era was one where the many different nationalities, merged together in the city found the common liking for making music together. Most prominently, the French, Spanish and other European colonialists combined with the Latin, African and Carribean peoples to create music in a time of vibrant social activity and enlightenment. Jazz was developed mainly in the Black community and this is where the modern jazz instruments stem from. In a time of severe racism and social injustice, Black musicians were only able to acquire certain instruments to make music with. The seven fundamental instruments

of jazz became the trumpet (responsible for embellishing the thematic material in the piece), trombone (the delivery of counter melodic lines - formally known as a

Merging of ragtime, blues and personalized riffs counterputal aside), the clarinet (for higher melodies) and the four common rhythm instruments for a bassline (piano, drums, bass and guitar). These instruments came from the European bohemians that arrived in their mass-

es, and have all been utilised in different ways throughout the centuries; roles have been reversed and transformed as different artists explore alternative methods of music making. The first person to formally combine these seven instruments into a band is argued to be the founding father of jazz, Buddy Bolden. Bolden is a slightly ambiguous character, and seemed to be mercurial by nature. Sadly, this became common in jazz musicians as the century progressed. Born in New Orleans on September 6th, 1877, little is known about his life. He set up the first jazz band to be known in the world, merging ragtime, blues and distinct personalized riffs. Whilst his career started as ‘King Bolden’, he descended into insanity and spent the last twenty five years of his life in a mental asylum. Unfortunately, there are no records of any of his work, or even of his band name, but his band was viewed to be the first to combine these instruments and make up the genre of ‘jazz’. Clubs and bars opened where these newfound jazz bands would perform, normally in the region of New Orleans called Storyville. The district was a quasi-legal hub for prostitution, but it was the only place where the black artists were accepted and they took what they could get. Popularity grew, and new modes of the genre began to start all across the US, in places like Baltimore, Colorado and New York. The closing of Storyville in 1917 by the US navy in fear of dissipation and violence was a harsh blow for the musicians of New Orleans. To keep the movement going, many began playing on Mississippi riverboat or-

Buddy Bolden is a slightly ambiguous character

Louis Armstrong was one of the many jazz legends who began their career on a jazz boat on the Mississippi.

chestras, the best known being Fate Marables’ orchestra, which included young Louis Amrstrong at points. The musicians were also encouraged to emigrate to Chicago after race tensions escalated in New Orleans. The jazz scene had moved from New Orleans to Chicago, and the ‘Jazz age’- famously named by F. Scott Fitzgerald - was sweeping across the nation by the mid 1920’s. Despite older generations considering the movement immoral, jazz bars began to unfold all over the place, the loud melodies and the eclectic range of rhythms drew in the optimistic young, post-war generation. Recording studios began to invite jazz musicians to play, and this propelled the spread of jazz music. Bands such as ‘King Oliver’s Creole jazz band’ were prevalent, which included ‘King Olivers’ exciting new protegee, Louis Armstrong.


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Whilst recording studios initially gave music to the musicians to play, Louis Armstrong’s ability to create rhythms and melodies in his improvisation convinced recording companies to let the musicians have free reign over what they played by the mid 1920’s. This was then extended to all jazz musicians. This ability to choose what to play meant that improvisation became an integral part of jazz. New York’s evolution into the jazz capital of the world was not straightforward. Whilst jazz was taking Chicago by storm in the 1920’s, many musicians were reluctant to move to the city despite the potential for better recording deals. Duke Ellington’s move from Washington D.C to New York was a turning point in jazz history. Inspired and intrigued by the rambunctious local piano playing in New York, he decided to move to Harlem. Some followed the esteemed pianist, but after King Oliver’s Creole band turned down the chance to play at the infamous Cotton Club in Harlem, Duke Ellington was given the opportunity instead. He then persisted to perform at the Cotton club, playing music he had written himself and bringing in new musicians to play with him. Some of his most famous tracks include ‘Take the A train’ and ‘I got it bad’ - both favourites by the 1930’s. His music became so popular that other musicians (including Louis Armstrong) began to move there in prospect of the rapidly growing appetite for jazz in the city, and the increasing racial tensions in Chicago. On top of the small, ensemble jazz playing in the 1920’s and 30’s, Big Band swing music was beginning to gain popularity. The Cotton Club played a fundamental part in the growth of this subsection of jazz. Cab Calloway, a frequent performer at the club, began to experiment with larger bands than the stereotypical seven, and

Hardship inspired their work this saw louder, more energetic melodies being produced that entranced the population. Songs such as ‘Minnie the Moocher’ and ‘Hello Dolly’ are prime examples of the newer, louder jazz that took hold in the early 30’s. Calloway’s new music made him the first African-American to sell a million copies of a song, and he was so popular that he was given the National Medal of Arts by congress in 1993 ( a little overdue, but nonetheless, showed his influence). Big Band continued to grow in the 1930’s as well as the small ensemble playing. From Count Basie’s ‘Splanky’ and countless other Calloway hits, the jazz scene was as popular as ever, now attracting hundreds of people to watch concerts in large theatres, as well as cramming small bars in underground New York. Jazz was now played on the radio, in films and in theatre - it had truly taken over. Despite the sparkle of large clubs and bars, the personal lives of many jazz musicians were fraught with unhappiness. The sadly notorious early deaths of many jazz musicians were often caused by the deep racism present and financial struggle that they faced, as well as the touring lifestyle that encouraged drug and alcohol abuse. Many musicians felt they were underappreciated, for one reason or another, which is entirely valid. All were formidable on their instrument, performing a skill which takes years to master, but received little money and spent their

