Page 1

THE SAINT St Andrews’ Independent Student Newspaper Thursday 15 November 2012

ISSUE 167

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Jonathan Bucks The School of International Relations has been left reeling after a survey, sent to all IR students, sparked uproar over questions that have been branded biased and one-sided and regarded by many as indicative of a department that, despite its strong international reputation, is overstretched and under-resourced. The survey, which was a collaborative effort between the department and the School President, Katarina Birkedal, and has now been withdrawn, asked students if: they would be happy to have tutorials led exclusively

by post-graduate tutors at both honours and sub-honours level; they would prefer to abandon all forms of continuous assessment in favour of a final examination; they would prefer not to have any form of qualitative feedback; they would be happy to eliminate essay extensions, deferred assessments, appeals and s-coding, the method the University uses to recognise that special circumstances have affected performance; they would be happy to wait up to six weeks to receive feedback on all written work, among many other suggestions. Hillevi Gustafson, a final year IR student and President of the School of Film Studies, Continued on page 2

Photo: Alan Richardson

IR department slammed over “belittling” survey

Dr William Singleton 01333 451 733

“We all love St Andrews”: The Duke of Cambridge delivered a speech at a charity gala dinner on Thursday, 8 November. In attendance were the Duke and Duchess, Sir Menzies Campbell, University Chancellor, and Louise Richardson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

Voting opens for NUS membership referendum

Ketsuda Phoutinane

Voting for the National Union of Students (NUS) referendum began online yesterday and will continue until Friday 16 November. The result will be announced on Friday at around 9pm in the Union. The referendum will only be valid if 20% of the student body votes. The NUS is an organisation that includes 600 student unions, encompassing around 95% of further education unions in the UK. Their mission, as stated on their website,

is to “promote, defend, and extend the rights of students and to develop and champion strong students’ unions.” An independent fact sheet released by the Senior Elections Team and approved by the Association Board cites the cost of membership to the NUS as free for the current academic year. The fees would be £9,687.60 in the year 2013-2014 and from 20152016 onwards, the fees would be £19,367.15 per year. Some services provided by

the NUS within the affiliation fee include consultancy, training, a basic website package, and representation within the NUS. Further costs not included in the affiliation fee are summer training (£2,056) and the NUS Digital Full Package (£7,000). One of the more widely known features of NUS membership is the student card, NUS extra., which costs £12 per year and grants discounts at some high street and online retailers, such as ASOS, Superdrug, and Amazon. The Union would receive £4.71 in revenue for each card sold.

The current campaign period follows a decision by the SRC and SSC last April to postpone the referendum, citing reasons such as limited time among other financial, constitutional, and technical issues. The student-led ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaign groups began campaigning on 9 November. The University Debating Society is hosting a debate concerned with the referendum, with the motion of ‘This House would affiliate with the NUS’, beginning at 6pm on Thursday 15 November in Parliament Hall.

Last May, Liam Burns, President of the NUS, spoke to St Andrews about the benefits of rejoining the NUS. By “putting student unions in the driver’s seat”, Burns presented the NUS as a “consultancy” giving students a collective voice and acting as a go-between for student unions and governmental bodies. In an interview with The Saint this week, Freddie Fforde, Association President and Head of Elections Committee, said: “This has to be a decision argued for and taken by students. “

St Andrews and the NUS: p.4-5


 News

INSIDE

NEWS NUS debate Pages 4 and 5

Scottish universities face £150m deficit Page 6 VIEWPOINT The Map and the Territory Page 9 The Hero Complex Page 11 FEATURES Doug Allan interview Page 13 and 14 Photography’s wider impact Page 16 ARTS & CULTURE Toying with Star Wars Page 24 Why Roald Dahl still matters Page 27 SPORT 3G pitch unveiled Page 30 The demise of Scottish Rugby Page 31

The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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Editorial If you’ve survived the deadline drama with a shred of sanity left intact, you can look forward to exercising your right to democracy this week. The United States decided to re-elect President Obama last week (see page 9 for J. H. Ramsay’s view on the outcome), and this week it is St Andrews’ turn to go to the polls. We’re not electing people or parties, but deciding whether St Andrews Students’ Association should join NUS (the National Union of Students) or remain out of it. Whether you’ve been out in the town or on Facebook (it’s getting colder, so the latter is more likely), you will no doubt have seen a dog telling you to vote ‘Yes’ or pandas telling you to vote ‘No’. That description makes the referendum campaign sounds like an election-themed Care

Editorial Board

Editor

of Magical Creatures class, so I should probably take this opportunity to let you know that we have a double page spread (pages 4 and 5), with a history of St Andrews’ relations with NUS, the costs to the Union of joining and the main ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ arguments presented by a spokesperson from each campaign. You may also be wondering whether The Saint has a stance on the referendum. NUS does not have a spotless record when it comes to freedom of the student press, after all. It is a concern, yes, and something for NUS to work on. Nonetheless, The Saint’s independence from the University and Union allows us a buffer in that respect. You can rest assured that the students writing, photographing, illustrating and editing this issue have opinions and standpoints just like you do. But as a newspaper our objective

remains to inform. Hence we have presented the arguments of both sides of the debate in an impartial way. Our priority is to ensure that people know about this referendum and that they have the information they need to vote. Our commitment to presenting both sides extends beyond the NUS referendum. No news article is worthy of the name if it does not present the views of all interested parties for readers to make their own judgement. So, for example, the IR survey story (pages 1 and 2) contains comments from IR students, the IR School President, the DoRep and the University. St Andrews students are more than capable of looking at an issue of debate (be it a referendum, survey or whatever) and making up their own minds. You don’t need us to tell you what you should be thinking.

School of IR under fire over student survey Contined from page 1

Richard Browne editor@thesaint-online.com Deputy Editor Craig Lye editor@thesaint-online.com Production Manager Camilla Henfrey production@thesaint-online.com Business Manager Ryan Cant business@thesaint-online.com Business Management Team Eleanor Huddart, Chris Young Web Editor Elliot Davies web@thesaint-online.com News Editor Jonathan Bucks news@thesaint-online.com News Subeditors Sunniva Davies-Rommetveit, Erin Lyons, Freddy Pilkington, Ketsuda Phoutinane, Pim Ungphakorn, Raymond Wang Viewpoint Editor Nick Cassella viewpoint@thesaint-online.com Viewpoint Subeditor David Earnshaw Features Editor

lambasted the survey as a “passive aggressive attack on the student population.” She said: “The issue of dissatisfaction with the way the IR department teaches and interacts with its students is entirely ignored in any substantive way. Actually, to be frank, the attitude that this survey is drenched in clearly demonstrates the main issue that many students seem to have with the department: that as a whole the department does not care at all about its students.” Katarina Birkedal, President for the School of IR, recognised that despite being sent out with the best of intentions, the questions were “phrased a bit badly”. Birkedal declined to comment on who had composed the survey but admitted she had played a part. “It has been a very negative experience and I can tell you, it’s been awful. It’s all been a bit of an imperfect storm,” she said. “The survey could have been better and less biased but it’s all part of a process. The problem is that there are so many students. The University sometimes doesn’t know how to handle us,” she said. She apologised to anyone insulted by the survey but stressed that

“certain questions had to be asked to get the debate going.” Director of Representation, Amanda Litherland, said: “I can understand on the staff side why they’re doing it because they want to start the debate and gauge student opinions but I would say that from a student’s point of view, the questions do seem very one-sided and some of them seem impossible.” A University spokesperson said: “The School became aware that some students had raised issues with the way some of the questions were phrased. The issue however has been very positive in generating debate and posing important questions about the ways in which Schools might consult with students.” A fourth year IR student, who wished to remain anonymous, suggested that the debacle is symptomatic of an underresourced department. “I have a lot of respect for the IR professors and I think the vast majority of them are committed to their subject but I think the department is stretched. There simply aren’t enough staff.” Birkedal too conceded that the staff are stretched. The School of IR, recognised

as one of the University’s flagship subjects and ranked second behind Cambridge in the Guardian this year, teaches almost 1,500 students: 367 first years, 316 second years, 275 third years and 275 fourth years, excluding post-graduate students. A University spokesman commented: “IR is now considering a range of alternative options, including focus groups, as a means of encouraging further meaningful and constructive input.” The scorn poured upon the department comes amid uproar after an IR lecturer labelled students “elitist, sexist and racist” after many walked out of a lecture revolving around feminism. In a later lecture, on 6 November, the head of the School of IR, Professor John Anderson, addressed the same second year class, expressing a wish to “draw a line” under the recent debacle. A second year IR student, who wished to remain anonymous, said the reason many students walked out of the lecture “had nothing to do with her [Dr Ali Weston] decision to talk about Feminism, as demonstrated by the huge turnout to the Feminism lectures two weeks later, but because the lecture was neither engaging nor interesting.”

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Caitlin Hamilton features@thesaint-online.com Features Subeditors Alexandra Carson, Tamara Eberhard, Saeunn Gisladottir, Iben Merrild Arts & Culture Editor Stephen Jenkins arts@thesaint-online.com Arts& Culture Subeditors Lewis Camley, Tasha Cornall, David Hershaw, Emily Hill, Polly Warrack Sport Editor James Gray sport@thesaint-online com Sport Subeditors Allen Farrington, Andrew McQuillan, Martin Saarinen Photography Chiefs Celeste Sloman, Jake Threadgould photography@thesaint-online.com The Saint is an entirely independent newspaper, run by students of the University of St Andrews. It is published fortnightly during term time and is free of charge. The Saint is not affiliated with the University or the Student Association. The text, graphics and photographs are under copyright of The Saint and its individual contributors. No parts of this newspaper may be reproduced without prior permission of the editor. Any views expressed in the newspaper’s Viewpoint section are those of the writer’s individual opinion, and not of The Saint.

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The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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“Crazy idea” sees quad dressed in human coat of arms After poor weather conditions called for the photograph to be rescheduled in the first instance, Wednesday 7 November saw the ‘Human Coat of Arms‘ receive the final go-ahead. Meticulously organised by the Chinese Hongpao Society, the event aimed to involve hundreds of students and staff members in the

celebration of the University’s 600th Anniversary. Taking place in St Salvator’s Quad, participants came dressed in their allocated colour scheme, and were placed into measured sections on the Quadrangle to form an intricate portrayal of the University’s Shield. The official photograph, taken from the top of St Salvator’s clock tower, showed students forming the silver crescent of Pope Benedict XIII, the golden Maskells of Bishop Wardlaw, the lion rampant of James I, the open b o o k of learning, and the anniversary dates of 1 413-2013 . A m i d Mexican waves, an attempt at recreating a Gangman-style video shoot, and plentiful cheers to the photographers standing atop the tower, the crowd of volunteers were led through the directions required to allow for the best photograph. Association President, Freddie Fforde, attended the event and afterwards told The

Saint: “When the Hongpao society approached me with this crazy idea back in the summer, we had only just formalised the Your600th.net Campaign. Seeing the result today has been a rewarding testament to the many hours of hard work that we’ve put in to making this event happen. It also shows that so many students want to take a part in interpreting our 600th anniversary for themselves.” Fighting off the blistering cold, fourth year Kate McQueen recalls the event warmly: “Once the feeling had returned to my toes and I saw the final photograph, I was pretty glad to say that I had been a part of it all because it did make me feel a little bit famous.” The event was supported by the Students’ Association and as a memento, all participants were provided with an A5 photograph of the day, courtesy of the University. Fforde said: “I want to thank everybody at the Students’ Association for helping to make this event happen. Now we’re really excited to look forward and make sure that future events, and any students with 600th ideas, are equally supported for more success.”

Photos: Jessica Biggs and Amy Thompson

Caitlin Hamilton

Organisers corral participants into place as Freddie Fforde oversees the spectacle

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The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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NUS Referendum

NUS or no: Is it time to burst the Bubble and rejoin the NUS?

Career communists and bad governance: Elliot Davies examines St Andrews’ history with the National Union of Students St Andrews has a long history of student

debate motion titled “This House Would

universities to establish representation

Is” passed with a two-thirds majority in

unionism. It was one of the first British

Disaffiliate From the NUS As It Now favour.

NUS or no: Voting opened yesterday on a referendum that could see St Andrews rejoin the NUS after thirty-five years of disaffiliation.

in 1889 St Andrews joined the Scottish

on NUS membership, which was held

terminated its membership.

together the SRCs from the four ancient

NUS representatives a week earlier and

for students: the Students’ Representative

Council (SRC) was formed in 1885, and Student Representative Council to bring

universities. The St Andrews Students’

Union was then founded in 1892 to

provide facilities and social activities; a separate Women’s Union was established in 1904 and joined with the Students’ Union in 1963.

When the National Union of Students

(NUS) was founded in 1922, it was only

for universities in England and Wales, however, so in 1935 St Andrews and

Edinburgh led to the formation of the Scottish Union of Students (SUS). This held until 1971, when bids for a more united front saw the SUS merge with the

The SRC soon called for a referendum

on 27 January 1976. Despite a visit from

minds: 1,384 voted to disaffiliate, versus 653 in favour of remaining.

The next year saw turmoil. St

Andrews could not leave the NUS Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, helped initiate a new SUS while at St Andrews in 1977

The NUS, now representing 750,000

students from 960 colleges, was accused

of being spendthrift with its membership revenues, of poorly representing students

and, in the highly-charged political

atmosphere of the 1970s, of being “a

political platform for a spread of views from the left.” In November 1975, a

St

with

other

institutions

and

started

Salmond, about establishing a new SUS with Edinburgh and Strathclyde, also

recently disaffiliated. The effort was inadvertently helped by the NUS when,

during a conference attempting to entice

back Edinburgh, NUS President, Sue Slipman, lost her temper, labelled St Andrews an “elitist institution,” and

suggested it would not be welcomed back into the NUS even if it voted to join.

The Edinburgh Students’ Association President, Keith Leslie, called Slipman

Action Group to get the decision reversed

discontent was brewing in St Andrews.

NUS,

talks, coordinated in part by one Alex

cheap insurance through NUS-owned After just a few years, however,

the

Travel, students had made up their

practicalities such as the use of NUS

without six months’ notice, so tenacious

Endsleigh Insurance.

leaving

Andrews was keen to maintain its links

representation across the UK, as well as travel discounts through NUS Travel and

Despite

a strong ‘Yes’ campaign arguing for

NUS to become NUS Scotland. As part

of the NUS, St Andrews now enjoyed

Life on the outside

‘Yes’ campaigners formed a Student

before the official disaffiliation on 1 January 1977. The group was even joined

“a career communist … who owes her position to electoral manipulation.” A St

Andrews spokesperson at the time said: “I think the referendum result will show Ms Slipman that the dislike is mutual.”

On 3 November, 1977, it was decided

by some key ‘No’ campaigners who cited

to settle the matter of unionism with

following the election of a conservative to

ballot gave students the choice between

“[a] change in [the] political climate” the NUS executive. But the NUS’ appeal

was dashed when the collapse of NUS Travel forced it to sell off its profitable

businesses, including Endsleigh, and by

1977, the Action Group had failed to get another referendum called. St Andrews

another referendum. The options on the the NUS (182 votes), working towards the SUS (750) or no union at all (837). After

redistribution, St Andrews had narrowly declared its independence: 831 votes for the SUS and 892 votes for no union. Without

St

Andrews’

support

the

SUS efforts fell apart, but St Andrews,

Students’

later form the ‘Ancients’ group. After

universities by unifying its SRC and

Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee did

interest from Strathclyde, this became in 1999 the more inclusive Coalition of

Higher Education Students in Scotland

(CHESS), a forum for dialogue between

In numbers

1977

The last time St Andrews was affiliated with the NUS

£19,367.15

Cost of membership from 2014/15 onwards

Associations

(in

1983

St

Andrews had mirrored many other

Student Union into a single Students’ Association). Bad blood

CHESS enabled discussion between

institutions, but concerns about wider representation soon had St Andrews

students wondering about the NUS once

more. When an independently-minded SRC passed a motion in February 2001 to

declare the Student Association’s official position as anti-NUS, a student petition

led to a referendum hastily being called

for 23 March, despite criticisms by the NUS-backed ‘Yes’ campaign over the

time it would have to organise and nine months of research by a working party

£12

that found reaffiliation to the NUS would

£7,000

reaffiliation, sent representatives to St

4,112

propaganda.” In response, St Andrews

Cost of an NUS extra card

Cost of NUS Digital full package

The number of NUS cards that would need to be sold each year to break even

be detrimental.