Duke Ellington is argued to be the man who brought jazz to New York. lives on the road. Many took drugs to dampen the monotony of being on the road, whereas others took them to inspire creativity. Some took them to numb their mental problems. Whilst the fickle lives of jazz musicians came into the limelight in the 70’s (especially with the death of John Coltrane in 1967, at just 41 years old), this trend was already inherent within lives of the founding fathers who were plagued with racism and substance abuse from the offset. This hardship inspired their work, resulting in the sedate, longing tones we see in the genre. Jazz in the early twentieth century was when it proved itself. The founding fathers essentially joined to produce

a style that has become commonplace in our lives, and characterised the social scene of the roaring twenties. Despite the personal struggle against systemic racism and financial inequity, a vibrant, evolving music scene was initiated that has provided the world with some of the best rhythms, melodies and talent in music we have ever seen. If you want to listen to some jazz I would recommend: ‘Easy Livin’ by Clifford Brown, ‘Georgia on my mind’- a trombone duo by J.J Johnson and Kai Winding, ‘In a Sentimental Mood’ by John Coltrane and Duke Ellington, and for a more modern tune ‘Thicker than Water’ by Brian Blomberg.

Jazz saw a substantial change over the 20th century that should not be understated.


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Features ART

Drawing Inspiration from Success in the Arts Freddy Chelsom talks to cartoonist, artist, and writer Jo Sandelson about her career in the arts.

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o Sandelson is a professional cartoonist and artist, who lives and works in Oxford. Jo created the first ever topical strip cartoon to appear in The Times, called ‘On the Record’. She has also co-founded an animation company, producing puppetry from cartoons, to create live-action animation; published cartoons in The Observer, The Financial Times, and The Listener; drawn for advertising and P.R. companies, as well as global corporations; and published a children’s book, The Barmies. The Martlet interviewed Jo, to find out more about her career as an artist, cartoonist, and author. Jo’s career as a cartoonist began when she was at school, and realised she could make people laugh by drawing “slightly rude” caricatures of her teachers. The ensuing confiscations of her drawings created uproar, and more interest in her art. Later on, Jo went to Art School to study Fine Art, and started to realise that there was little that separated ‘Fine Art’ and ‘Cartooning’. Jo described how she realised that it was all about the ‘line’ (the most basic mark that you can make), and that one can go back into prehistory and look at the cave paintings of places like Lascaux, and see the “most amazingly simple” lines of wild animals, that people depicted 30-40,000 years ago. Jo studied cave art and travelled extensively. She describes how she was very fortunate to be given permission to visit Lascaux in person, which was closed to the public

in the early 1960s. She says it was a great moment to see those amazing images for herself. Jo recalled Picasso’s comment, made when he visited Lascaux, “J’ai enfin trouvé mon maître.” (I have finally found my master), and shared her own enthusiasm for the art at Lascaux, saying that “when you see something that simple, that has a purity to it, then there is no question in one’s mind, as an artist, that there is no differentiation between this [the cave paintings at Lascaux] and fine art.” Paul Klee - a popular German artist inspired by Expressionism - described drawing as taking a line for a walk. Jo says this is another example of the simplicity of art that partly inspired her to become a cartoonist. “Finding the origin of the line is a thread to finding the origin of who we are anthropologically and who we are as people”. Jo really connected with that idea, as well as being able to make people laugh. It was the marriage of these two things that made being a cartoonist the ideal job for her. I asked Jo what some of the advantages of the arts are. She said that one of the advantages is that there are so many avenues, and that it is such a fulfilling way of making a living, if you can find something that you love doing. Jo believes that the ability to delve deeply into the world of something you are passionate about, whilst still making a living, is “a great privilege”. A difficulty that Jo has found, when working for big newspapers and corporations, is that working in a big newspaper office doesn’t always provide the peace and

quiet she requires to be creative. She says that working in a big company means that there are constantly other demands pressing in on you, meaning you never have as much thinking time as you might like. For instance, when

Finding the origin of the line is a thread to finding the origin of who we are Jo worked at The Times, she was working with several other artists, and the combination of noise of the newsroom, with talking and shouting; and the time pressures, with deadlines every day at around 6.00, meant that there was “very much a sense that you had to get on with it”. This is,


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in my opinion, one of the biggest issues with having a career in the arts. Constantly, one must trade security and a steady wage for creative freedom. Many people may have huge potential that they are afraid to fulfill, because of the risk of financial uncertainty; and many more risk everything for very little pecuniary reward. In this sense, Jo has been very fortunate to find a job which both supports her financially, and fulfills her creative desires. The internet has also brought a lot of creative freedom, and given our generation many opportunities and paths which were not available to our parents. When Jo was working at The Times, it was before the internet, and so, if she wanted to draw a particular person, she had to go to another floor, where the library was; ask for a “brown file” full of black and white photographs of that person; sign it out; take it upstairs; rifle through the photographs, hoping there was one that she could base her caricature off; and then take it all back downstairs and sign them back in. Jo finds that it is much easier to produce work now, due to the fact that she has a vast library of photographs at her fingertips, online. Jo told me that it was lots of fun working with other people, and attending the editorial meetings: finding out “what the news was going to be the next day”. Perhaps, it is this sociability that is somewhat lost, when not working for a larger organisation, and so for many of us, myself included, a career tied to a larger company or publication is perhaps more appealing than one working entirely on one’s own. Conversely, Jo says that one of the main advantages that she has found being freelance, is that she can just turn off her computer and go for a walk on Port Mead-

ow (a large meadow close to her home), and choose to handle her time in a way that suits her life better. On the other hand, Jo talks about how, as a freelancer, she must do all of her own marketing and go out looking for jobs, something that is taken care of if you are working for a big organisation. I asked Jo what her favourite job has been, and she told me about her animation company called ‘Cutting Lines’, which had a strip in The Observer, which they then used to

Without artists, where is the soul in our society? create stop motion animation. The puppets were created out of foamboard, and were almost life size. Jo showed me one of their animation sets, of the Queen and her family scrapbook, which was created partly with items from her own kitchen cupboard. I was fascinated by the high quality finish that they were able to produce from the cartoons,

which are so simple in their original composition. Jo explained that, when going from a cartoon in a newspaper to the animation sets, a considerable amount of work had to be done to the drawings adding details that would not be visible in the newspaper format. Their team consisted of a photographer, who created the whole mise en scene; a puppet maker, who created the puppets out of her images; and a director. Jo says that the whole thing was a lot of fun, but that they didn’t really make any money, because The Observer paid them £250 for each cartoon which, even then, wasn’t very much when split between them all. I asked Jo if she had any advice for boys at Abingdon, considering a career in the Arts. She said that if you are looking to make a lot of money “don’t go into the Arts”. It’s not necessarily going to be as stable a career as being a lawyer or a doctor, however, if you are really loving every moment of what you are doing, despite the difficulties or not getting the commission that you wanted, then she would definitely advise you to go ahead. She says that there are now, more than ever, with the pandemic, so many ways to reach out to people, and communicate, in different ways across the community, online, and in person. She emphasised the valuable place that art has held historically, in China, for example, going back to 4000 BCE, which influenced herself and has led her to ask “without artists, where is the soul in our society”. Her advice to the boys at Abingdon is: “don’t give up, if it’s something that you love doing, then somehow there will be a way of earning a living doing what you love doing”. She says that, despite the many people telling you to get a degree in such and such, or to pursue drawing later in life, you should always “follow your heart”.


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Features CULTURE

Of Masks and Muses Nikita Matthews explains into how the coronavirus has impacted the arts sector.

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he arts are dying a slow and torturous death. It is generally acknowledged that the magnitude of COVID 19 was vastly underestimated, or perhaps overexaggerated by the media. However, that is an argument for another man to tackle. The real concern at hand is just how quickly the Government is willing to sacrifice our culture during this pandemic. Theatres across the UK have remained closed since lockdown began on the 23rd of March 2020 with only limited performances beginning in August. This is the first time theatres have closed since the Civil War in the 17th century. Are we once again becoming puritans?

Are we once again becoming puritans?

Ever since lockdown, the entertainment industry has seen a marked shift towards online streaming. The National Theatre for example has streamed recordings of its most popular performances, including Antony and

Cleopatra, Frankenstein and A Streetcar Named Desire. However, despite the industry’s attempts to re-instill the masses with theatrical fervour, theatres have taken the brunt of the recession full on. More than 350,000 people in the recreation and leisure sector have been furloughed since the pandemic began. Coupled with the generally low employment rate within the dramatic industry (just two percent of actors earn over £20,000 a year) this spells virtual disaster for blooming actors seeking to find a way in. There is a pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel however. In late August the Government gave a grant to the “creative and leisure industry” of £1.57 billion to protect the “cultural heritage of the UK”. Unfortunately, the press has been very quick to claim that the government has swooped down like a guardian angel and saved the arts. Analysing the distribution of the 1.57 billion, it has to be divided over 7 sectors; performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema. It is important to take into account that the entertainment industry functions on very small margins; with production costs often bulging as large as some feature films. The most extreme example is perhaps the stage adaptation of The Lion King into which Disney splashed 28.4 million dollars. The Financial Times estimated that the average weekly budget of a production in the West End is £38,000 to £40,000. These statistics just scratch the surface of what is a very cash thirsty industry. The 1.57 billion grant from the government is only a very temporary solution to COVID’s impact on the arts. With technology becoming top trump over lockdown, 2020 has seen human interaction polarised between awkward elbow nudging or entitled snarls by

righteous enforcers of the law. In many ways, people have become anaesthetized to the public venue. With no prospect of a vaccine, the question looms as to how long it will take people to trust close proximity to strangers? The damage to live performance venues will be as much psychological as fiscal.