The problems escalated when the

NUS itself, eager to secure St Andrews’ Andrews who were promptly accused by the SRC of breaking the rules

by blanketing the town in “outside students protested by reading aloud the

Declaration of Arbroath and Declaration of Independence on the doorstep of NUS Scotland’s headquarters in Edinburgh.

Eventually the referendum, now being


The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

News 

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NUS Referendum

Yes

It’s time we found our voice (Ben Anderson writes): so much of student life is affected by national policy, from how much we pay to attend University, to how much rent we pay. At the moment, St Andrews does not have a say on these issues. Politicians and policy makers assume that NUS Scotland speaks for us, but as non-members, we have no control on who leads NUS, or what they’re saying. We need to be members so our voice can be heard. We deserve the same support other students get - whether it’s back up when things go wrong, like in the case of international students at London Met, when you get ripped off by your landlord, or whether it’s simply putting money back in to students’ pockets through an NUS extra card; NUS works to make student life easier. Over 95% of students in the UK get their NUS membership paid for by the University through a grant to their Students’Association; the price of one drink per student per year to access the same support isn’t too much to ask. At the local level, the NUS can provide training for students and sabbatical officers. They can provide help with web-design and offer a consultancy service. The emphasis here is on ‘can’ and ‘offer’; nothing is compulsory for a

Counting the cost Membership of the NUS, based on the 7,777 students currently matriculated,

Voting continues tomorrow and the result will be announced in the Union at 9pm on Friday. overseen by the University to ensure the

more.

11 May and then 12 October, owing to the

the SRC began to feel that St Andrews’

vote remained fair, was postponed until

need for a “cooler atmosphere.” It was then pushed back again to 19 October

after a request from the ‘Yes’ campaign to separate it from other elections. But the

backbiting continued right up until the end when the NUS circulated a pamphlet falsely claiming the University had given

up on the referendum. The Students’ Association

responded

by

directly

appealing for students to vote ‘No’.

When the vote was finally held, a

With CHESS largely inactive since 2009,

comes at a cost of £19,367.15 per year

In return, students would be eligible

discounts from retailers.

of £12 per year, giving them access to

For each card sold, the Students’

Campaign Against Fees and Cuts were

Association

Sabbs,” while SRC member Chloe Hill

membership through card sales alone,

noted in March 2012 that without the NUS’

networking

opportunities,

“St

2012,

the

Andrews has no voice.” On

10

April

citing

would

receive

£4.71.

to purchase an NUS card each year (based on the full fee of £19,367.15). However,

figures

provided

by

call another meeting on 25 April to

associations. Just 3% of students at

Association required 1,400 votes to ensure validity, the vote was declared ‘aquorate’ and had to be ratified by the

Students’ Association Board - which was officially anti-NUS. Despite complaints, the Board ratified the vote. The present day

The issue then lay dormant once

more, until it was suddenly awoken by events that shook students nationwide: the cuts to higher education and raising

of tuition fees to £9,000. The protests

across the country thrust the NUS into the limelight and raised the question of St Andrews’ national representation once

technical and constitutional concerns” were raised. Amid allegations of the

Sabb-elects seeking to influence the

matter, the major criticisms were that a

alongside

performance. In 2011/12, the Students’

Association reported a surplus of £101,650,

with a greater figure of £146,395 reported

in 2010/11. These strong figures were

mainly driven by profits generated from the union bar and BESS. However,

redevelopment

vary

drastically

between

affiliated

Edinburgh University purchase an NUS card, whilst at Reading University, which

tops the tables in terms of card sales, just 30% of students buy into the scheme.

Clearly, even in best case scenario

bar in year 2013/14. According to Union forecasts, this will push them into a loss

of £8480 this year, with further losses to follow until redevelopment completes in 2015. Based on bar revenues in 2011/12, a semester long closure could cost the Union £139,224.50, making this year’s projected loss look

insignificant

comparison. The

by

Association

student societies were funded with

of the development costs,

by students studying for the upcoming

exams. Chloe Hill commented: “This is no longer an issue of the NUS referendum.

It is an issue of bad governance.” Eventually, the meeting voted to delay the referendum until November 2012.

£33,871, with the budget set to increase to

£35,000 for this academic year. Funding was also granted above and beyond this

figure to Union sub-committees, whose funding is ring-fenced, such as the Charities Campaign, Debates, St Andrews

Radio and the Student Volunteer Service (SVS), totalling £17,000.

cannot simply point towards past profits for how to finance NUS membership,

at least until redevelopment has been completed and the Union returns to

consistent profitability. In the meantime,

the cost would have to be met from other parts of the budget.

Quite apart from the ideological

this referendum. The Association budget

the ‘Yes’ campaign would have been led the ‘No’ campaign would have been led

position. However, it is clear that one

earnest in the New Year, leading to the

has also committed £1

for the Students’ Association. In 2011/12,

for many years in order to build its capital

debate surrounding NUS membership,

projections, a funding gap would exist

by well-prepared sabbatical officers while

of

and is in part the reason that the

the

vote in May would leave little time for independent financial analysis and that

present

closure of BESS, and affecting the Union

voted in favour of rejoining. But there was

re-examine the issue after “financial,

considered

4,112 St Andrews’ students would need

the NUS demonstrate that card sales

one final controversy: since the Students’

even more acute when budget forecasts

Union building is scheduled to start in

building momentum, the SRC called for a referendum for 2-3 May, only to

Association has been running a surplus

The importance of funding of all

Therefore, to break even on the cost of

landslide result saw 1,076 students vote to remain independent while only 63

of NUS membership.

would be reduced in order to meet the cost

are

for the remainder of 2012/13.

That said, redevelopment planning

took such revenue losses into account,

2013/14 and and would not pay nothing

would pay a discounted £9,687.60 in

Patrick O’Hare, commented in August

“one of the few chances to meet other

It is reasonable to question whether

two parts. The first is overhead costs, which we cannot reduce. The second is the budget for things like subcommittees, societies, and events. The £20,000 would come entirely out of the latter portion. Our Union is currently able to support the highest ratio of clubs and societies in the UK, but this will not remain the case if we start giving up an amount equal to two thirds of the societies’ budget. NUS Extra Cards offer few benefits: one of the supposed benefits of NUS membership is the NUS Extra card. However, not only does it cost £12, but almost all of its discounts are already available with our free matriculation cards. Moreover, only three stores in town offer discounts to those with an NUS Extra card. The fact that only 7% of eligible students actually buy these cards reflects their poor value. NUS fails to deliver on advocacy and representation: advocacy is at the core of the NUS’ mission. However, the recent rise in tuition fees is a perfect example of its failure in advocacy. This continues a long history of ineffective advocacy, as seen in the fee rises of both 1997 and 2004. Even today, the NUS fails to act as the representative voice of students it claims to be. If St Andrews joined the NUS, we would contribute only three out of the 1,500 delegates of its annual conference. This conference, moreover, is dominated by entrenched NUS internal factions which stifle democratic debate and spend much of the conference arguing over external political concerns rather than real student issues. The cost of the NUS is high, while the benefits for our Union are negligible at best. If you want your Union to be independent, well funded, and well functioning, vote no to NUS. For more information or to get involved to defend your Union, like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NoToNusStA) or go to no-to-nus.org.

budgets for such student led activities

Union activities in general becomes

to purchase an NUS extra card, at a cost

2011 that the meetings of the Scottish

No

The NUS would impose significant fees on our Student’ Association, (Michael Fraser writes) would not fight for real student issues and we, as students at St Andrews, would gain very little from joining. NUS membership would cost £20,000 annually: our Union’s budget consists of

(Ryan Cant writes). However, the Union

isolation outside the NUS was harming

it. The Students’ Association President,

union that joins the NUS. Many people might just want to join because they want the discounts, like 50% off Spotify, and that’s absolutely fine. You might want to say that to talk about the discount card trivialises the issue. For us, the best thing about the NUS is choice. Everyone can take what he or she wants from it. For some people, money off their next ASOS shop is enough to improve their student experience, but the NUS can offer more. The NUS covers the student experience at all levels: personal, local and national. This referendum is our chance to say yes. This university has some traditions of which we are, quite rightly, fiercely proud. We don’t believe the NUS will eradicate St Andrews’ independence or traditions. We believe the benefits that the NUS offers will only enhance the student experience that already exists. For more information, see our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/StAndrewsYesToNus).

million to meet its share

meaning that cash reserves

will be reduced significantly from the current £1.7 million of

a stark choice faces voting students in is finite, and additional costs will have to be balanced by reducing existing cost structures. While there may be a point

in the not-too-distant future where a fully re-developed Union roars back into profitability, that time has not yet come

– a decision to join the NUS will have to be cost-neutral and

this will mean making

difficult choices about existing

commitments.

funding

You can see the

Student

Association’s

financial accounts in full by

requesting

them

from the cash office.

unrestricted funds in the bank. This alone will reduce interest earned by the Union by £15,500 per annum, based on 2011/12 interest paid.

Could student led activities such

as the Charities Campaign see their budgets cut if we rejoin the NUS?


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The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

Laura Abernethy

Questions have been raised over what Scottish independence would mean for students and university tuition fees after it emerged that independence would create a ÂŁ150m black hole in tuition fees losses as a result EU law. At present, tuition fees for Scottish students and students from the EU are covered by

20,000

Number of RUK students studying at Scottish universities the Scottish government, while students from the rest of the UK pay up to ÂŁ9,000 a year. However, if Scotland were to become independent, students from the rest of the UK would be EU citizens and would qualify for free tuition fees. Under EU law, European students are entitled to the same funding as home students. In response to questions asked by the Conservative

MSP, Liz Smith, SNP education secretary, Mike Russell, replied: ‘’There are approximately 20,000 students from the rest of the UK studying for a first degree at Scottish universities. If all of these students were to qualify for regulated places as EU students then the cost of providing these places would be approximately ÂŁ150 million.’’ Politicians have argued that a massive funding gap could lead to cuts in funding for other areas and that the Scottish government may need to find money from elsewhere. Liz Smith argued that as Scottish universities are already facing a huge gap in funding, ‘’This sum on top of that gives a clear indication of the size of the black hole that would be left in every education budget if the SNP got their way.’’ She also argued that the figures provided by the SNP are inaccurate and that the gap could be closer to ÂŁ260 million following the result of a report by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) at Holyrood. Ms Smith said:

Photo: Jessica Biggs

ÂŁ150m black hole threatens Scottish universities if independence goes ahead

In the red: Scottish universities would have a ÂŁ150m black hole to plug if Scotland becomes independent “SPICe has estimated that the Scottish Government has underestimated the funding gap by more than ÂŁ100 million and if even more EU students are applying then that increases the financial burden for the tax payer.â€? A government spokesperson denied these claims and argued that the figures in this report were out of date. The Scottish government are trying to find ways to raise

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money from EU students within the law in an attempt to bridge the current funding gap and to provide answers to the issue of what Scottish independence would mean for university funding. In a statement to the Courier, a Scottish Government spokesman said: “The simple fact is we are maintaining free access to university for Scots based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay. In an

independent Scotland this will continue to be the case, and we are continuing to examine how we could raise additional income from students from outside Scotland, within EU law.� These attempts could see European students having to pay for their education at Scottish universities. First year IR student, Perl Li from Austria said: “If I would have been confronted with tuition fees I would still have come to St Andrews, but money would have been a bigger issue.� A University spokesman discussed how more clarity is needed on how independence would effect tution fees. He said: “Of course this is a matter in which the University has a very close interest and I think the whole sector would welcome clarity on the issue. If and when firm proposals are published as part of the independence debate, we will make our views of those proposals known and contribute fully to the debate, as I hope our students will,� he said.


The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

News 

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InFocus

InFocus: Freddie Fforde, Association President The Saint’s Pim Ungphakorn sits down with the President to reflect on the last five months in office, accommodation and the NUS Referendum Pim Ungphakorn: In a recent poll conducted by The Saint, fewer than half of students surveyed could identify you and only a quarter could identify the rest of the sabbatical team. One of your main campaign pledges was improving transparency. Did these figures worry you? Freddie Fforde: Not at all. I was actually really pleased — I thought they were incredibly high numbers. I was, for example, delighted to hear that 15% of people read my blog — a blog that never previously existed. The proportion of students who recognise me is never going to be 100%, and I wouldn’t want it to be because not all students care—nor should they have to care. My issue with it was that we have no idea how well sabbaticals are known at other universities across the country. For all we know that could be the highest statistic ever at any

university. I think communication has been one of the success stories for us so far. We’re hoping to cement it towards the end of the year. We’re tweeting constantly; we’re using our Facebook page in a way that’s never been used before. We have 1,500 more “likes” this year. PU: Campaigning has started for the NUS referendum. Why are you staying impartial? FF: Firstly because of the difficulties we experienced last semester. My priority is to safeguard the stability and future of the Students’ Association. The events of last spring made it clear to me that by taking sides I ran the risk of compromising that priority. More importantly, I don’t think it would be fair of me to impose my own political views. My priority is a free and fair debate and I can’t see that

taking place if I was to muddy the water. PU: What have you done to ensure a “free and fair debate”? FF: All the rules were agreed and voted on by SSC and SRC. Apart from at two events, we haven’t allowed external speakers because we wouldn’t want either team to start on an unfair platform. This has to be a decision argued for and taken by students. The arguments should stand for themselves without relying on external resources. The NUS affiliation fact sheet was specifically designed to minimise false claims in campaigning. It will be up to the campaigners to argue the value of the figures. PU: In your campaign, you said accommodation was one of the biggest barriers preventing students from enjoying St Andrews. What are you doing to tackle this?

accommodation survey. My campaign focused on ensuring that the decisions we take are student-led. This survey does just that: it is representative data that allows student opinion to guide University policy. The majority said accommodation was “hard” or “very hard” to find - information that the University might not have known. My position is that the University and the students usually have the same aim. People expect student politicians to be overly political. Constructive relationships achieve more and cause less damage. However, if the University does act unfairly, I will be the first to fight it.

FF: We set up an Photo: Sammi McKee

Moving Fife Park residents to DRA and Agnes Blackadder Hall next semester shows the University sees the opportunity to minimise disruption so that Fife Park can be renovated by 2014 as legally required. However, at the moment students have to prove they need to live in Albany and Fife Park, for financial reasons. This is segmenting people just because they can’t afford to live in certain areas. Instead of lowcost accommodation I believe we should invest in developing high-quality residences for all students and with the University subsiding students who cannot afford it. PU: How have you found working with the other sabbatical officers? FF: The single biggest reward of this job is working with them. We’ve all been very supportive of each other and, as a direct result of having such a tight team, we’re having a lot more influence across University decisions. We do disagree from time to time but the fact that we are able to handle differences of opinion in a constructive way shows how strong we are as a unit.


C AREERS  Careers

Dear Clintons, In Deepest Sympathy, Love From Pig and Pigeon Elliott Miskin

They called it printing money. Indeed, you don’t need to be a retail guru to see the value in buying a card for less than 30p to then sell it to the customer at £2.00. But alas the unfavourable economic winds and the Odyssean hubris of the management team led to Clinton Cards falling into administration in May 2012, resulting in the closure of 370 shops and the loss of nearly 4000 jobs. The business was started by a man with a simple dream, Don Lewin desperately wanted to own a Rolls Royce car. The secondary school dropout grew the business from a starting investment of £500 in 1968 to its height of around 1000 retail outlets in the UK, generating enough profit to buy several showrooms worth of his beloved cars. So, what went wrong? Arguably the biggest contributor to Clinton Card’s downfall was the incredible, if not unlikely force of a lunar swine and a disco bird. Both Moonpig and Funky Pigeon undercut their retail rival with a better product and a lower price level. Customers flocked (and trotted) to sites that allowed them to personalise their greeting cards

and post them to their loved ones without ever having to leave their desks. Both companies invested heavily on highly effective (if not mind-numbingly horrific) television advertising to spread their product, with the promise of free delivery sweetening the deal. These businesses were able to charge less because of their relatively low cost base, in stark contrast to the high cost of prime high street retail space; it appears that students aren’t the only ones who struggle to pay rent in St Andrews. Management initially refused to act when these new competitors arrived on the scene, and when they eventually did add their own, poorly promoted, online outlet, it was simply too little, too late. American Greetings, a supplier of Clinton Cards, called time on the company’s £35m debt and acquired the stores into its subsidiary, Lakeshore. American Greetings has stated its intention to invest $20 million to reboot the business, though it will certainly need to learn from Clinton’s previous mistakes and redefine itself as a brand if it wishes to survive on our evolving high street.

The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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FREE. It consists of weekly Wednesday afternoon workshops, combined with a range of online resources. We’ve got it covered! From how to reference your work, through to writing coherently. From selfcoaching towards your dream career, through to Leadership. From making your skills shine out in your CV, through to how to increase your productivity. By focusing on your networking, academic, employability and professional skills, we hope to give you that all-important competitive advantage in today’s graduate market. To take advantage of M-Skills you can do three things: Visit the M-Skills web-page for the complete listing of what’s on: http://www.standrews.ac.uk/pgstudents/ academic/mskills/ Join the facebook group: www.facebook.com/MSkills

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Enrol on the online Moodle resource page: details of how to do this are on the website. Dani Berrow, President of the PG Society welcomed the initiative: “The Postgraduate Committee is delighted to support the implementation of the M-Skills programme, which has not only been designed to help taught postgraduates make the most of their time at St Andrews, but also to look ahead to their future after graduation - often a daunting prospect! This comprehensive programme, divided into four useful parts, meets what we feel has been a pressing need to improve and enhance the taught postgraduate experience by offering exciting opportunities and additional resources to complement courses studied within the College of St Leonard.” Visit the M-Skills webpage now to get started!


V IEWPOINT

Editor: Nick Cassella

email: viewpoint@thesaint-online.com

The Map and The Territory J H Ramsay There is an idea in geography of the “phantom island.” These land masses (of which hundreds have been recorded) never existed. But for centuries they continued to appear on maps. They were given terrifying names, accompanied by equally horrifying mythologies. The Isle of Demons was said to be near Newfoundland, and inhabited by spirits and monsters. The Hand of Satan was rumoured to be found in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and was allegedly the home of devils which lured sailors to their deaths. No-one ever reached the shores of these islands, of course. No explorers returned with verifiable evidence of their presence. But people genuinely believed they existed as threats. After all, how could their own maps lie to them?

“The Mormon Monster was a verified presence. Or so we all believed.”

Willard Mitt Romney is a modern phantom island. In the past decade, he has appeared on our political maps as a legitimate threat, time and time again. The cartographers ofAmerican politics refused to write him out. The Mormon Monster was a verified presence. Or so we all believed. It’s clear now, with the accumulated statistics from experience and exploration, that Mitt never stood a chance.

The final colouring of the United States after the 2012 Presidential Election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney The odds of him winning the presidency of the United States were nearly microscopic. He walked into the casino blind and maimed and mute and tried to win Texas Hold ‘Em against the best player the game has known – Barack Obama. It was just never going to happen. Nate Silver, of The New York Times blog The Five Thirty Eight, gave Obama a 91% shot at victory in the Electoral College. Romney was playing long odds at 9%, and still went all-in, hoping for a good river card. It never came. Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, and the rest of the swing states all came out blue. Mitt had to learn the hard way that no-one with any sense bets on the river card. What made it so much worse to watch was the knowledge of the unavoidable truth that his hand

was awful in the first place. He should have folded on the flop. So why was anyone surprised with the results? All the evidence was there that Mitt was a phantom island. Why did we believe he could be shipwrecked upon? How could anyone have feared him? Why did college

examine from the 2012 election. The problem is with our maps; in this case, largely, the media. Fox News, NBC, CNN, and the rest of the American news corporations wrote a false reality for us. They continually propped Mitt up as a terrifying new continent. And for good reason – ratings skyrocket

“He walked into the casino blind and maimed and mute and tried to win Texas Hold ‘Em against the best player the game has known – Barack Obama.” kids run into the streets and volunteer their summers away fighting far too hard for a sure Democratic victory? These are the important questions we need to take away and

during election season. People like a good, fair, head-to-head match. And we were lead to believe that Romney vs. Obama was going to be just that. But as we can see now, it was never that

fair. Something has to change in our perception of reality. What we need is a revival of the United States Exploring Expedition. From 1838 to 1842, Commodore Thomas Catesby Jones and Lieutenant Charles Wilkes were commissioned by Congress to sail six ships through the Pacific Ocean and theAntarctic, with the intention of accurately mapping the unknown world. In six years, they discovered hundreds of new islands, and debunked the existences of scores of phantom lands. It was an immense success for American scientific innovation. A new Exploring Expedition should be formed with the express purpose of identifying and debunking legitimate contenders for American politics. We need an independent body determined to weed out phantom islands such as Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Chris Christie – politicians who will never stand a chance, and simply do not exist where the presidency is concerned. The Expedition will discover and highlight true land masses and real contenders, such as Michael Bloomberg, Jon Huntsman, or Chris Daggett, and ensure that they get the attention they deserve for their legitimacy. The map is not the territory. Maps can lie. They can embellish and exaggerate and outright fabricate continents. Only the landscape itself can be trusted for what it is. It’s too easy, in American politics today, to fall for the maps, and forget the reality of the territory as it actually stands.

The views expressed in Viewpoint do not represent the views of The Saint, but are individual opinions.


10 Viewpoint

The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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An Immigrant’s Tale: Scottish Independence Lissa Rocha Heron

I was born in Brazil to a Brazilian mother and an American father. When I was five and my sister was in utero we moved to the US so my dad could take care of his ailing mother. Circumstances made what was supposed to be a temporary stay into a permanent one, so, as we couldn’t move back to Brazil, my dad would send my mum, sister and me there almost every summer for three whole months. Growing up so internationally meant I was not as immersed in the blind patriotism of the American mid-west, and even at my most patriotic, I still saw the flaws of the US, particularly the cultural imperialism that was simultaneously adopted and resented. By the time I was halfway through uni and had made my first trip to Europe, I knew I had to get away. I came to Scotland for a summer research project at St. Andrews, and I loved it so much I decided to come back for my PhD.

Four and a half years later I got that PhD and switched from a student visa to a highlyskilled migrant visa. I officially became a citizen on Leap Day, 2012, after more than eight years and several thousand pounds in visa fees. The next day I sent off my voter registration, and, soon after, I joined the SNP. However, I am no longer a believer either in the quality of the Westminster government or of the benefits of the Union for Scotland. My reasons for this are many and complex, but I will try to give a brief summary of some of the main points. * I am a firm believer in small countries. The complexity of modern societies is leading to diminishing returns, and I think the best way to counteract that is to have countries that are smaller but cooperate more fully with each other on the global scale. Smaller populations can have more representantive governments that are more in touch with the people they

represent, and resources can be more effectively utilised. The perfect examples of this are the Nordic countries, which have populations of 5-10 million people, moderate levels of natural resources, and some of the most equal and least corrupt societies in the world; they also cooperate with each other extensively and have shared institutions. This is the sort of model I would like to see for the British Isles. Westminster has shown itself to be corrupt and beholden to a very select few in the upper echelons of the financial world. This is true of Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Expenses scandal, Iraq war, financial deregulation, bailed-out banks being allowed to give out millions of pounds in bonuses for failure, cruel benefits legislation, terrible immigration legislation, inappropriate media relationships, tuition fees, NHS privitisation... the list goes on and on.

If the Union has been so great for Scotland, why does it have the lowest life expectancy and highest teenage pregnancy rates in Western Europe? Why are the industries decimated? Why is there so much child poverty? How can a country with so much wealth in the form of natural resources seem to have such difficulty coping with these problems? By definition, in Westminster, Scotland cannot have an equal voice. Some might say this is fair, because it is so much smaller in population than England, but being constantly run by an unrepresentative government is a sure source of resentment. The framers of the US constitution recognised the danger in such inequality, and created a bicameral legislature with one house representantive of population and the other giving equal representantion to each state. Westminster’s second house is one of privilege and cronyism that does nothing to

redress the balance of the UK’s smaller countries being at the mercy of England’s electorate, regardless of how different their views might be. The West Lothian question. Of course it is a problem that matters affecting only England and Wales can be voted on by MPs representing Scottish constituencies. This shows that the Union as it stands is also not always fair to the rest of the UK, and not just Scotland. I want a society that is leftof-centre, socially liberal, equal, honest, with a strong emphasis on social justice and social welfare, that values education, intellectual endeavour, science, the arts, and people, takes care of its most vulnerable, and interacts with the rest of the world with respect. I do not believe Westminster is capable of delivering this society, but Scotland is much better placed to do so on its own. That is why I will be voting ‘Yes’ in 2014.

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The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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The Hero Complex Tali Kord

The media has been buzzing with an extraordinary story these past few days. Felix Baumgartner, a 43year-old Austrian, broke several world records by skydiving from 128,100 feet. Amazingly, the only things broken that day were those few records; Baumgartner had a clean and safe landing. This truly unique feat has climax written all over it. Indeed many commentators on this event seemed to wonder where one might continue in life, having done something like this – the underlying logic being that something bigger must follow and that any sequence of events is necessarily building towards something new and more meaningful. Oh, how quick we are to attach a narrative to everything. Similarly, there are many scientific studies dedicated to face perception; it appears that we as humans are biologically wired to see faces everywhere. There are whole websites and blogs filled with pictures of objects that have facial features (electricity sockets, cars etc) and it’s fascinating how easily we spot a face in the most unlikely of places. Well, maybe it works similarly with narrative: we find story-lines wherever we can. I think it mainly has to do with the most basic characteristics of time - its linearity. Time only moves forward and so things must be going somewhere. Add to that our need for meaning and for easily comprehended reasons, and you get a tendency to assume that our lives hold personal narratives, that each individual life has a beginning and several plot turning points, all heading towards an inevitable climax. This is – of course – complete

nonsense. Life is a series of events and nothing more. But it is a unique human trait (or is it?) that we are able to pick out the best suited events and compile them to look like a constructed storyline. Note also that society encourages us in this. Most interviews and application letters have at least one section in which you are asked to recount your life so far, or to tell about yourself. No one ever answers, “I like reading and the color orange and tomorrow I’m going to the gym,” now, do they? It’s always in the lines of: “I was born in; I studied-; then I worked at-; and in the future I hope to-”. It can easily be argued that this is simply the most rational way to tell someone about yourself. Surely your work and study experience are more relevant to the interviewer than your colour preferences? But I think there is something more to it, something inside us that wants to see ourselves as the lead character in the narrative that is our life. Others are co-stars and their existence is mostly in relation to their interactions with us. They just don’t matter quite as much as we do. This is what Pulitzer-winning anthropologist Ernest Becker would call a “hero-system”: a cultural system in which “people serve in order to earn a feeling of primary value, of cosmic specialness…of...unshakable meaning” (‘Introduction’, The Denial of Death). The hero-system is what brings people to build “a cathedral, a totem pole, a skyscraper, a family that spans three generations”, or even parachute from space, perhaps?

It’s possible that I’m being overly cynical. Baumgartner broke records, he challenged human limitations. But then so did Usain Bolt, only without serious risk to life or limb. Ernest Becker considers heroism to be “first and foremost a reflex of the terror of death” (‘The Terror of Death’, The Denial of Death). This does not mean risking your life in order to live – that wouldn’t make very much evolutionary sense – but rather risking your life so that it has a meaning which would outlive you. In a way, the very fact that I’m writing these lines about Baumgartner already proves his success in the hero-system. He created something big and impressive enough so that we can all easily imagine the 600-page biography called The Man Who Fell from the Sky, which includes a touching memoir bit about his childhood in cliff-ridden Austria, his young adulthood spent basejumping in the army, and that one commander who told him he was born to change the world. The fact that he was born exactly three months after Neil Armstrong landed on the moon (Google it) is clearly a foreshadowing symbol, etc… Hollywood is bound to respond with an adaptation. I was standing and watching the live internet broadcast of a skydiver making history, wondering whether this was an act of greatness or an act of madness. Maybe it’s both. And maybe it’s neither: maybe it’s the purest form of human-ness, trying its best to create an exciting enough narrative and to give the main character the cosmic specialness he deserves.

Viewpoint 11

Stirring the Pot Nick Cassella Eating breakfast at Arnie’s diner with my grandmother over the summer break, we worked our way through a cup of coffee and pancakes. There was an air of uncomfortability pervading the meal, her comments were curt and her body language troubled. I genuinely could not tell what was up. I tried to keep the conversation flowing, asking her about her church and her renovated kitchen (that, by the way, has blue tiles which are fabulous). As I reached for the syrup, she leaned her head forward and in a somber whisper asked me ‘Are you still a Democrat?’ ‘Yes, Grandma, suprisingly, I am still a Democrat.’ And, after the election results began pouring in during the wee small hours of the Scottish morning, I could feel my liberal smugness becoming nearly unbearable. I watched as three states voted to legalise same-sex marriage, the civil rights cause of our times. There will come a day when we will turn our collective heads back at our times and ponder how we could have been so headstrong in our conviction to deny equality to a sexual minority. As I sat up in bed, I was witnessing the end of an oppression that has handicapped far too many lives in Maine, Washington and Maryland. To enflame my liberal convictions even further, two other states voted to legalise recreational use of marijuana. Surely this is the catalyst which marks the beginning of the end of the war on drugs. The annals of history will look back upon this as the beginning of the end of the war on drugs - perhaps the most costly, inane and futile war the US has ever waged in its history. Over the last

half century, the US has spent $1 trillion to fight this ‘war’. Even more worrying is that the US has more than three times as many prisoners per capita as it had in 1980 - not to mention this number is about ten times as many as other Western nations, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Already, in Washington state, 220 cases of marijuana arrests have been dropped since the marijuana legislation was passed. That’s what I call progress. This will be a social experiment, and the results could be bad. Who knows? Out of the blue, the US has now emerged as a global leader in promoting sensible policies in regards to marijuana. For a nation that is so conservative, so backward and so hamstrung by tradition as the US - this fills me with great hope and pride for the future of my country. There have been few moments in my lifetime in which these patriotic sentiments have been felt and I enter into 2013 with a renewed sense of expectations. Ben Wattenberg wrote a book called The First Universal Nation, where he claimed that the US was creating a nation that was entirely unique in history; a nation that was created of people of all colours, races, religions and creeds that all embrace their individualism. This diversity, he stated, would end up being America’s greatest strength in the future. The 2012 elections have shown this strength. Here’s to its endurance.

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12 Viewpoint

The Saint • Thursday 15 November

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A message from a music snob Matthew Despard

I’m a music snob who judges others by the diversity of their iTunes libraries. For most of my conscious existence I have been looking sceptically on the music tastes of my peers, writing them off as variously pedestrian or simply bad. I’ve been waiting for St Andrews to prove me wrong and make me see that there is more diversity of taste in this international town than I could ever have imagined. But, as it stands, I’m unconvinced. It’s no revelation that St Andrews isn’t a big city, or even a large town. Still, thousands of young people live here. So why is it so boring? While I recognise the demand for Christmas stores and frilly gift shops for a particular sub-section of the population,

I’m puzzled at the dearth of functional performance venues in this town. Aikman’s has live music, but it seems to have little capacity for more than one amp and a barstool, while other bars play host to a rotating and increasingly overcrowded field of DJs. That which has been digitised and sampled has its place, but not to the exclusion of live music, played loud and made on the spot. Scotland has a vibrant music scene, and the demand for its acts and for a decent performance space should find their voice above the mundanity of vanilla dance music. October arrived, bringing with it not only dismal weather but essay deadlines clumped

together, like an undissolved stock cube, and at least one migraine. A concert in Glasgow came just in time to keep me from slipping into a depressive bout of fried food bingeing and Grand Designs reruns. Seeing Beach House at the Arches made me realise that what I’d missed most about Glasgow, barring Buckfast and cheap taxis, was live music. It’s something I’ve always taken for granted, even as a middleschooler at my first Interpol show. Gigs were all-ages, affordable and, as I saw it, went a long way towards establishing my gritty and downtown (read: indie) credentials. In high school I took comfort in knowing that I knew more about David Bowie’s ‘Berlin Trilogy’ than

my colleagues, whose musical barometer seemed to extended no further than #5 on a Billboard chart. I’d like to think differently of St Andrews. We live in a town that is charming and picturesque, but if endless DJ sets bore you, the nightlife situation can be dire. Intervention is required. St Andrews needs a dialogue between students, residents and business owners that seeks to address this glaring inadequacy. Those who want live music shouldn’t have to plough through pocket change on bus fares because opening a new purpose-built performance venue (not the Union) in town would harm its historic character. That objection is harder and harder to maintain

in the face of H&M, Tesco and Greggs, yet the conversation is essential. I think I’m too late in my tenure here to see the next CBGB crop up. But unless St Andrews is content to be seen as conservative, stodgy and boring for the rest of its days, it should consider bringing in music venues to cater not only to students but locals who would otherwise have to go to Glasgow, Edinburgh or even further afield. Neighbours will complain about street noise, but then they’ve had the past 600 years to adjust to a rowdiness which would undoubtedly be done with before most bars get out. Unlike Glasgow, last orders come well before 3am.