This is the first time theatres have closed since the Civil War in the 17th century Performance venues will suffer from lockdown, as will any other industry which relies on personal contact. The Guardian estimates that by 2021, between 13.2% at worst and 6.3% at best of the population will be out of work. After weathering these hard times, it is important to consider that although we may be suffering from a recession, we must not forget the arts. They are the aqueduct that fuels British culture, social life and quintessentially define what it means to be British - to be proud to express your culture, wherever you may come from.

Theatres have been hit hardest by this extended period of closure, further exaserbated by expensive production costs.


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Sport As we (arguably) begin to emerge from the shadows of COVID, sport is beginning to return to some form of normality. Although we in England will still need to wait a while, sports fans around the world have already begun their slow return to venues as the fight against COVID slowly moves in a promising direction. There have undoubtedly been many cancellations this year and hopefully we are now seeing the tailend of them - we can only hope that soon fans will be able to take their seats in the stands and terraces across the country. At The Martlet we have tried to avoid focussing too much on the sporting silence that disrupted so many of our lives and instead opted to focus on the future and the eventual return of sport to its glorious self. The future is certainly bright across the pond in America, where their most popular sport, football, the one played with the hands not the feet, is welcoming some of its next best sports stars. In this issue I explore some of these hopefuls. Meanwhile, Johnnie Willis-Bund focuses on our own type of football here at home, exploring the enthralling twists and turns of the English second tier, the Championship - arguably the most exciting league in world football at present. There is also another type of football in this edition’s sports section, shrovetide football. Aarav Tanguturi explores this unique sport, first played in medieval times, which is fraught with danger. Examing the topic of safety in sport (though not, you might be pleased to hear, anything to do with COVID) Charles Geday asks whether or not motorsport is actually safe and what measures are in place to ensure that it is. Let us hope of complete safety in all other areas as well. It has been fantastic to see sport back being played on a regular basis and hopefully soon with more and more people in attendance, but until that time let us just hope that sport continues to thrive in these extraordinary times.

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MOTORSPORTS Motorsport Safety: a Life or a Lie?

FOOTBALL What is Shrovetide football?

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AMERICAN FOOTBALL Who is the Next GOAT of American Football?

FOOTBALL Why The EFL Championship is the Most Exciting League in the World

Ben Lisemore Sport Editor


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Sport MOTORSPORT

Motorsport Safety: a Life or a Lie? Charles Geday investigates safety in motorsport and questions the extent of its improvement.

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n July of 2019, motorsport lost a rising star. His name was Anthoine Hubert and he drove for the Renault-backed Arden team in FIA Formula 2. In May of 1994, at the Imola circuit in Italy, lost Ayrton Senna, who was widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers of all time. This is only in the past couple of decades. From 1960 to 1979, twenty-six drivers lost their lives in Formula 1 alone, many of them the calibre of which will likely never be seen again. To counteract this high fatality rate, the FIA (the governing body of motorsport) have introduced numerous rules, systems or parts to try to improve safety. The first of these was suggested by none other than F1 legend, Jackie Stewart. He campaigned relentlessly for the FIA to introduce mandatory seat belts, not just in race cars, but in every-day cars as well. This no doubt saved many lives, but with the rudimentary design of the early seat belt, it also cost several lives. For example, Niki Lauda’s infamous crash at the Nurburgring in 1976, where he was trapped in his car as it went up in flames. Half his face was melted but it could no doubt have been much worse, had several other drivers not come to his rescue, pulling him out of the burning car. Next, in 1975, were properly fireproof suits. They were extremely useful and effective because, in the era which was synonymous with fireballs and cars bursting into flames, they did their best to protect the driver. In 1980, carbon-fibre was first used by McLaren on their F1 car. It is strong and therefore impact-resistant. It prevents drivers from getting their legs injured, as F1 drivers sit almost on the ground, with their legs out in front of them. On a non-F1 note, the WEC introduced a rule for pit stops, which means that the crew cannot cross a marked

line to get to the car until the fuel pumping has been completed. This aims to prevent fuel spillages and fires in the pitlane (such as Jos Verstappen at the Hockenheimring in 1994, where his car caught fire because a fuel pump came loose and covered the car in petrol), since there is a lot of flammable equipment and chemicals in the pitlane, not to mention human lives at stake.

F1 drivers sit almost on the ground, with their legs out in front of them It is mandatory for all race cars to have a fire extinguisher in case of a fire. Most high-level cars also have an auto engine cut-off in case the driver becomes unconscious, like Eric Comas in 1992, when he crashed and became unconscious with his foot on the accelerator. The engine would’ve blown up, had Brazilian F1 legend Ayrton Senna not got out of his car to help. On the subject of Ayrton Senna, his crash at Imola in 1994, at the infamous Tambourello corner eventually led to the introduction of the halo into all single-seaters. The halo is supposed to prevent large pieces of debris (or even cars, as seen at La Source on lap one of the 2018 Belgian

Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps) from getting to the driver’s head. That crash also led to the introduction of wheel tethers, to prevent loose wheels from striking drivers or other personnel. Perhaps the most obvious safety feature that motorsports across the world have introduced is the Safety Car. The first use of a Safety Car was in Formula One in 1993 after it was trialed at the French and British Grands Prix of the previous year. The Safety Car (which in F1 is a Mercedes-AMG GT R) can be deployed by the Race Director (lead marshal) to drive onto the track in front of the leader of the race, and the other cars queue up behind. The Safety Car then drives around the circuit at a moderate pace, allowing track marshals and trackside crew to recover any stricken cars or debris. Then when the track is clear, the Safety Car returns to the pit lane and the cars start racing again. Finally, the latest safety device for Formula One is the sensor gloves. The gloves that the drivers wear, from 2019, are fitted with sensors that monitor the driver’s vital signs. This data is fed back to the site medics, and if there is an incident, any relevant information is also communicated to the marshals responding directly, in order to prioritise certain steps. It can also be used to check if a driver, for example, has sustained an injury which might prevent certain recovery procedures from being carried out by responding marshals (for example the marshals should not roll a car over if the driver has a spinal injury). To cut a long story short, motorsport has come a long way with regards to safety, especially thanks to a handful of revolutionary drivers who changed the sport as we know it indefinitely. However, I don’t think it will ever be truly safe but then again, isn’t that part of the aura of the sport?

Max Verstappen, son of Jos Verstappen who’s car caught fire in 1994 at the Hockenheim, showing the risk of motorsports.


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Sport FOOTBALL

What is Shrovetide Football? Aarav Tanguturi explores the unknown domain of Shrovetide football.

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he Royal Shrovetide Football Match is a medieval football game played annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday (around the end of February) in the small town of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, with a population of 9000. The game attracts global attention and is thought to be one of the oldest forms of football in the world, it has been played every year since at least 1667, although its exact origins are unknown as records were destroyed in a fire. It was also played in the war by soldiers in France who originated from the town, and got its royal title after Edward VIII, who was the Prince of Wales, opened the game in 1928. All shops get bolted up, except the pub where large crowds gather to watch the event. There are no referees, no overpriced tickets and no overpaid players. HOW IS THE GAME PLAYED?

It is very much unlike a conventional football game, as it is much longer than a regular football match and played over two eight-hour periods. The goals are three miles apart and there are very few rules. The ball is rarely kicked but instead moves through a giant ‘hug’ of people. There is no set pitch, therefore the game is played throughout the entire town, so shops and businesses board up their windows in preparation. The game can only be started at 2pm after they sing “Auld an syne” and “God save the Queen”, and only then the ball can thrown in the air (this is regarded as a ceremony) by the “turner up” from a stone plinth on Shaw Croft car park in Ashbourne town center, who is normally a celebrated local person chosen to do the honor, such as Prince Charles and the Duke of Devonshire. Once play begins, a large number of players try to move the ball to their goal by pushing against the opposition.

The match will continue until 10pm. But, If a goal is scored before 5pm, then a new ball is ‘turned up’ again and a new game starts. If the goal is after 5pm then the game ends for the day. One of the only rules is the game can’t be played in churchyards, cemeteries or places of worship, and private property must be respected. The game is undoubtedly brutal and dangerous, players “rip each other’s head off” for the ball, they fight, they shove, and they barge. So therefore it is played by the toughest men and women that the town produces and often played in freezing temperatures and violent weather conditions. The locals who have been born playing and watching the game take it very seriously, and are extremely passionate. The person who scores the winning goal will be regarded as a local legend and a huge celebrity in the town as so few goals are scored each year and it’s such an honour. It is very hard to touch the ball in the first place. The goalscorer gets to keep the ball and it becomes his proud possession. TEAM SELECTION PROCESS As hundreds of players take part, the team selection process is very specific. Your team depends on which side of the Henmore Brook you were born on: those born South of the Brook are the Down’ards, and try to goal the ball at the old Clifton Mill. Those born in the North are the Up’ards and try to goal the ball at the old Sturston Mill. It is three miles each way and anything in the middle of the game gets immediately trashed, so all cars are moved the day before. THE BALL The game is usually played using a specially prepared, hand-sewn leather ball. It is larger than a football and

filled with Portuguese cork chippings to help it float in the river. The ball is also designed for all conditions and all terrain. It weighs around 4lbs, and is carefully hand-painted to a design chosen by the local person picked to ‘turn up’ the ball at the start of the match. Sometimes if the ball is stuck somewhere, there can be a stalemate of over an hour where no ground is made.

The game is usually played using a specially prepared, hand-sewn leather ball.

IS IT TOO DANGEROUS? No, I believe that the game is within the boundaries of extreme, and is more for the purpose of public entertainment and carrying on with a local tradition. The only said rule is that you’re not allowed to kill anyone, and it is advised you play at your own risk. Also, only one person has ever died over the hundreds of years the game is being played, and that too hwas from a heart attack.


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Sport AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Who is the Next GOAT of American Football? Ben Lisemore discusses who could be the next best American Football player.