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Damn, dirty hipsters Michael Torpey If there’s one demographic in St Andrews that everyone seems to recognise, it’s hipsters: these scarf-wearing, iPod-listening, pretentious rich-kids patrol our streets every day, sipping their organic chai lattes and turning their noses up at our foolish mainstream ways. For anyone who doesn’t know what a hipster is, my understanding of it is that a hipster is someone who acts differently from other people, just for the sake of being different, and judges others for sticking too rigidly to ‘the mainstream’. For example, many of us have perhaps asked someone what music they’re into, only to get the classic response, ‘Oh, they’re pretty obscure; you probably haven’t heard of them.’ As what was originally a sub- and counter-culture, it seems many people would agree they’ve exploded in the last five or ten years, to the point where anything they once did which was original or different is now staggeringly tiresome, or just

plain annoying. And it’s become a long-running observation that if anything they do is identified as having become popular, they come back with the tired excuse that ‘I was into it before it was cool.’ Pretty infuriating, right? Well, I have to say I never really got it. Maybe it’s because I’m a science student. We don’t get quite so many of them around North Haugh, and anyway, we usually don’t spend much time talking to anyone we don’t have to. But the little insight I have tells me that people who dislike the hipster culture have let the witch-hunt get way out of hand. For all the hipsters I’ve failed to spot around town, I’ve definitely made up for it in meeting people that never stop going on about hipsters. It seems like anything that anyone does can be interpreted as hipsterish, and I myself have been accused of being a hipster on several occasions, directly or by implication.

Here is a short subset of things that I’ve seen explicitly described as characteristics of a hipster: Wearing a scarf; listening to indie music; maintaining a blog; wearing flannel shirts; wearing converse trainers; having a beard; using a Mac; using Linux; using the wrong kind of Linux; wearing a hoodie; smoking; not smoking; drinking coffee at Starbuck’s; drinking coffee, but never at Starbuck’s; buying records instead of CDs; buying CDs instead of using iTunes; using iTunes; listening to the Beatles; and finally, utilising absolutely any kind of irony. Now not all of these opinions came from the same person, but I have absolutely honestly seen all of those used. Presumably just about anyone reading this article is a hipster according to at least one definition. I’m guilty of 11 out of 19: pretty indie, huh? I bet that’s more than you. My laboured point, obviously, is that these people are far too quick to call someone a hipster. The definitions

contradict each other. But I just wish that people wouldn’t take it all so seriously. People should go back to doing what they want and ignoring anyone from either side saying they’re too hipster, or too lamestream. One reason I’m so picky about this is that I’m the president of this university’s Pokémon Society: a society formed purely to watch a 15year-old TV show and play children’s card games. Your hipster alarm (if you have one) is probably going off around now. Obviously we don’t watch Pokémon because it’s any good; we watch it ironically. But is that really so bad? ‘Ironically’ has become such a buzzword now that no one’s allowed to do anything self-aware or take a pinch of salt now and then, because otherwise we’re somehow seen as pretentious or fake. The truth in the Pokémon Society is that we enjoy watching the show because it was on when we were kids, it’s nostalgic,

and it’s fun to remember how terrible it was. Not because we somehow want to show we’re better than anyone else. Maybe I’m out of touch as usual with what goes on outside my own front door, and maybe there really are that many people who are that awful to be around, but I’d like to think that as a civilisation we’ve got past ostracising and categorising people just for acting differently. That sort of hatred is pretty much the biggest thing that’s caused human beings misery for the last few millennia, and I don’t like the thought of the ‘hipster’ label as a new, “cool” way of bashing minorities. So next time you complain about that damn dirty hipster you’ve just seen wearing wellington boots in July, just try to think about whether it’s actually doing anyone any harm. Because, just occasionally, it takes a deep breath and a moment of thought to realise that it’s us being judgmental and exclusive, not the hipsters at all.


F EATURES

email: features@thesaint-online.com

Photo: www.dougallan.com

Editor: Caitlin Hamilton

BBC cameraman and wildlife photographer, Doug Allan, talks to The Saint about 30 years spent in the polar regions, diving with killer whales, and working with a certain Mr Attenborough. Caitlin Hamilton

Hello Doug! Your most recent endeavour, Operation Iceberg, was aired recently on the BBC. Tell us a little about it. I was very impressed with how it turned out! It was an observational documentary, which makes it really interesting to film – you don’t interfere, you don’t ask people to repeat things, you simply go with the flow which makes for a great judgement call – you have to decide where to go with the camera and how to frame the shot. It’s a whole different ballgame compared to wildlife filming. In Operation Iceberg, we see you in action doing what you love most – diving in a glacial blue lake. When depressions in an iceberg

fill with melt water, the iceberg begins to melt and lakes are formed as a result. They have plug holes which can open and drain the lake at any moment, and from these holes come fizzing bubbles. It was like diving under sea ice but with everything upside down. Normally all the ice is on top of you, but with this dive there was no ice above and all of the interesting topography was underneath you. I just had a look around. There were quite a lot of intense moments during the programme... I think the good thing about Operation Iceberg was that there was none of this false jeopardy; the programme didn’t set out to be deliberately dangerous. There were real dangers present when

Alun Hubbard descended down that hole, or when we steered the Gambo along the glacier front. But there was also a true purpose behind it all, and I think that the viewer can see that. That final iceberg carving timed itself nicely on your birthday! If it was a birthday present, then it was sent from on high! In this case, the whole depth of the glacier was cracking and huge chunks of ice were surfacing like submarines coming out of the water. It was a spectacle that was far bigger and far more impressive then I was expecting, and I was absolutely amazed by it. Let’s talk about your book – Freeze Frame: A Wildlife Cameraman’s Adventures on Ice.

I’ve always been a very great admirer of the written word, as opposed to any other form of communication. Books have permanence about them: when people buy a book, they invest far more of their time, their self, and their effort into reading it. You will return to a single good picture in a book, time and time again. Had you been planning to write a book for a while? I had several false starts, mostly because that I wanted to do a book that included a lot of pictures. Publishers just didn’t get it; they would say ‘it doesn’t seem to fit into any particular category: it’s not biography, it’s not a natural history book, it’s not a photography book, so what is it?’. And my argument was that it was all those

things, and that’s its attractiveness. So in the end I published it myself. I knew what I wanted it to sound like and feel like and look like, and I didn’t want to compromise that. How has the book been received? Freeze Frame was a hugely satisfying thing to do. I think that people who are initially attracted to the pictures will take it away and start reading and then realise that they have something that is different and a bit more special in their hands. People say, ‘You know what I like about your book? It’s like I can hear you talking through it.’ Interview continued on page 14


Caitlin Hamilton tells you about life as a fourth year.

I really love being Features editor. Not only am I allocated a regular column in which I can ramble on about my life as a fourth year, but I also get the privilege of being able to chase after people for interviews. This week, my target of choice was BBC cameraman and wildlife photographer, Doug Allan. With over thirty years of experience in his field of work, it was an absolute pleasure to interview him for this issue. Mid-way through a fairly intense tour of Britain promoting his debut book, Doug took time to speak to me over the phone about his latest venture: Operation Iceberg. Depicting the life of an iceberg - one formed from the Store Glacier in Greenland, to be precise this BBC documentary was an immense success. I urge you to watch it on iPlayer if you missed its initial airing. It was so refreshing to talk to Doug, who is obviously incredibly passionate about his work after all these years, and who continues to enjoy being taken to all corners of the globe, where he can explore both above and below ground (he is an avid diver). That is true job satisfaction in its honest form, and it is very nice to see. The clocks have now gone back, meaning that our evenings descend into darkness long before any of us would wish, thus leaving us scuttling home from class by the light of the street lamps. On a delicious note, however, it does mean that I can warrant warming my chilled bones by drinking a red-cupped Starbucks Christmas-flavoured latte on a regular basis. There is also something highly satisfying about wrapping up in a multitude of layers in the morning as you leave to brave the ice cold air: dressed in my latest winter purchase – a vintage, dark blue duffel coat – over one of my favourite chunky knit sweaters (I hail from ‘the home of cashmere’), with my mum’s old University scarf

looped around my neck several times, and my trusty ‘Ican-walk-through-anything’ brown leather ankle boots, I feel like I can take on the world and all that it throws at me. I have a theory that every sense is heightened during the onslaught of our wintering months. Whether it comes in the form of your taste buds exploding over bitter coffee beans or the tingling of your toes as they regain feeling amidst the warmth of a crowded pub, every sense certainly comes alive. It’s like our bodies are on survival mode, and so absolutely everything that we do, or feel, or see, or hear, becomes intensified. It’s electric and I like it. I’m rather hoping that my faithful winter cheer will ensure that the Scotland versus South Africa rugby match will prove to be a most pleasant affair. I think I will require some convincing to believe that we can pull off a victory against the mighty Boks – sorry dad, I know I’m usually the optimistic one – but I shall be there cheering my old school mate, Stuart Hogg, and company through the entire 90 minutes, come what may. That is if the howling winds at Murrayfield don’t get to me in the interim period! I plan to make the most of my weekend out of the Bubble; I’m going to view it as my much deserved mid-term break. Employing a rather delightful term coined by our Business Manager, Ryan, I am gifting myself with a SARW: a Self-Awarded Reading Week. I fully intend to deny recognising the fact that I am indeed an old and worn-out fourth year by going to stay with my baby brother at his university halls. He is in his first year at Edinburgh, and as a result, is still very much enjoying the joys that cumulative late nights and leftover-pizza breakfasts have to offer. He informs me that his pantry is known by the entire residence as the ‘party pantry’. All I can say is: bring it on; I’m young at heart… See Doug Allan give a FREE talk about his fascinating career to date. Come along to the MBSB tonight (Thursday 15 November) at 7pm.

w w w. t h e s a i n t - o n l i n e . c o m Interview continued from page 14 The polar regions seem to hold a special place in your heart? I soon reaslised that being an actual scientist wasn’t for me; it was the data collection, the adventurist part of the job that I craved. After university I took a job in the Antarctic and that’s when I really got into photography. I was given this niche. Photography for me was all about a means of showing people how wonderful the Antarctic was and how fantastic this lifestyle was that I was being given the chance to lead. And it was in the Antarctic that you met David Attenborough? I met David when he happened to come onto the base I was at, as he was shooting something for the BBC. I gave him a hand for a few days and by the end of that it became apparant to me that a cameraman could make a self-employed living from these moving images. How did you get your first gig with the BBC? I was based in a research station down south in the ‘real Antarctica’, which had a colony of emperor penguins 15 miles away. After meeting David, I had decided to take a movie camera with me, despite the fact that it was jumping in at the deep end. I had contacted a BBC producer who had said, ‘let me see what you come back with, and if it’s good I’ll use it in

The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012 my series’. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Antarctic material shot by me was being used by the BBC. It was absolutely the best showpiece to have. David Attenborough quotes you as ‘the toughest in the business’ - what do you say to that? Well, it’s very generous of him. I smile when I hear things like that, because I know there are a lot of tough people in the business. It’s just that I happen to be one of the people who would rather have numb feet all day than be eaten alive by mosquitoes. I have a saying that goes ‘any fool can be uncomfortable’. So, when I am out there for eight hours a day in -30 degrees, I simply use all of my experience to be as comfortable as I can. You have had a very expansive career, but do you have a favourite memory? It would have to be filming the killer whales for Frozen Planet.

Getting that sequence was very, satisfying - it was like achieving some sort of Holy Grail. I had heard about that particular rare hunting behaviour in the whales some 35 years ago, and I had tried once or twice before to get it on film. On the day, we had the right tools, the right team, and the right conditions – everything came together. What advice would you give to students today? You have got to follow your heart, be honest with yourself, and find an area that you are passionate about. While you are at university, you should be spending time and energy – besides all your studying and partying! – writing and making personal contacts with anyone who is working in the fields that interest you, and stay in the forefront of what is going on in it. I think that there are few decisions that you can make before the age of 30 that you can’t fix - don’t be afraid ! w Photo: www.dougallan.com

14 Features

Branding’s new frontier: sound? Natalie Kumeta

The consumer is increasingly devious, and we are all in a permanent battle to avoid direct marketing and advertising; we skip through ads in magazines and turn a blind eye to the banners and videos that accompany our visits to social media and websites. Or do we? Advertising works, and it is becoming more and more manipulative. There has been astonishing growth in the industry; this year, the online advertising industry grew to over £2.6 billion in the UK alone. The industry no longer solely relies on media such as television and radio but instead can target consumers at a more personal level: in their online domains. In addition to this, marketing campaigns are becoming more intuitive, and advertisers are beginning to pay a little more attention to another sensory domain: hearing. The beeps, clicks, bangs, and rustles that accompany advertisements have more meaning than they are often given credit for. But this has been

largely ignored by marketers as 83% of advertising only appeals to our sense of sight, which is particularly dangerous considering the consumer’s ability to use more than one electronic device at a time, often unaware of the messages playing out on screens around them. It would be a logical step for the industry to utilise our sense of hearing to their advantage. Although a noise is not what consumers first notice about a brand or product, a positive association may be formed if the tune is right and the consumer can be conditioned to produce a certain reaction – and hopefully that reaction is a purchase reaction. Retailers are not far behind in the shift towards a more melodic future, choosing music and sounds which they think will enhance the customer experience and augment the intention to buy. An established pitfall of using sound in advertising is the possibility of causing a negative response amongst the target market. It has been widely proven that there are certain

jingles that cause repulsion amongst all who hear it, such as the Nokia ringtone, the Microsoft start-up tune, and the ‘Go Compare’ chorus. While the bombardment of advertising messages is about communicating a product’s value to the consumer, it is important to remember what Lindstrom’s neuro-marketing research taught us – that we prefer a subtle melody to a blaring horn. The subtlety has gone even further for some brands, and even the sounds that their products make when opened or used are carefully manufactured to create a specific association with a feeling or portrayal of quality. Clinique is a prime illustration of this as they adjusted the cap of their mascara so that it produces a certain ‘click’ when closed which suggests the superiority of their more expensive merchandise. This level of focus in advertising demonstrates that the power of marketing is not only more intuitive, but more attuned to the evasive actions of the modern consumer.


The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

Kate McQueen & Sophie Goggins

Giving blood – procrastination you can feel proud of. Over-decorating your flat for a themed soirée – inside each of us is a six year old child. Who wants a goody bag? Glitter you can spray out of a can – so you can look fabulously sparkly everyday. Being able to bring out the winter wardrobe – hello fleecy leggings and matching-set patterned hats and scarves. The two day rule – any unclaimed alcohol left over from your flat party is yours.

Glitter that your flatmate sprays out of a can – you are never getting that out of the sofa/curtains/carpet/washing machine/ceiling. Argos telling on you – now you really need to pay that TV licence. Being able to see your breath whilst in your flat – if all the fleeces you own don’t keep your body temperature above freezing, it’s officially too cold to study. Derren Brown’s Apocalypse – real or fake, it ensures several sleepless nights… When the man at the Indian restaurant thinks your order is for three people – it’s deadline week, I haven’t had a lot of sleep, and I’m just hungry, ok?!

City in focus: Prague Jan Vacula

There are two types of people in the world: those who love Prague and those who have never been there. When I came to St Andrews, every time I mentioned where I came from it caused a lot of excitement. Having grown up in Prague, I used to take the city for granted, but leaving it made me realise what a remarkable place it is. Prague is a city of the Emperor Charles IV (widely considered the greatest Czech in history), Vaclav Havel, and Franz Kafka, amongst others. The sixth-most-visited European city, it is a place of great history, a magical atmosphere, and a rich cultural heritage. With its many cultural sites and inexpensive pubs and nightclubs that serve famous Czech beers, it has become a particularly popular weekend destination that is ideal for students pricewise. Yet, for many, Prague still has the stigma of a post-communist country, which prevents it from being as popular as many other European tourist destinations. As my friend Thom, who has recently visited

Prague, said, “It is one of those under-appreciated European cities”. Prague is home to a number of famous cultural attractions, of which the most renowned are Prague Castle, the biggest castle in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records; the picturesque Charles bridge; Old Town Square, with its famous Astronomical Clock; the Jewish Quarter; and, if you are looking for modern architecture, the Dancing House. You can find all this and much more in a guidebook, but what no guidebook can fully grasp is the uniqueness of this place.