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he GOAT. Being termed the ‘greatest of all time’ is the ultimate mark of respect for any sportstar, more so than being written into any hall of fame. This is a title given by the people, followers and enthusiasts of sports. Debates about American Football bring out lots of different opinions, all dependent on where people come from and who they have grown up admiring. You will find people in the west of America claiming that Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers is the greatest to ever play the game, or even that it’s their star wide receiver Jerry Rice, the only player to reach more than 20,000 receiving yards. But amongst all these names appears one more than any else, Tom Brady. For almost 20 years he was the New England Patriots’ quarterback before moving to sunny florida and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Summer, as he seeks a new challenge, away from coach Bill Belichick, with whom he formed a formidable partnership at the Boston based team. But at 43, Brady is no spring chicken, and so the question stands: can anyone replace the GOAT? One of Brady’s greatest abilities is his consistency. He has won six Super Bowls, which is the culmination of any NFL season, making him the most coveted player of all time. It is this hunger and drive to win year upon year that makes him so special - he has appeared in nine super bowls since 2000. This formidable drive will not disappear as he enters his 20th year in the League and plays against people almost half his age; do not expect to see a Tom Brady that has moved to Florida for a nice getaway and to relax in the summer sun. He has moved to Tampa Bay to play, managing to convince Tight End Rob Gronkowski to come out of retirement, a player Brady worked with at the Patriots, where they had an outstanding connection. Brady would throw the ball in exactly the right place and even if it was not Gronkowski would still make the catch. They were a part of some of the most memorable moments in the Patriots’ history and involved in what could well be the best comeback ever, because of the occasion and what Brady and co managed to mastermind. New England were 28-3 down half way through the third quarter of the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons and looked down and out, that is what you would say if Brady was not there. But they managed to turn it around completely. Their number 12 managed to find a way for them to get 19 points in the final quarter and take the game to overtime. Pure class and swagger was shown in the final drive of the game, when Bady marched his team down from their own goal line to the other end of the pitch and then converted the two point attempt after the touchdown, to draw the game level, as just one extra point would have not been enough. Coach Belicheck described Brady as having “a good arm and a good head on his shoulders…he is a consistent player”. And yet, “consistent” doesn’t even begin to paint the picture of what he has achieved. It is worth also taking a look at the people who may have careers just as bright as Brady’s if they keep going in the direction they are headed - the future of the NFL is very exciting indeed. The most obvious replacement for Brady as the best quarterback in the League appears

Tom Brady is widely considered to be the greatest ever American Football player. to be Patrcik Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. The 25 year old was drafted in 2017 in the first round and served his rookie year as a backup quarterback, but it was in the

The future of the NFL is very exciting indeed 2018 season that he got his chance to shine. He took the most of the chance handed to him, throwing for over 5,000 yards and making 50 touchdown passes, only the

second player to ever do so - not even Brady has achieved this. Since then Mahomes has gone on to make the NFL Pro Bowl consistently, the game played between the best players in the League in that season, and last year he added superbowl champion to his CV. He only has five more to go. All that he has been awarded is outstanding when you consider that this is only the third year he has been playing week in week out in the NFL. Not to mention the fact that Mahomes was named the league’s most valuable player in 2018 and was also the MVP in last year’s superbowl. I would say that if Mahomes is able to keep on this trajectory, he will be one of the greatest players not just in his position but potentially ever. If anyone needs more convincing, note that he managed to take a Kansas team that was barely succeeding as much as it could all the way to being the best in the NFL, and in February this year winning their first superbowl in 50 years. That is the sign of a top player: someone who comes into a team and is the turning point in their success and their trek to the very pinnacle of the sport.


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Patrick Mahomes is a quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs and last season’s Superbowl winner.

Could Aaron Donald be the next GOAT?

There is a new style of quarterback coming through which is very exciting to see. A modern day leading quarterback not only needs to be able to throw the ball but sometimes must also tuck it in and run themselves. The two prime examples of this style are Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray, both 23. The former was named last year’s MVP, just like Mahomes - and it was only his second sea-

Micheal Thomas and Christian Mcaffrey also had outstanding seasons last year. Thomas was a part of the New Orleans team that got to the playoffs and he was an integral part of their success, mostly as a result of him having the most receiving yards in the entire league last season. A key factor in the numbers of catches he made was who he had throwing the ball to him, legendary quarterback Drew Brees. Brees is two years younger than the GOAT and has always almost been in his shadow as most of the success over the years has gone to number 16 in New England and not to Brees at the superdome. Christain Mcaffrey has a different role, he is in charge of running the ball and he sure did it very well as he went in for 15 touchdowns in the 16 games he played last year. He is expected to have a very big year again this time around once he recovers from his injury. Looking to the future he will certainly remain among the best runners of the ball. As one generation of American football players comes to retirement, epitomised by the man they call the ‘greatest of all time’, Tom Brady, a new generation starts to come through. This stands the sport in very good stead for the future as there appears to be fresh, exciting players. They will bring a new atmosphere into the sport, making it more exciting and entertaining for fans as playbooks develop and the plays within them are designed by some of the best players. Is there any chance of someone getting to the sort of levels that Brady has reached in his 20 year career? We will have to wait and see. There may be some quarterbacks in the league who are technically better than Tom Brady, but just like any other sport you are judged on actual success. Should Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson win 6 super bowls as well in the future, then they too would be seen in the same light. Until then, however, Brady’s position as the ‘greatest of all time’ appears unthreatened. Still, it makes you think, could one of these ‘kids’ become the next GOAT?

the league. A player with very similar playing style is Kyler Murray. He, like Jackson, is very focused on running the ball and 2019’s first draft pick won offensive rookie of the year. The ability to scramble away as a quarterback is very useful when there are strong defensive players in the league, some of which are making a bid to be the best player themselves.