If you manage to get up early enough to walk across the empty Charles bridge, and from there on climb up to Prague Castle dominating the city’s skyline, you will be rewarded with an unrivalled view of the city below you: hundreds of spires of different churches and red-roofed houses on both sides of the river Vltava, all emerging from the morning fog. Apart from sights, the city boasts more than ten major museums, along with numerous galleries, theatres and other historical exhibits. After sundown, the city comes alive. In case you wish

Photo: Callum Hyland

What’s hot, and what’s not?

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to experience some of Prague’s rich cultural life, you can catch local acts at the art deco theatre Akropolis or maybe enjoy some jazz in places like Jazz republic or Reduta. For those of you who enjoy clubbing, there is Karlovy Lazne, the biggest nightclub in Central Europe, with five music clubs over five floors. And any beer-fan should visit the Pub. Here, at a table with self-service beer taps, you can take part in a beer competition with other tables, as well as other pubs across the Czech Republic. With prices as low as £1 per pint for a premium Czech beer, there is a reason why the Czechs are number one for consumption of beer per capita in the whole world. However, if you are not interested in the night life, you could try the Ghost tour of Prague or simply go for a romantic walk along the river. You never know, you might even get lost under the light of gas lamps illuminating the wet cobble-stoned streets, and later on find yourself in one of many picturesque courtyards or secluded places with a magical atmosphere and a history of many centuries.

Mass badger cull halted in the UK after scientists question its effects Jack Kelleher

Two pilot culls of badgers due to be proceeding in South-East England currently have been postponed until next summer. The culls were intended to prove that culling can prevent the spread of tuberculosis in cattle. The immediate problem postponing the cull is that the UK government has newly estimated that the cull zones contain about twice as many badgers as initially thought. This means farmers will have to pay more in order to hire greater numbers of gunmen for the cull. However, the scientific justifications for the cull have also come into question. In early October, 32 senior British scientists signed an open letter to the UK government expressing public doubt over the reasoning behind the cull. Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a very real problem in the UK. In 1998, farmers were forced to slaughter 6,000 cattle with bovine TB. By 2011 that

number had risen to 34,000 cattle. The farmers themselves blame badgers for the spread of the disease, as badgers can infect pastures and even the air around them with the bacterium responsible for bovine TB, thus passing it on to cattle. Farmers are thus keen to see the badgers culled to reduce the number of badgers likely to spread the disease. Initial surveys of the effects of culls suggested the tactic might have little or even negative effects. In 2007, interim conclusions from an experiment called the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) showed that while infection rates decreased somewhat within the culling zone, badgers moving away from the cull actually increased infection rates directly outside the zone, leading to a net cancellation of any benefits found by culling. Subsequent data from the RBCT sites has suggested that culling actually has some longterm positive effect on infection

rates, and in December 2011, several UK scientists advised that culling might have a place alongside other methods of protection, such as the physical exclusion of badgers from farms and regular herd checks. However, culling 1500 badgers over 150 square kilometres over the course of four years would only prevent 16% of new infec-

Illustrator: Ruairidh Bowen

tions. Epidemiologist Christl Donnelly of Imperial College, London, who was responsible for the RBCT data, expresses some qualms over the usefulness of culling: “Is it worth culling so many animals for 16 per cent fewer infected herds? There you get very different answers depending who you ask.” John Krebs, at the University of Oxford, doubts the new procull conclusions. He headed the team originally responsible for the RBCT, and he notes: “The pilot cull is flawed because it aims to remove 70 per cent of badgers without an accurate estimate of the starting number.” The fact that the current culls have been postponed due to inaccurate population estimates reinforces this concern. Despite the enthusiasm of farmers and the support of the government, significant questions remain over culling. Hopefully some of them will be addressed before summer sees the guns loaded once more.


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Ibrahim Prize fails to reap winner Cyprien Pearson

It has recently been announced that the Mo Ibrahim Award for excellent African leadership will go unclaimed in 2012. Why, you ask? As Ibrahim puts it, only those leaders who deserve it will receive it. Estimated to be worth more than $1.8 billion, Ibrahim is one of Britain’s most affluent telecommunications businessmen, linked to Britain’s Telecom and Africa’s Celtel. Although he is now a permanent resident in Britain, the billionaire’s home of north Sudan has influenced his humanitarian undertakings in the recent years. His most notable work is that of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which contributes charitable funds to African development across the entirety of the continent. Its most famous yearly donation is called the Ibrahim Prize. Based upon Ibrahim’s index system which awards African leaders “points” for raising standards of living, democratic governing, and a timely abdication of office, government officials are essentially competing to win the offer of an annual $5 million, through their goal-oriented governing styles. The hope is to change African leaders’ notori-

The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

Berlusconi condannato Tamar Ziff

ously undemocratic practices by ensuring that these men (many who fear a life of poverty upon giving up political power, money, and prestige) gain a reward for their beneficial governance, both during and after they leave office. However, with the recent announcement that none have succeeded this year, one wonders if African leaders have forgotten about this extra “chunk of change” and, indeed, how to govern. To claim that many African leaders have had a somewhat shady history is an understate-

winner this year, perhaps African politics are no longer improving; and for the international system as a whole, that does not bode well. Therefore, the lingering question is this: what has happened amongst Africa’s 53 countries that have warranted disqualification in each and every one of them? Stagnation is the word on the lips of many political analysts as they observe 2012’s lack of one “good African leader”. For with no winner, Ibrahim effectively communicates to the world that

ment, what with an entire myriad of conflicts ranging from colonialism to decolonization, revolution to genocide. It is against these incidences that the Ibrahim Award aspires to make changes. With Africa’s reputation of untrustworthy leaders, corruption, and crime, Ibrahim has never demanded perfection; rather, an effort towards advancement is asked for. Moreover, the baseline ideal for the yearly award is improvement. The problem is, with no

Africa is the same as ever. There is no improvement, no motivation, and no future. As a developing region of the globe, this beneficial change is key in reaching both the economic and political powers of European and American states. If Africa cannot improve to the point of rivaling Western powers, how can it compete in our globalised world? Therefore, lacking a $5 million prizewinner is one thing; losing faith in an entire continent is another.

Late last month, a Milanese court sentenced former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, to four years in jail for tax fraud, the details of which are complicated and – like most things regarding the Berlusconi – slightly ludicrous. Apparently, Berlusconi and his affiliates used “a series of offshore companies to buy the rights to broadcast American movies” on Berlusconi’s private television network, and fudged the numbers to avoid paying large taxes. Then, the former prime minister relicensed the same movies at an exponentially higher price and made a profit of about 250m Euros. This is not the first time that Berlusconi has meddled with taxes: in 1997 and 1998 he was accused of similar crimes during his tenure as opposition leader to the governing party. These accusations were overturned due to the expiration of the statute of limitations; the vagaries of the Italian justice system, namely its infinitely expanding bureaucracy, do not allow for speedy convictions. Regardless of the time it will take for a definitive verdict, it is very unlikely that Berlusconi will serve any time in jail, as he is still a member of Parliament. In addition, a 2006 amnesty law

landscapes in shades of lavender, crimson and pink hues. The photo collection Infra documents the ongoing conflict in the DRC. According to Open Eye Gallery “Infra offers a radical rethinking of

how to depict a conflict as complex as that of the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” The collection depicts the landscape, half-finished buildings and abandoned struc-

tures on the front zone, young children, armed rebels and victims of violence. The photos are truly mesmerizing, the pink hues almost letting you forget you’re looking at a conflict, while at the

What has happened amongst Africa’s 53 countries that have warranted disqualification in each and every one of them?

to prevent prison overcrowding has reduced his sentence from four years to one. Still, Berlusconi considers the accusation an insult to his pride, and dismisses it as nothing more than a “political sentence”, aimed at his position and not at his actions. He insists that he will stay involved in politics, although judges have prohibited him from holding public office for five years. The sentence will surely prevent him from leading his centre-right party, Popolo della Liberta, in the 2013 election. Berlusconi maintains that he “still [has] good muscles and some good sense” but that the conviction – as well as his declining popularity – will force him to take a backseat and stand beside “the younger people who can play and score goals.” Mario Monti, the temporary head of state, seeks to ease the concerns of surrounding European countries over the upcoming Italian elections. The technocrat is widely lauded outside of Italy for having imposed the necessary measures to mitigate the economic crisis, but he does not intend to run for office in 2013, emphasizing his main role as senator and economic specialist. He insists that whomsoever is elected to lead Italy in 2013, the country’s commitments to the EU will hold fast.

Iben Merrild

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. This has rung true many times over the years. Many will remember the Pulitzer-prize winning picture, ‘Napalm Girl’, where 9-year-old Kim Phuc was shown running naked in agony after having torn off her clothes following a napalm attack on her village. It was 1972 and the Vietnam War was still ravaging the country. The Vietnamese photographer Nick Ut took the black and white photo for the Associated Press, which many have argued played a part in bringing an end to the brutal war. More recently, the photographer Richard Mosse went to the conflict-ridden Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). During his trips to the Eastern Congo in 2010-11, Mosse used the discontinued type of infrared-sensitive, false-colour film called Kodak Aerochrome, originally a military technology used for camouflage detection, to examine the conflict. The film produces a spectrum of light beyond what the human eye can see, depicting foliage and

Photo: angs school

Photography and its impact on conflicts and peace

same time making it all the more evident and horrifyingly pronounced. Despite the official peace accords in 2003, which ended ‘Africa’s World War’ involving nine African nations, violence still continues in the Eastern regions of the DRC today. Government and rebel groups continue to fight for power and control over mines rich in natural resources. Rape as a mechanism to control the population is widespread. In 2011, the American Journal of Public Health estimated that 48 women are raped every hour in the DRC. The same year it was reported that a mass rape of 170 women occurred in June near Fizi, South Kivu. Violence escalated again in April 2012, with the formation of a rebel group, the March 23 Movement, as soldiers mutinied against the government of the DRC. According to Genocide Watch, there are currently genocidal massacres taking place in North and South Kivu in the Eastern Congo. The questions remain - will these photos change anything? Will there be peace? Or, will we simply be left more aware?

The views expressed in the above articles do not represent the views of The Saint, but are individual opinions.


The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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The tensions of social change Where are they now? This year has seen the proposal of laws in France and Denmark to legalise gay marriage and, in France’s case, the allowing of homosexual couples to adopt. These new laws have triggered deep divides in politics and religion. Denmark became the first country to legalise civil unions for gay couples in 1989, but no further legislation had been put forward to legalise marriage until this June. Now, homosexual couples have the right to be married in any church of their choosing, and should a priest refuse to officiate over the marriage, the presiding bishop must find a replacement. While Denmark’s church minister, Manu Sareen, approves of the new law, other high-profile religious figures in the country have expressed outrage, along with the Danish People’s Party. Despite their campaign against the law, it received a majority vote in parliament: 85-26. However, this was not simply a political issue. Former right-wing politician Stig Elling spoke to a Denmark TV station, telling them the majority vote

was positive. “We have moved forward,” he told the TV station, announcing his plan to marry his partner. In Denmark, the small but loud opposition to the new marriage and adoption laws set to be instituted in France, are mainly Catholics and social conservatives. Polls indicate that twothirds of the French population is in favour of gay marriage. However, France is more divided on the issue of gay adoption. Opponents of gay adoption cite their concern for the rights of children, even though France’s press agency (AFP) found that the majority of child psychiatrists believe that being adopted by a gay couple would not harm them. The law still does not allow artificial insemination for lesbian couples or surrogate mothers for gay couples. Mainly, it is meant to accommodate homosexual co-parenting arrangements. Despite the approval of the law by the popular majority, Catholic groups are still responding with protest. In August of this year, the Catholic Church in France revived the day of

national prayer for the country, started in the 17th century by Louis XIII. The text of the prayer was composed by the Catholic Bishops Conference, asking God to grant that elected officials put the “common good of society” over “special requests,” and that children “cease to be objects of desires and conflicts of adults to fully benefit from the love of a father and a mother” (translation courtesy of Pink News). Some Christian news sites such as Patheos and LifeSite have approached the new French law as a form of religious persecution. Participants on both sides of this international debate believe they are fighting against persecution. Now, in France and Denmark, gay couples have come one step closer to having the same opportunities as their heterosexual counterparts. This trend is spreading; after France’s law comes into effect, twelve countries will have legalised gay marriage on a national level. It appears that an adaptation in social ideas is necessary for the churches of France and Denmark to again be in harmony with the government.

National Novel Writing Month This November, thousands of aspiring writers across the globe will come together in an event described by its creators as ‘30 days and nights of literary abandon.’ This event is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as abbreviated, and its goal is for as many people as possible to write 50,000 words of fiction in 30 days (1667 words a day). It was founded by Chris Baty in 1999, when he decided that ‘what I really needed to do was write a novel in a month. Not because I had a great idea for a book. On the contrary, I had no ideas for a book.’ This sums up NaNoWriMo in a nutshell – it’s not about churning out a masterpiece at the end of the month; however cheesy it sounds, it’s the taking part that counts – having fun, meeting other writers, and maybe even surprising yourself with finding an occasional diamond in the gibberish you’ve typed over the last month. In its first year, NaNo had 21 participants, only 6 of whom managed over 50,000 words, yet by 2010, there were over 200,000 participants, who collectively wrote almost 3,000,000,000 words. This year, there are set to be even more. I first discovered NaNoW-

riMo in 2008, at the ripe old age of 15. I think I managed to write about 3,000 words about vigilante superheroes (I know, I know) before giving up, lamenting the fact that I was an awful writer and by extension a failure at life. This huff lasted almost two years before I sucked it up and took part in the 2010 event. I didn’t quite reach 50,000, but I wrote more than I had the previous time and so, filled with determination, I tried again last year. Somehow, despite going into week four about 20,000 words be-

Photo: Nefeli Piree Iliou

Rachael Garden

hind, I managed to scrape 50,000 words with half an hour to go before submissions closed. I still haven’t properly read over the finished product, which if I recall involved dragons, inter-dimensional portals, and talking Golden Retrievers (and it’s probably a good idea that it never again sees the light of day), but let me tell you, the feeling of accomplishment I had when the little winner’s badge popped up over my profile picture is something that even now still makes me proud. That’s why, despite the exams, class tests and horrible sounding essay questions currently piling up before me, I’m doing it again this year. So join in, even if just to have a break from the constant studying sure to swamp us in the next month and a bit. How jealous are those folks in the library going to be while they struggle over a difficult essay, whilst opposite them you’re pounding away at your laptop, looking like the most diligent student in the whole of St Andrews? Look at it this way – 500 words or 50,000, it’s more than you’d have written if you didn’t take part. And think, how many people can say they wrote a novel before they finished university? (After all, you don’t actually need to show it to anyone!)

Olly Lennard fills his corner of p17 with hi-

lariously dark nonsense about cartoon characters. This week: Winnie the Pooh Winston “Winnie” T. Pooh was first discovered living in the Hundred Acre Wood in Ashdown, Sussex, in 1926. Since bears are not native to the area he quickly made the news in the same manner as other displaced animals such as the Essex Lion, the Beast of Dartmoor and Wayne Rooney. A local boy, Christopher Robin, was credited with the find, having discovered Pooh whilst out picking hallucinogenic mushrooms. Along with his animal friends, Pooh became the subject of his own series and found a place in the growing ranks of bear celebrities that included Yogi, Baloo and Robbie Coltrane. For years Pooh and friends brought a warm glow to the hearts of many, especially during the difficult years of the Blitz, when he aided in clearing rubble from London’s streets with help from Dangermouse. In recognition of this, he was given a CBE (Certificate of Bear Excellence) in 1951. But the modern age brought with it a wave of Pooh poohpoohers. Pooh was famous for living under the name of ‘Sanders’, but the anti-corporation movement of the 1960s criticised this as shameless product placement by KFC. Mental health activists were also quick to point out that the character of Rabbit had clear obsessive-compulsive disorder and Eeyore suffered from crippling depression. In addition, Pooh himself, often seen carrying a jar of ‘Hunny’ was criticised for making fun of dyslexic people. Things only became worse when co-star Tigger was exposed as a cocaine addict. Not long after this revelation, Tigger himself was shot and his penis ground up for traditional Chinese medicine. This was thought to be the final trigger factor for Eeyore, who was found hanging by his own tail later the same year. The slurs continued as Kanga was realised to be an oppressive female stereotype, defined only by her role as Roo’s mother. Pooh himself withdrew more and more from the cast of the show following Eeyore’s suicide, often talking only with Christopher Robin and holding honey-fuelled orgies with the cast of the Magic Roundabout. The series limped on, with the Olsen twins replacing Eeyore and Tigger, prompting a sharp dive in ratings. Macaulay Culkin even took on the role of Piglet in 1977, when an accident at a local abattoir led to the original Piglet being turned into sausages.

To add insult to injury, a local family later revealed that the sausages were not particularly tasty. In 1979, the decision was taken to axe the show, though Pooh’s career continued for a time. He had a brief cameo in The Great Muppet Caper, as well as the music video for David Hasselhoff’s ‘Lovin’ Feelings’. Rabbit continued to struggle with OCD until he was hit by a tractor and killed in 1984. The Richard Adams novel Watership Down was based on his early life. Christopher Robin joined the Royal Navy and served for a number of years, reaching the rank of Petty Officer Second Class, but drowned when HMS Sheffield was sunk during the Falklands War. The Hundred Acre Wood was largely cut down in the 1990s and made into tasteless wooden ornaments. Following this, Kanga and Roo left their media careers and moved back to Australia. The only cast member to successfully move on from the show was Owl, who now presents QI. Meanwhile, Pooh himself entered a downward spiral. Continually hounded by the media and with old age and heavy drug abuse catching up with him, he declined rapidly. The pressure finally got to him in September 1991 outside a nightclub in Peckham, when he gave in to his bear instincts and mauled a bartender who refused to serve him his seventh jar of honey. The bartender received 70 stitches in his face and neck and Pooh checked into rehab the following week. He remained optimistic however, and in spring of 1992 he told reporters that he was hopeful for a drug, alcohol and violence-free future, and perhaps even the brightly lit and longawaited return to television that his forgiving, nostalgic and still loyal fans had been hoping for. The next day Pooh was shot dead and stuffed by Sarah Palin. His house is now one of the most famous dogging sites in the British Isles.

Illustrator: Ruairidh Bowen

Susanna Sabin


18 Features

Week in Pictures

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Photos from: The Situation, The Human Coat of Arms, and Music is Love For the next issue, the Editor’s Pics theme will be ‘Frozen’, please send your submissions to photography@thesaint-online.com by Friday 23 November!

The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

Chief of Photography:

Photo: Jake Threadgould

Photo: Nefeli Piree-Iliou

Photos of The Situation: Maria Faciolince

Jake Threadgould, Celeste Sloman


The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

Features 19

Photo: Neha Shastry

Photo: Sammi McKee

Photo: Jake Threadgould

Photo: Ben Goulter

Photo: Kelly Diepenbrock

Editor’s Pics: Belief

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20 Events

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The Events of the Week NUS Referendum Voting Thursday 15 - 16 November

Want St Andrews to join the NUS? Yes? No? Don’t care? Well, you can’t have missed the campaigning going on. (If you have no idea what we’re talking about, skip back to the news section, where the arguments are laid out for you!) Make your voice heard by voting online; if the turnout is lower than 20%, the election will be declared invalid. 

THE SAINT Thursday 15 November

Friday 16 November

Secret St Andrews

Geek Bop V

Saturday 17 November

Sunday 18 November

Monday 19 November

The University of St Andrews Music Society and Symphony Orchestra invite you along to this year’s Winter Concert, featuring Rachmaninov’s finest symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and a Prokofiev overture. Tickets are £7 (£4 for students). Younger Hall, 19:30

Welly Ball 2012

Saturday 17 November Welly Ball is back and bigger than ever! After the ticket ballot two weeks ago, results for the tables have now been released. With fantastic raffle prizes (proceeds go to Farm Africa), a VIP bar and what looks to be a great afterparty, this is a good excuse to get your Hunters down and dirty. Kinkell Byre Tuesday 20 November

Saturday 17 November

Interview Skills

William Dowson, the Bank of England’s Agent for Scotland, will be coming to St Andrews to give a private briefing on how the Bank sets monetary policy and their view on the current economic outlook for the UK economy. Mr. Dowson will speak for around 40 minutes followed by a question and answer session. School VI, 19:00 - 21:00

Global Cinema: Climates

Feast of Saint Martin All are welcome to the replacement Yule feast! Medieval fare and musical entertainment from the Bardic Guild will make this a very festive eve! Location and time with ticket

Thursday 15 November

Thursday 15 November

Friday 16 November The Union is once again being taken over by SciFa for Geek Bop! There will be costume prizes for best male, best female, best group, and most obscure reference so may the Force be with you on this most epic of nights! Entry will be free. Venue 2, 21:00 

Setting Monetary Policy

Winter Concert

Thursday 15 November

Live music and a postcard exhibition make for a very interesting night on the town! The Charities Campaign is hosting a Post Secret-esque party, where students are able to share secrets, dreams, confessions and the like anonymously. Pick up your postcard (Union, Library, Taste, or Rascals) and join in the fun. What secrets are you hiding? £5 entry. Rascals Bar, 21:00 - 01:00

The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

Tuesday 20 November

Wednesday 21 November Are you nervous about interviewing? Are you Wednesday 21 November worried you won’t make a good first impression? Let the Careers Centre help! Sign up for an interview skills workship and find out what you need to know to be a successful interviewee! School V, 14:00 - 15:30

Part of the Balkan Film Season, this Turkish movie features “stunning cinematography and changing climates” to tell the story of a couple falling apart. Byre Theatre, 21:00

“Made in America”

Wednesday 21 November

The Women’s Rugby and “Right to Play” (a sports for development charity) invite you to their kickoff Thanksgiving party. Before you gorge yourself on turkey, stuffing and pie, come along for a few drinks and a night to be remembered! Incredible music, great people, raffled items, and ‘other on the night surprises’ make this a can’t-be-missed event! The Vic, 19:00

If you have any events you would like to be considered, please contact Caralina Wonnacott (cpw25@) and Devini Pabari (dp27@).


Photo: Celeste Sloman

Arts & Culture


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Stephen Jenkins It often feels as if this town moves to a hollow beat. Golf balls pinged from the first tee of The Old Course. The incessant squawking of seagulls. The general drone of the upper classes. This isn’t the most rewarding of places for those in search of good music and, at times, the only grooves to be found in St Andrews are those on the face of a sand-wedge. But that’s not to say there’s no music to be found. If you arrived in St Andrews expecting to find an Ally Pally or a Hacienda on every street corner, you would have been devastated to discover our equivalents The Lizard and The Bop. But this needn’t ruin the university experience; after all, we did choose to come here over city universities with inevitably larger gigging scenes. “Anyone who’s been here for a couple of days will realise that if you want to do anything in this town you have to make it happen,” exclaims fourth year Philosophy student, Sam McCulloch in a quiet corner of the Union Bar, by the rarely used DJ pod. “There are people who want to experience good music in St Andrews and there’s plenty of stuff going on... It’s just that some people might not have found it yet.” Sam, along with Calum Bryant, a third year who also studies Philosophy, are the driving force behind B-Sides, an initiative that has in recent times helped put

A R T & D E S I G N Polly Warrack The more I think about ‘identity’ as a concept the more fluid and elusive it becomes. It is so easy to consider identity as name, rank and serial number and then leave it at that. However, our identity is neither that limited nor so static. Identity is constantly in flux within itself and rarely appears alike to any two people. I am a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a cousin, a second cousin, a student, an ex-pupil, a flatmate and a friend – and that is just the start of it. Thus, ‘Identity’ was an interesting choice of theme for ST.ART’s first issue of 2012/2013, and their first since their rebranding and launch of the website st-artmagazine. com. A new year, be it academic or calendar, always seems to go hand-in-hand with identity and reinvention; a chance to recast your identity in to the more academically-motivated, skinnier, smoking-free version of yourself who drinks 2 litres of water a day and doesn’t fritter away money on Starbucks

Putting the pulse back in St Andrews’ nightlife

Photo: B-Sdies

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The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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a pulse back into the musical veins of St Andrews. To Calum, the mission statement is, “to bring in exciting, up-andcoming acts that you wouldn’t normally see in St Andrews for a reasonable price” and that’s exactly what they’ve got lined up tonight in Venue 1 with Midland. A big name amongst the House circuit, the young DJ/producer is gathering well-deserved attention from further afield for his ability

to create tensile rhythmic intricacy in his music. “We thought it would be good to grab him at the moment as he’s going to get increasingly popular over the next few years.” Drawing an act of any calibre away from the touring path between Edinburgh and Dundee to the East Neuk of Fife seems a difficult task. “St Andrews is off the map in that sense, but that’s why it’s important for us to contact artists,” Calum states. “Our initial

intuition was that people wouldn’t come here because it’s St Andrews, but it’s just because people haven’t asked them.” This proactive attitude paid off with Erol Alkan and Mr. Scruff who played headline sets last year, and Sam assures that there are more acts in the pipeline. “We’re at a turning point” he says, “it’s not just about house music either; we want to put on bands and bring in more diverse acts as well.”

Identity Issues

Photo: Ruairidh Bowen

22 Arts & Culture

and Haribo. ‘Identity’ was a relevant choice for this issue of ST.ART, particularly as the independent magazine tries to redefine and state their own. Unfortunately, the theme could have been too much for ST.ART. ‘Identity’ has an obvious place within the traditions of art, and this is portraiture. From Titian to Cindy Sherman, artists

have represented themselves in their art and have explored the relationship, and frequently the disparity, between identity and appearance. Any publication or exhibition that tries to grapple with identity as a concept could not ignore the genre of portraiture. However, ST.ART’s fifth issue seems to deal with nothing but

portraits. Although there was work featured at the launch event earlier this month that branched out from portraiture, this unfortunately was not featured in the issue. This is not to say that the artwork featured is bad, because it is both good and a testament to why ST.ART should exist, as it amply shows the wealth of artistic talent

B-Sides aren’t the only initiators out there. In April this year they lent a hand in Fence Records’ inaugural Eye o’ the Dug festival along with STAR and Music is Love. What B-Sides offer, however, is unique. In organising live clubbing events, Calum and Sam’s agenda isn’t solely about the merit of the music itself. “Midland will be a great artist live,” Sam declares, “but the atmosphere of the crowd is what charges it.” Calum backs this by stating that “we hope people unfamiliar with this music will go along and realise that they like it when they get into the atmosphere.” Speaking to Calum and Sam you get a real sense of their desire to further their interests and expand their cause to the wider student body. And this is reflective of students’ musical interests in general. This is a town populated by students and if there’s one thing students cherish more than a hot dinner, it’s going out and enjoying live music. We want to see good music come to our shores and sometimes it just takes the dedication of a few to beat the malaise. Good music is out there, you just need to find it. Let the claims that St Andrews lacks a music scene fall on deaf ears. If you’re still struggling to find some good music in St Andrews, head to Venue 1 tonight for BSides presents: Midland. Tickets sold on the door.

that St Andrews harbours. I personally found the work of Celeste Sloman, Sage Lancaster and Sunjana Dalal particularly enchanting. My complaint lies with the curating of the issue. There seems to be little attempt to engage with ‘identity’ in a more thoughtful or critical manner. It would have been interesting to see a more investigative approach to the concept of ‘identity’ that artists like Nan Goldin or Sophie Calle have taken in the past. Calle in particular has mythologised her own identity in a way that makes a viewer aware of our intimacy with illusion. ‘Identity’ may have been the theme, but the result was an assortment of quality works with little sense of an identity. This is a shame as ST.ART has a roster of talented artists, a committed team and a wonderful ambition. On this occasion, however, I found this ambition fell a little flat. I would love to see ST.ART produce the open-minded and critically engaged issue they are certainly capable of creating.


The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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Vinyl records were once the bread and butter of the music industry. The medium was, at its time, a revolution. It allowed for mass production of records at a minimal price and, soon enough, rows and rows of those black spiral grooves became as customary in the average household as bookcases. However, with the technological heights of the 80’s, newfangled mediums emerged such as the cassette player, and later the compact disc. These were even more efficiently produced and less prone to deterioration in quality. Also, due to their

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The vinyl showdown

continual production, if your hamster ate your favourite album it wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to replace. Vinyl dwindled as a commercial product in the 90’s, but it has been kept alive by audiophiles, collectors and DJs who prefer the sound quality, sentimental value, and flexibility of the format. Last week, a top-ten list of the most expensive vinyl records was compiled by Record Collector magazine. The list was emphatically dominated by The Beatles and The Sex Pistols, with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody the only non-Fab Four or Pistols

Jonny Elswood - 1st year History student Strengths: sound grounding in rock music history Weaknesses: fear of facial hair & vinyl cynicism

single to appear. Of course, it’s no surprise that these acts dominated; they are undoubtedly jewels in the history of popular music. Interestingly, however, the top spot was not given to The Beatles’ 1962 debut ‘Love Me Do/ P.S. I Love You’, but was instead handed to the acetate original of ‘That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger’, a song released in 1958 by The Quarrymen, an early manifestation of the Liverpudlian band. If you want to get your hands on that vinyl, you’ll have to dish out £200,000. You’d also have to wrestle it from the grasp of Paul

McCartney himself, he’s the one who owns the original. It’s safe to say that students don’t have that kind of money knocking about, or those kinds of contacts, but that never stopped us having some fun. So, this week, we challenged two of our music writers, David Hershaw and Jonny Elswood, to scavenge round St Andrews’ charity shops and see who could bring back the best haul of second hand vinyl LPs. It’s Bargain Hunt, but this time a search for quality, hidden musical gems. Judge for yourself who found the best selection of classic albums.

David Hershaw - 4th year IR student

Strengths: uncontestable knowledge of Fife’s music scene Weaknesses: love of facial hair & Fife’s music scene?

Arts & Culture 23

The Saint Playlist Funky President - James Brown ‘nuff said. Inhaler - Foals The latest single from the Oxford quintet is a mouthwatering taster of new album Holy Fire, to be released next spring. Math-rock crunchier than calculator pie. Lion (Jamie xx Remix) - Four Tet Jamie Smith returns a favour by remixing one of Kieran Hegden’s tunes, after the producer remixed The xx’s ‘Angels’ earlier this year. Sad Eyes - Crystal Castles This cavalry charge of cantering drums, piercing synth and fuzzy bass would definitely be on the playlist at the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’s end of year disco. Railroad Bill - Andrew Bird From his recent EP Hands of Glory, this fiddle-laden jaunt is country and western wizardry. Complete with the obligatory “WHOOO” at the end.

There’s a small poster pinned up at the back of the Oxfam shop on South Street. It’s a black and white photo of Queen on stage somewhere, with Freddie Mercury blasting out a glorious vocal and Brian May producing some mind-blowing riff. The bold writing super-imposed over the photo is thus: “We will rock you with our selection of music”. See what they did there? Well it’s wrong. The selection of vinyl records available in our town’s charity shops is abysmal. This makes sense of course: vinyl records are rarely produced nowadays, and those golden oldies that circulated in the latter half of the twentieth century are too brilliant – and too valuable - to be tossed into charity shops, in between some granny shoes and a dusty VHS copy of Flubber. You’d be extraordinarily lucky to find any album worth paying for, let alone a Beatles or Led Zeppelin classic. Upon browsing South Street’s Curiosity, however, I stumbled upon two exceptions. The first was a copy of Queen’s A Day at the Races from 1976. This glorious album fetched a delicious 3 million sales worldwide when it was released, and played an integral role in cementing Queen as a definitive British band of

their era. Alongside it laid a tattered copy of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. Released by Virgin Records in 1973, the instrumental album exploded into the UK charts and made Oldfield an overnight success, providing a young Richard Branson with a phenomenal base on which to construct an empire. The album’s opening piano piece inspired the eerie theme tune for The Exorcist, resulting in further acclaim. Under a pile of obscure country and western vinyls in Barnardos sat a pristine copy of U2’s 1983 live album, Under a Blood Red Sky. Ranking amongst the most iconic live performances in rock history, this album includes a famous and fiery rendition of ‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday’. Nothing but passion emanates from that track, and the album overall set the benchmark for live albums ever since. Another highlight of my search was a grotesque album cover showing a middle-aged and far from photogenic couple gazing lustfully into each other’s eyes. This was Cleo Laine and James Galway’s Sometimes When We Touch (1980). I’ll stop you there, Cleo and James. Get a hair cut.