If Mahomes is able to keep up this same trajectory, he will be one of the greatest players, not just in his position, but potentially ever son. In his first year as a regular player last year Jackson broke records. He achieved the most yards run by any quarterback in a single season and had the most touchdown passes thrown for 2019. If that does not show the Jekyll and Hyde dual nature of a leading quarterback then what does. There is a big debate about who is better, Mahomes or Jackson. That is always the main focus when their two respective teams face off, with Mahomes’ Chiefs getting the edge earlier this season and the superbowl Mahomes won asserts his claim, as the next best Quarterback for now. Jackson has the agility of a running back, the speed of a receiver and still can throw the ball better than many quarterbacks, making him one of the biggest assets in

The power that defensive players have these days is extraordinary. Nevertheless, they do not get the same sort of recognition as a quarterback, who is often the star of the show. The defensive lineman has one job: to get to the quarterback and hit them hard. Aaron Donald of the Rams epitomises represents this. The speed and strength with which this 129 kg, six foot one inch tall player charges forward leaves his opposite numbers unsure of what to do. Usually, he is past them and their quarterback is on the floor before they can work it out. Five years younger than Donald is Myles Garrett. As Garrett gets older he too could come to possess the same sort of defensive capabilities. These two are not just stopping the quarterbacks but also some of the most threatening offensive players.


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Sport

FOOTBALL

Why The EFL Championship is the Most Exciting League in the World Johnnie Willis-Bund explains why the EFL Championship is such a thrilling league.

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hen looking at the quality of football on display in the second tier of English football, it is tempting to assume that it isn’t a league worth following as a neutral. However you would be sorely mistaken. For one thing, the EFL Championship is one of the most unpredictable sporting institutions in existence. On both a seasonal and week by week basis, the Championship is almost impossible to surpass in terms of sheer surprise. There are countless examples of this in practice. For example the relegation of Sunderland AFC in the 2017/18 season or Aston Villa going from mid table to promotion with a ten match winning run in the last few months of the 2019/20 season. But perhaps the best example of this, in recent years, is Burnley gaining automatic promotion in 2014 by finishing second despite having been the bookies favourites to come second from bottom. It goes without saying, that the unpredictable nature of this mad division expresses itself through individual matches far too many times for me to mention even on an extremely shortened shortlist. The fact is that almost every team in the Championship could finish in almost any position on the table, unlike the Premier League’s monolithic “big six”. In addition to this, the Championship probably has the greatest balance of lower league passion and top tier professionality and skill out of any league, anywhere. The general trade off in sport tends to be that, while the quality on display in terms of skill and ability, is certainly higher at higher levels, the authenticity of the fans is diluted by plastic fans, tourists and cynical profit maximisation. This problem can particularly affect football clubs as there is no sport more intertwined with the passion of its supporters than Association Football. And the sup-

port on display in the Championship is unbelievable, especially for a second tier, consistently coming in the top three highest average attendances for any division in Europe,annually. The numbers for away support are also some of the best, even for long journeys (a fairly accurate measure of quality of support). This is contributed to by the breadth of clubs in the Championship. Some clubs have experienced a meteoric rise, such as, in recent years, the likes of Burton Albion, Wycombe Wanderers and Yeovil Town. But the Championship also sees many fallen giants within its midst. 12 Championship clubs from the past four years have, at some point in their history, won the old First Division or Premier League. Championship side Nottingham Forest are among six other teams to have won consecutive European Cup/ Champions League victories. However, where many will be surprised is with the quality of football on display. Even I made a pithy little joke about this at the beginning of this article. But the Championship has some genius tacticians and gems of players, and also sees the birth of many more special talents. From just last season Ebriche Eze and Jared Bowen spring to mind as genuinely top class players in the Championship. And over recent years, players such as Andy Robertson, Tammy Abraham and Harry Kane have all spent time there. On the management side of things, the Championship has always boasted a wide range of top professionals. From division mainstays such as Tony Pulis, Neil Warnock and Mick McCarthy to visionary tactisions, who have spent time in the Championship such as Marcello Bielsa and Chris Wilder. There’s also the fact that many teams, who are newly promoted from the Championship to the Premier League, have surprised with high finishes. Wolves and Sheffield United have both gained top half finishes directly after promotion to

the Premier League, and that’s just in the past two years. Finally, the playoffs, while they exist in almost all Leagues featuring promotion, do provide an exciting addition to the season. The fact that it offers clubs a trip to the home of English Football (Wembley) and could even decide the fate of your club’s entire season on the lottery of penalties. What could be more exciting than that? Championship playoffs have offered up some of the most exciting moments in the history of the game. Examples that spring to mind are Bobby Zamora getting QPR promotion in a 1-0 win against Derby County in the 90th minute and the incredible 4-4 between Charlton and Sunderland. But when it comes to great playoff moments, nothing comes close to the end of Watford vs Leicester in the 2012/13 playoff semi-final. It was deep into injury time, 2-2 on aggregate and Leicester had a penalty. It seemed that victory had been handed to them on a silver platter, but Anthony Knockheart’s penalty and rebound shot were both saved by Almunia. This was exciting enough but then, immediately after, Watford broke on the counter with Troy Deeny scoring to then somehow grab victory for the Hornets. This resulted in a home crowd at Vicarage Road spontaneously invading the pitch and one of the most iconic moments in all of English Football. It’s difficult to imagine such scenes being replicated in any other division. Overall, there are no divisions in Association Football of the Championship’s quality that can compare with its unpredictability and the passion of the supporters. The consistency and scale of upsets, seasonwide, in the Championship is unmatched and the football on display is of a fantastic class. This is the combination of factors that creates the world’s most exciting football league.


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Satire ADVICE

Maggie’s Muddles This edition of Maggie’s Muddles is brought to you by the Maggie’s Baggies Wheelie Teacher’s Laptop Bag. It’s perfect for your cross-campus expeditions, with plenty of room for your singular laptop, a lone red marker pen, or even actual resources for your students if you’re feeling generous. Use the coupon code ‘10MINS’ if that added walk is just too much for you. By Rory Bishop and Sam Penrose. Dearest Margaret Southwell-Sander, Gadzooks! The Rona is getting me down. My teaching quality has substantially decreased, and that was before the virus even started. My students just won’t listen to me, they seem to be socially distancing from my lesson plans, Firefly tasks, and podcast homeworks. Even members of the faculty run from me in the staff room, screaming ‘plague boy, plague boy.’ I heard rumours of a positive test in the school but I’m positively sure my students have failed all their tests. Why would this be the exception? I tried to build bridges by bringing in a cake for my tutor group, but they rejected it under the pretence that it was ‘unsafe’ and that ‘hand sanitiser is not a suitable icing for a victoria sponge, Sir.’ DJD came in full hazmat and proceeded to quarantine the confectionary. My rugby tutelage is far from going swimmingly. Whilst I have been indefinitely barred from giving my students a spare pencil, my rugby team are freely exchanging their tactile germs. I have taken the initiative to give each of them a sanitizer camelbak to ensure they spray the ball mid air before catching, but I fear my efforts are not being mirrored by the other members of the faculty. My colleague, [NAME REDACTED TO PROTECT THE IDEN-

My Dearest Reader It sounds like you are trying your hardest to teach these troublesome children. I say, when in doubt, kick em out. Getting rid of people is easier than it seems. I’ve attempted to fire Mr Southwell-Sander plenty of times. All it takes is a quick twenty quid under Mr Windsor’s door. Sadly, the teachers have unionised and I have been told this is illegal. Thank god we don’t have a student union though, and I’m sure maybe fifty quid will do the job of getting rid of any pesky kids.

TITY OF THE DEPUTY HEAD PASTORAL], has told me to ensure they gather in close when I dispense invaluable sporting tips like ‘move faster’ and ‘get into space.’ I do not know where space is. Despite his bolded, multi-coloured, underlined, and clickbaited emails warning of imminent death, he seems weirdly unbothered about his rugby team gathering in such close proximity... The bus park is hell incarnate. I shied away from making a snide remark to one of the boys about not having their facemask on properly, but I felt it was too on the nose, unlike his mask. If I’m being honest I find the students deeply terrifying. The prefects in particular have a false delusion of authority. It’s only a lanyard dude! One of them even dared to go as far as to call me by my first name. I didn’t even know they knew it, how did they get this confidential information? Kindest regards, A worried teacher, Currently Reading: Biff and Chip: The Unabridged Anthology, Volume IX by John Milton

It is important to look at the wider issues at paw at the moment, such as supporting local businesses in these troubling times, so why not consider a purchase from Maggie’s Baggies? I am legally obliged to tell you this is an advertisement, and I apologise to my dear readers as I know it seems like I’m a sellout, but what’s a gal to do in these hard days? How else do I put the Cesar Filet Mignon on the table? I wish you the best of luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour. Maggie

I wouldn’t give up on your baking dreams too soon. It takes trial and error to find your prowess, and whilst hand sanitiser does sound like a more acquired taste I believe it’s the making of a master baker. So long as you avoid that dastardly witch Mary Berry, you will be fine. She once gave me dog biscuits with soggy bottoms, and honestly, I’ve felt let down ever since. Rugby sounds terrifying, but that’s even before all of this. I think your initiative shown in the equipment sanitisation is tremendous and should not go unnoticed. Staff would probably appreciate its spray nozzle function if they saw any children who seemed particularly infected around the campus. With regards to the bus park, I would try to stay as far away from it as possible. I find my comfortable spot in the geography office to be socially distanced enough from the infected. Maybe you could swap staff duties with another member of the faculty and end up palming off the perils of the bus park to an unsuspecting maths teacher or the likes. I’m sure you could find a much easier task to fill your time. I’ve heard the podcast club is quiet this time of year. Alternatively, I normally get my PA or bodyguard to do any odd jobs.


The

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1. Uruguay 2. 14 3. 7 4. Brazil 5. Ronnie O’Sullivan 6. No 7. Blue, yellow, black, green, red 8. Leonardo Da Vinci

9. 2013 10. Windsor 11. Pork blood 12. Choux pastry 13. Haricot 14. 2010 15. Crocus