Unlike my cynical counterpart, there are some people who actually enjoy hunting for hidden vinyl treasures. I have to confess that I am one of those individuals; who bore their friends with statements like “analog will always be better than digital” and “I think you’ll find Genesis were better before Peter Gabriel left!”. I have to say however, although young Mr. Elswood did manage to bring in an impressive haul, his derogatory remarks about James Galway, a man whose facial hair serves as an inspiration to us all, are most unnecessary. My search was based upon the following philosophy; you’re unlikely to find an original copy of Sgt. Pepper in mint condition so instead, look for forgotten albums and lesser known greats - these are the true bargains. My first choice exemplifies this, an old copy of Fog on the Tyne by Lindisfarne. Although the album’s title track was later destroyed by Paul Gascoigne, this 1971 release was one of the biggest albums of its time. The combination of great songwriting from Alan Hull and Rod Clements,

the stripped-back production style brought by Bob Johnston and the diverse range of influences that each member of the band contributed, led to this Folk-Rock sensation becoming a requirement for every student household in the 1970s. The second album I chose was from a Fife band named Nazareth. I managed to find their third album, Razamanaz, which is a must listen for any fans of 70s hard rock. The band were a huge influence on Guns and Roses, who later covered one their songs, and remain one of Scotland’s most important musical exports. Highlights from this album are ‘Broken Down Angel’ and ‘Bad Bad Boy’. Lastly I found a copy of To Our Children’s Children’s Children by The Moody Blues. To be honest I would rather have found their later album, A Question of Balance, but this is still a classic from one of Britain’s greatest ever bands. I discovered all of these albums in Oxfam, where I also found a 1964 copy of The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles Hits. Go on Youtube and check it out... it sounds exactly as you would imagine.

Airlock - NZCA\LINES Michael Lovett takes his moniker from ancient Peruvian geoglyphs. His music may be angular but it’s futuristic and instead of being visible from space, it belongs in space itself. Clinic - For The Season From the Liverpudlian band’s seventh LP, this track is a swooner. A nice change to their usual aggro-art-rock. Motorcycle Emptiness - Manic Street Preachers The Manics’ debut Generation Terrorists was re-released last week to mark its 20th birthday. This unabashed display of fret fondling is a classic.

Soon - My Bloody Valentine It was announced last week that the godparents of shoegaze would finally release the follow up to 1991’s Loveless. Let’s hope it shows all those revellers in the recent shoegaze revival how its done.


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Crystal Castles III

The Difficult Second Album

Crystal Castles

Chris Moyles

Fiction Records

Mercury

9/10

8/10 *

Crystal Castles’ third album of unhinged yet intoxicating pulses is released this week. The Toronto group consists of the seductive, psycho-chic heroine, Alice Glass, and her elusive producer who is currently under the alias of Ethan Kath. The duo amazed and intrigued critics with their experimental first album in 2008; they delivered the goods again two years later with II and now III throws another punch at our conceptions of electronica. Almost every track is a trippy and wonderful construction, and the ending of each one slides onto the start of the next, creating a gloriously seamless whole-album experience. Glass and Kath definitely still have that contraflow edge that vaulted them up amongst the most influential acts of their genre four years ago. There are lyrics in each track, but they seem to be purposefully blurred and contorted to generate a bizarre space-age soundscape. The album’s power takes over the listener’s mind completely and pushes one’s imagination to places that in the past only Justice and Daft Punk could paint.

next man. Moyles is able to call on industry behemoths Rizzle Kicks (the fruits of his Kanyeesque pulling power) on ‘Too Old For This’, a ‘Diss’ he aims at the BBC bosses who terminated his contract, deciding he probably was too old to host a show for teenagers. This is a charge Moyles appears eager to repudiate, as he subsequently invites the listener to reflect on the jejune humour of babies’ pooing on the floor on ‘Potty Training’. James Corden writes and performs a song called ‘Corden’ - about James Corden - in a bravely postmodern act of reflexivity. Moyles then calls on the input of the ever-urbane Robbie Williams in ‘I.L.M.P’ (I Love My Penis (Short? Who Said Short?)), a nuanced exposition of phallic anxieties, as the album seeks a more mature voice. This is a project of quite

remarkable comic dexterity. Moyles shows us that a negligible grasp of irony and the lack of any discernible wit needn’t be an impediment to making comedy that works. He has no qualms about using prepubescent schoolboy humour; what was funny then is, after all, funny now. Hit with a panoply of creative energy, from Ed Sheeran to Gary Barlow, the listener will delight in marrying these unceasing funnies to their favourite hits this year. Let the charges of crass self-indulgence fall on deaf ears. Moyles’ The Difficult Second Album reminds us that music is not just about good rhythms and pretty melodies: it can also make us laugh.

Jonny Elswood

I approached ex-Radio One DJ Chris Moyles’ Difficult Second Album with little apprehension. This is the man who garnered a following quite beyond any of his contemporaries on British Radio, apparently through the sole expedience of talking loudly and naughtily on air. This is the man whose bestselling books, The Gospel According to Chris Moyles and The Difficult Second Book (a title that the everenterprising Moyles, recognising the mileage of this gimmick, was able to re-appropriate as a suitable name for his most recent musical project) have managed to remain popular despite what seems like a militant disregard for the conventions of the English language. This is the man to whom the perfect joke starts and ends with episodes of flatulence. I thought therefore, that I was in for a rough ride with the polymath’s latest effort. How wrong I was. Parodies of recent popular music, featuring, among others, industry heavyweights such as Olly Murs and Pixie Lott, and infused with witty crooning and rapping (yes) by Chris Moyles himself, reminded me that I like a laugh as much as the

reveals his shambolic lack of direction and conviction. Lucas’ removal from the front-lines of production allows for an important refocus and return to roots. The original trilogy paid homage to the likes of Akira Kurosawa and the Western; the prequels merely got in line with modern action films. With the right person at the helm, with a proper script and the right balance of tradition and innovation, Episode VII could be a real return to form. That is, of course, if Disney does it right; not something it has a great track-record in across the last few years, particularly in liveaction cinema. Think Pirates of the Caribbean 2-4. Think John Carter, which lost hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as jobs. Crucially, think of the Cars series, the first of which is in places woefully bad, but generated over $5 billion in merchandise alone, and so commissioned an even worse sequel. Star Wars, along with Lucasfilm’s other jewel Indiana Jones, offers Disney the possibility of near-limitless financial gain, not only through box office returns

every second year, but through the procession of DVDs, toys, video games, bedspreads, clothing, books, comics, sweets, aprons, fridge magnets, toasters, pet costumes etc. which accompany every release. This is intensified by the suggestion that Disney might want to ‘Bond’ Star Wars, releasing a new movie every year or two, endlessly. Chuck in their co-productions with Pixar and Marvel, from whom The Avengers and its multicharacter, multi-film build up stands-out as the most thorough attempt at film-as-commercial, and the real focus of cinematic output becomes ever clearer. Disney has assembled a stable of the most repeatable, high-grossing franchises in modern cinema. Disney isn’t the only one at it. Michael Bay’s Transformers series may seem an obvious film to make in this golden age of CGIladen superhero flicks. Of course, that concept evolved from a line of toys... they are now in a seemingly constant crisis of bickering and resignations. Transfomers rumbles towards its fourth instalment, having all but shed the entire

original principle cast. The brand, and not the film, is what matters. On the back of Transformers success, an unholy alliance was struck between Universal and toy-makers Hasbro. That’s why we have recently been insulted by Battleship, a film based on a simple lo-fi tactical board game, yet rendered on screen as an intergalactic war at sea. The collapse of this deal has not spared us: in the pipeline from various studios are films based on Monopoly, Stretch Armstrong and (believe it) Hungry, Hungry Hippos. Hollywood as a creatively barren, market-driven force has long been a cliché and an easy target for lazy or snobbish

journalism. But we truly are scraping the barrel now. Cinema is not dead, nor even dying: look across the page and online to read about some of the most interesting, original and powerful films to be made this year. And while ‘Disney presents Star Wars 7’ might sound like flogging a dead tauntaun, it could move in a fascinating new direction, both in narrative and style. But this culture of remakes and spin-offs from spin-offs, of toys from films of toys, has got to cease for the good of the industry and the mainstream viewer. It doesn’t take a Jedi mind-trick to realise these aren’t the films we’re looking for.

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Lewis Camley The momentous, multi-billion dollar sale of Lucasfilm to Disney at the end of last month did more than split fan loyalties and guarantee, it seems, at least episodes VII to IX of the decades-spanning Star Wars franchise. In a business deal which simultaneously appeared suddenly out of hyper-space, yet felt like the most natural, obvious merger possible, the Hollywood machine let two of its most iconic masks slip. That machine has become little more than a toy factory. Once (arguably) the pinnacle of cinema, the mainstream American movie industry has turned films in to 90 minute adverts for moneyspinning merchandise, repeated to the point of nausea, year upon year. I don’t believe that continuing Star Wars is necessarily a terrible idea in itself. The main problem has long been George Lucas himself, not just for his postrelease meddling and greed: even a cursory glance at the development history of Star Wars

Toying with Star Wars

Calum Colley * The Saint Arts & Culture does not endorse this rating.

Illustration: Monica Burns

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The highlights of the album are the opening ‘Plague’ and the middle track ‘Sad Eyes’, both of which are epic symphonies, packed with reverb and colossal bass-lines. One of the very few downsides to this album, however, is the track ‘Insulin‘ ,that appears to be nothing more than the chaotic result of a frustrating, unproductive session in the mixing studio. It’s atypically formless and takes the experimental meshing of noises a step too far in the direction of ‘broken radio’. The track might go well in the setting of a ridiculous acid-house rave, but could be left out of the album. The rest of Crystal Castles III is a triumph, and, dare-I-say it, a ground-breaking effort. So forget about work, forget about Obama; forget about the fast-approaching Scottish winter. Just sit back, turn it up, shut your eyes, and project yourself into the supernova.


The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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Dir. Benh Zeitlin 10/10 Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of the most unique films ever made. It’s the story of Hushpuppy, a little girl living with her father in an outcast island community off the coast of New Orleans called the Bathtub. The opening sequence of the film brings you straight into her world, and as the title appears on screen, you realize that these outcasts are possibly more alive than you’ll ever be. The alcohol, fireworks, and ramshackle shelters all paint Hushpuppy’s world as one filled with life, colour and freedom. Yet all of this is tinged with impending doom: a storm is coming. The screenplay, written by

Argo Dir. Ben Affleck 8/10 There’s one major reason for seeing Argo. It’s not the political resonances with recent events at the US embassy in Libya; nor simply because Ben Affleck’s film (the best actor-turned-director since Eastwood?) has a very good chance of winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards in February. Quite simply, Argo should be seen because it tells a fantastic (and fantastical) story. The film is based on a reallife rescue mission carried out by the CIA during the 1979 Iranian revolution. Unorthodox agent Tony Mendez (Affleck) concocts a scheme to free six trapped US hostages from Iran: posing as a Canadian film crew, he plans to smuggle them out as employees with forged passports. Mendez is the agency’s expert in ‘exfiltration’ and decides that his bizarre plan is the only solution. To do this he spends the first half of the film setting up a production company in Hollywood, with help from make-up and prosthetics artist John Chambers (John Goodman) and veteran movie mogul Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin). The second half of the film depicts the escape mission itself, back-

Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, two (previously) small-time writers, is extraordinary, with the thoughts of Hushpuppy driving the film forward, due to her innocence, wonder, and strange wisdom (the kind that only children have). Of course, the character would be nothing without the actor, nine-year-old newcomer Quvenzhane Wallis. Generally I am not impressed by kid actors, and I excuse their flatness as the result of still having a work-inprogress frontal lobe. This is not the case with Miss Wallis. Her acting, combined with Zeitlin’s directing, quickly suck the viewer into her world. She might not be a typical, perfect little girl, but this is part of her charm. She’s a real child, living life in an impossible situation. The other characters in the

film include Hushpuppy’s father (Dwight Henry) and Miss Bathsheba (Gina Montana), along with the other members of the Bathtub community. Miss Bathsheba is the town teacher and witch doctor, telling the children about melting glaciers half a world away, and how they must learn to survive. Tattooed on her thigh are images from a cave painting of the aurochs, the prehistoric beast that comes to symbolize the unraveling of Hushpuppy’s universe, as her father grows ill, the storm approaches, and the life she knows faces destruction. All in all, Beasts is a masterpiece. It embodies the romantic, adventurous childhood many of us wish we’d had, while at the same time depicting how unstable and transitory existence is for one little girl. The screenplay, set, direction, acting and soundtrack come together like a well-crafted quilt (not clockwork - this movie is much too organic to be compared to a machine). Beasts of the Southern Wild is a triumph of visionary filmmaking; a welcome break from the over-produced, extravagant, star-studded cashmachines that take up most screens in the cinema. Hopefully it will pave the way for more of its kind. Susanna Sabin

Affleck and the Argonuts

Photo: Warner Bros

Beasts of the Southern Wild

No love lost?

A vision of the wild

dropping the action with the controversial presidency of Jimmy Carter during the period. The unlikelihood of the story is the basis of the film’s charm, combining comic moments derived from Mendez’ ridiculous plot with a real sense of tension rivalling any thriller of recent years. Affleck’s performance as an actor is amongst his best; seemingly raising his game in front of the camera since spending some time behind it. The use of hand-held camera footage and dated film grains also contribute to the creation of story and mood; particularly helping to convey a sense of panic during the riot scenes. The ending, rather than too

patriotically American as has been suggested, was actually just overly Hollywood, and even began with fairly blatant criticism of US foreign policy in Iran prior to the revolution. The film manages to retain its believability for over two hours (with some struggle), but the Airport runway scene towards the end is obviously a screen-writer’s fabrication. Historical inaccuracy and a bit of flag waving shouldn’t deter viewers though - Argo is a very enjoyable and gripping film. I did it a disservice earlier; it doesn’t just tell a fantastic story, it tells it very well. David Hershaw

Photo: Artifical Eye

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Photo: StudioCanal

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Amour Dir. Michael Haneke 9/10 For those familiar with Michael Haneke’s films, the title of his latest, Amour, might seem like a particularly cruel, ironic joke. The Austrian director has developed a cult following for his cerebral, morbid and often gut-wrenchingly violent films. This, his second Palm d’Or winner after The White Ribbon in 2009, is a similarly brutal film, which remarkably manages to maintain the idea and appearance of love in life’s darkest days at the centre of one of the most haunting movies to emerge for some time. Following the lives of elderly Parisian couple Georges and Anne (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva), the film is more of a character study than a story, at times documentary-like in its realism and unobtrusiveness. We watch little more than the terminal decline of a wife in her eighties, and the overwhelming effect it has on herself, her husband and their relationship. The film builds up nearperfect tonal momentum, beginning with humour and vitality as the cultured retirees discuss music, their youths and their lives together. But after an opening scene in which death is literally broken in upon, two early moments in which Anne seems to freeze entirely, unresponsive to her husband’s concerns, are foreboding. From then on, as Anne struggles to cope with the effects of successive strokes and deteriorating health, the film gradually becomes excruciatingly tense and unsettling. This is managed through the film’s two major successes. First, the performances of Trintignant and Riva are sublime. Both actors are elegant yet frail; their depictions of elderly instability

coming easily. Riva in particular is stunning in portraying a quite sharp decline: her anger and hurt pride when confined to a wheelchair still allow moments of warmth. When bed-bound and incapacitated, her tragedy is unbearable to watch. Secondly, despite the different subject matter, this feels like a typical Haneke movie, full of oppressive silences, distances and emptiness. Taking place almost entirely in their small apartment, Amour always feels claustrophobic, heightened, as both characters become evermore isolated (her in her illness, he in his inability to cope). Holding the camera still and distant from the actors, Haneke leaves the audience, as ever, in the uncomfortable position of voyeurism, questioning their complicity in what is happening on screen. Since this is natural death itself, the suspicion that we shouldn’t be watching at all is at its apogee, and is more disquieting than almost all of his other films. Realism might indeed be Haneke’s most terrifying weapon in his career-long interrogation of spectatorship and the easy, saccharine conclusions of mainstream cinema. But for a few stumbles in pacing and a suspicion that the plot must have greater impact on viewers of a certain age or circumstance, this is another masterpiece in Haneke’s oeuvre. A film with heart and horror, it may leave you begging for that happy ending which can never come. “None of all that deserves to be shown”, says George of his dying wife: he may as well be pleading with the film-maker. Haneke would argue that it must be shown, however. What certainly is deserved is the acclaim that has both already been won and must surely be forthcoming for one of Haneke’s very best films to date. Lewis Camley


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Joseph Cunningham If I were to summarise the quality of student theatre in St Andrews, I would happily exclaim: ‘so many stars it may as well be a galaxy.’ At least, that is what our journalism would suggest. I am of the belief that we produce much good theatre and it is wonderful to see that other reviewers agree. However there is something fishy about the apparent belief that the vast majority of what we do is gold dust. We should not be so easy to impress. Fearless criticism encourages improvement, but our lax, over-generous attitude has left us stuck in a rut. We seem incapable of delivering a ‘bad’ review – my search through the archives threw up a total of five two-star reviews across all student publications in the last two years and many higher rated shows read like two-stars. Are the reviewers scared? For better or for worse, St Andrews is a closeknit community where the vast majority of people on ‘the culture circuit’ know each other and many reviewers - myself included - have experience on the other side, as it were. It is understandable that we do not want to hurt each other’s feelings, but these considerations should not enter assessment of artistic merit. Granted, I have been guilty of softening criticism in my writing, but I have also known star ratings to have been changed at editorial level for no apparent

Clockwork

Go on, impress me

Fish Out of Water - Street Theatre Theatrical workshops with a performance at the end of the week. 26 to 30 Nov

purpose. This does not create a healthy environment for the development of arts in St Andrews. So many shows receive 4-stars or the horrendously offensive ‘half ratings’ - 3.5 or 4.5 - that praise is devalued and truly great pieces are lost among more average offerings. Some may argue that this is what 4.5 or 5 stars exist for, but 5 stars should be reserved for the perfect, unique show and not merely to mark out a superior 4-star one. Half stars should not have any place on the spectrum, but seem to have reared their ugly heads to protect

reviewers from committing to heaven forbid - two-stars, or any real commitment to potentially controversial assertions. Are our egos so fragile that we are unable to take criticism? We do not take it personally when a tutor criticises our essays: the wise student corrects their errors. Performance or direction works in much the same way – the best actor or director constantly strives to better themselves. How are we supposed to improve if we feel entitled to gushy praise and dismiss our critics? That said, there is a difference between criticising

the person and the performance: ‘Bob’s performance was lacklustre’ is distinct from ‘Bob is lazy’ – the former allows scope for improvement, while the latter is simply a character generalization. Our expectation for generous reviewing has led us to the mistaken belief that the 3-stars rating denotes a bad review. 3stars is a solid recommendation of a show that is worth the price of a ticket. Sure, it isn’t going to set the world on fire, but comparatively few shows do. We need something to strive for. For that, the bar must be reset.

small gripe. However, in a play that seemed to be striving towards gritty emotional realism, glaring inaccuracies such as this made the suspension of disbelief almost impossible. The only exception was Lewis Harding as Major Peat. His startling shifts in tone and emotion from the abrupt harshness of commanding fellow soldiers to a gruff but gentle manner with Manon added an intricacy to his performance that was effective. Another standout was Calder Hudson whose twitchy mannerisms as the inexperienced soldier, Bailey, provided an effective physical contrast to Goldman’s stoicism. The real problem consistent in Clockwork was not the actors’ performances, but the material they were given. The characters were not allowed to develop naturally and were told rather than shown. Though certain aspects of the story were compelling on their own, there were simply too many elements, and their proper development suffered as a consequence.

Rusty Clockwork

Dir. Alex Mullarky Venue 1, Nov 6th ** Clockwork is the newest studentwritten drama to be performed in St Andrews. The story follows a young English captain (played by Cooper Goldman) stationed in a French village towards the end of WWI. The set was necessarily minimalist with the changing of scene indicated only by the actors standing in a different area of the stage. This generated an eerie simplicity to the stage which served as a barren landscape reminiscent of battlefield, creating a blank canvas on which to paint its message. The message however possessed no coherency. It tried to be everything at once: a commentary on the nightmarish nature of war, a coming of age tale, a romance, and a fantasy. The result was a conglomeration of one subplot after another with the main storyline nearly impossible to discern. Perhaps most bizarre was

Coming up on the St Andrews stage...

Illustration: Ruairidh Bowen

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The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

Photo: Helen Miller

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the title plot, that of a young man who wanted to be a clockmaker, which was relegated to little more than an afterthought and was an all too convenient tool to tie the confused threads together. Characterisation suffered due to the lack of focus. Goldman’s character was unlikeable in his inconsistency. His reactions were robotic with the occasional bursts of melodrama that were more bewildering than poignant. A bright spot was Caterina

Giammarresi who delivered an understated performance as Manon, the pretty boulangerie owner whose plucky optimism was punctuated by the occasional glimpse into her closely guarded pain. Her emotional depths were beautiful, managing to delicately portray the devastation of war without tumbling into the trap of melodrama. The familiarity between officers and their subordinates rang false, which may seem a comparatively

Emma Moore

The Canterbury Tales An immersive performance with live music which places the audience in the The Tabard, the inn which provided the setting for Chaucer’s pigrims to tell their tales. Byre Theatre, 16 & 17 Nov MacPherson’s Rant A gripping tale of love, power and betrayal in 17th Century Scotland. Colourful characters, vibrant dance and traditional Scottish songs tell this story of a true and honest love struggling to prevail against the forces of tradition and political power. Byre Theatre, 23 Nov to 1 Dec

Near the St Andrews stage... The Magic Flute: Scottish Opera Sir Allen Thomas and Simon Higlett return to take on the fantastical charms of Mozart’s most inventive opera. Set in a spectacular visual world inspired by Victorian ‘steam punk’, the show promises to be a stylish and imaginative telling of this much loved piece. Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 16 to 24 Nov Chicago The internationally awardwinning musical about treachery, corruption, adultery and, of course, sex comes to Glasgow for one week only. King’s Theatre Glasgow, 19 to 24 Nov CL Chances Are Devised by Dundee Rep’s community theatre company, this show reflects on family life in contemporary Dundee. Has life become a game, a chance, a gamble? Or are all bets off? Dundee Rep, 16 & 17 Nov


The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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Why Roald Dahl still matters

Two decades after his death, the emblematic children’s author still stikes a chilling chord. Calum Colley explores why...

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Scottish fashion designers such as Christopher Kane, Holly Fulton and Jonathan Saunders have become household names and proved that vibrant and eclectic British fashion isn’t something only to be found on the streets and catwalks of London. But what of the next generation - the new wave of young Scottish designers making their way into the stiletto-heeled world of fashion? Tasha Cornall investigates... Having been nominated for the 2012 Scottish Fashion Awards’ Scottish Graduate of the Year award before she’d even graduated from Robert Gordon University’s Gray’s School of Art, Jill MacLennan is definitely one to watch. Her graduate collection, inspired by the Scottish landscape, was designed to evoke Scotland without resorting to “clichéd fashions” such as tartan - it features delicate dresses made from fluid chiffons and silks hand-dyed in earthy brown and orange tones.  As well as completing an internship in the production department at Erdem, Jill is looking to set up her own

destitution, and the ‘Fantastic’ Mr Fox had his tail blown off, as he was exhaustively pursued by the nefarious farming triumvirate of Boggis, Bunce and Bean. But Dahl’s favourite theme of all was that of child abuse. James (of Giant Peach fame) was an orphan, forced into an upbringing of appalling abuse from his two hideous aunts. Similarly, Matilda

was neglected and ostracized by her family, to such an extent that she was eventually adopted by her compassionate teacher, Mrs Honey. In The Witches, demons had taken on the guise of women, and intended to counteract the foul stench emitted by children by killing every last one on earth. Dahl wasn’t scared of

clothing and accessories business, with the support of the Princes Trust Youth Business Scotland.  Like Jill, Toni Roddie both graduated from Gray’s School of Art and was nominated for the Scottish Graduate of the Year Award this year. Toni teamed up with another Gray’s School of Art graduate, Emma Noble, and the pair have been hard at work establishing themselves within the fashion industry. The pair started S.T.A.G. (Scottish Talent and Graduates) Studio, an Aberdeen-based company which aims to promote the Scottish fashion industry through networking and collaborating in photoshoots and other fashion events. They have also been running an independent design label, ‘fawnd of’, selling a number of original designs and customised vintage pieces online. This year Toni and Emma have started a new luxury label together, Saunt & Sinner, which is part of Fashion Foundry, a “business incubator and talent hub” for Scottish fashion and textile designers. Saunt & Sinner will have its official launch very soon,

having already dressed model Chloe Campbell for this year’s Scottish Fashion Awards, so watch this space.  Young Designer of the Year Hayley Scanlan launched her diffusion line, HS, just last week in an attempt to meet demands for her designs. Hayley’s main line has already been worn by celebrities such as Jessie J and Little Mix. Isla Scott graduated from Heriot-Watt just last year with a beautifully-textured collection featuring origami-like folds, thick gathers and pleats and unusual shredding details, all in a beautiful colour palette of deep browns, blues, and inky blacks. Fiona Somerville’s collection was one of the highlights of Edinburgh Online Fashion Week; she won the Scottish Cashmere Club competition last year and I defy anyone to not beg to be wrapped in one of her tactile knitwear designs.

introducing his readers to evil; he knew that they were often better equipped to deal with the macabre aspects of life than their parents. He saw resilience where others saw fragility, and he saw intelligence where others saw innocence and naivety. In fact, the self-confessed key to Dahl’s success was that he conspired with children against the awful,

foolish world of adults. He had that rare gift of being able to effortlessly mould reality into the most fantastic and compelling worlds. In fact, ‘Reality’ meant something altogether different to Dahl. A compulsive liar in his private life, he showed a negligible appreciation of the distinction between fact and fiction. What was true wasn’t nearly as important to him as what could be. Because of this he was able to pull his readers through the most depressing and frightening of plots with the tacit assurance that in the end it was just a story. It just could have happened. His visions were unfettered and incomplete; it was up to the readers to fill in the blanks, just as they had filled the protagonists’ shoes, night after night. In the 22 years since his death, Dahl’s pre-eminence in children’s literature has rarely been called into question. It is a nice thought that, in these tepid times, a generation of children have been shown the world through the imaginative guidance of the same man who kept his surgically-removed femur as a paperweight.

Ones to watch: up and coming Scottish designers

Check out The Saint’s coverage of Hayley Scanlan’s HS launch and Edinburgh Online Fashion Week on our website – www.thesaintonline.com

Photo: V&A Dundee

Those were the parting words of perhaps the finest children’s author of the last century, as he received the lethal dose of morphine that would finally curtail his remarkable life. Roald Dahl, son of Norwegian parents and child of Cardiff, expired in Oxford on 23 November 1990. On the 23rd of this month, 22 years will have passed since children lost their favourite storyteller. That somewhat abrupt final goodbye was emblematic of a life spent scoffing at sentimentality and neglecting social graces. Dahl wrote books that unabashedly dealt with the darkest of themes, turning convention on its head for children’s fiction. The Twits regularly glued the tree in their garden, so as to have a ready crop of helpless birds for their pies. The BFG’s countrymen gobbled up children in the middle of the night. Danny, ‘the Champion of the World’, was forced to live with his father in the most dreadful penury, subsisting on poached pheasants. A similar fate befell Charlie Bucket before he discovered the ‘golden ticket’, his only chance to escape

Photo: supplied

“Ow, Fuck”


28 Sport

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The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

Photo: www.circuitoftheamericas.com

Hot Wheels: The Austin Grand Prix 2012

Martin Saarinen

16 November marks the restoration of the United States Grand Prix on the Formula 1 calendar. The race is held in the recently built Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, which hopefully will help to enforce the sport further in America. F1 has never seemed to crack the affection of the crowds in the US. The history runs long, but is deeply wounded with misfortunes, financial troubles and the existence of national substitute sports such as NASCAR and IndyCar. The US has never had a very spirited participation history with F1. The lack of USbased team participation and a consistent crop of American drivers have left the US crowds more familiar with racing series that involve domestic drivers and teams. NASCAR and IndyCar dominate the motorsport culture in the States, drawing more spectators to events than F1 races do. Of further impairment is the fact that there has not been an American Grand Prix winner since Mario Andretti back in the 1970s, who in all fairness was excellent, but his early retirement prevented the sport from truly sinking into the American motorsports domain. Furthermore, the most notable US-based team was Eagle, racing in the 1960s having little relevance to today’s modern motorsports audience. The

Circuit of the Americas: Turns 7, 8, and 9 of the new F1 track in Austin, Texas, which creators hope will leave an F1 legacy in America plans for a US F1 Team were developed and the team was expected to participate in the 2010 season. Due to a lack of financial funding, however, the project collapsed. Much like in Europe, the venues for the races have changed since the introduction of the sport in 1908. None of

Mario Andretti the venues, however, have been very successful. The 1990 Phoenix Grand Prix was a fiasco by all standards. Being based on a street circuit, already disliked by a majority of the drivers, only 15,000 spectators showed up to the event, instead of the expected 100,000. To add insult to injury, over 75,000 people attended an ostrich race just 25 miles away from the circuit the same day. The Indianapolis Grand

Prix was aimed to rectify all this. Based on the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to NASCAR and Indy500, the track was familiar to the the spectators and was perfect for raising the attention of businesses and fans alike. Record numbers of spectators attended the races and the racing was successful between 2000-2005; the 2005 season race, however, was a PR catastrophe which diminished the newly established reputation of the sport. Michelin, the partial tyre provider for the event (Bridgestone being the other one) concluded that its tyres would not be able to handle the high-speed Turn 13 of the track, arguing that they would put the drivers at risk. The race was run with only six cars racing, leaving the fans stupefied of what had happened. The fans filed lawsuits and demanded compensation. The 2005 US Grand Prix isolated the American fan even further from the sport, and by 2007 the US Grand Prix was over. Financial difficulties have shadowed the US F1 racing history. Such was the case with the Austin circuit. After some pressure from Ecclestone, hoever, the track was built, and what a track it is. The track designer Hermann Tilke has ensured that the spectators, for the most part, are able to see large chunks of

the race track from the carefully placed grandstands able to seat over 120.000. A further 900 acres of land surrounding the race track has been utilized for the same purpose. The track itself has massive elevation changes of up to forty meters. Turn 1 of the track is expected to be the signature turn,

“900 acres of land have been utilised to enable the circuit to seat over 120,000 spectators”

comprising of a long straight leading to an uphill with a first gear left hand turn. The rest of the track pays homage to the greats around the world, such as Silverstone and Hockenheim. The relatively long straights, conjoined by medium to tightend corners, beg the question of what set-up strategy teams will choose, especially Red Bull. Vettel was forced to start in the pit lane in the Abu Dhabi GP, due to failure to comply

with fuel regulations. The team decided to change the set up of the car to have longer gear ratios. Red Bull’s general strategy has revolved around shorter gear ratios, allowing faster acceleration and more speed out of the corners, enabling them to grab pole positions in the qualifications and then stir away from the pack in the beginning of the race and avoid the DRS zones. However, as Vettel’s heroic climb to third position proved, longer gear ratios have advantages. Guessing aside, the racing in Austin should be entertaining by all means.  Alonso’s troublesome fight to keep up with Vettel’s incredible pace will no doubt be seen in the States and this will hopefully spark further interest from American fans. With only two races to go, what everyone seems to be hoping for is a classic battle royale in Brazil to decide the World Champion, between Vettel and Alonso.  This would serve justice to a riveting season and build up the atmosphere for the next one. Martin Saarinen will be writing every week for The Saint Online in his column “Hot Wheels”, as well as providing regular features for The Saint on motorsport’s latest hot topic. Think you’ve got what it takes to be a columnist for The Saint: Sport? Get in touch at sport@ thesaint-online.com.


The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

Full Tilt Poker returns

50 Shades of Gray

Photo: N. W. Sayer

Sport Editor James Gray believes in Scottish football

FullTiltPoker.net: There’s been very little action on Full Tilt since 2011, but not for lack of demand.

Callum Stewart

For most people, when asked to think of poker, they think of James Bond, dinner suits, and Monte Carlo casinos. However, the majority of poker is no longer played live. The world of online poker has taken off since the millenium and, last year, we saw one of the pinnacles of online poker brought crashing down. Now, however, they are back. If you have been watching TV this week, you may have noticed some snazzy new adverts for an online poker site called ‘Full Tilt Poker’ which relaunched on 6 November, 495 days after it was taken offline by the American Department of Justice. The site and its owners, had been operating through

various loopholes and offshore payment processors to permit the online play in the United States, therefore bypassing any tax payments on operations and winnings. The owners were also accused of running a ‘Ponzi scheme’, and player funds were not properly segregated, meaning that if everyone were to cash out at the same time, they would not have the funds available. During the downtime, player funds were withheld while the investigation was under way. At the re-launch, $184 million dollars were released back into the on-line poker economy and players’ pockets around the globe. Americans still face a battle to unlock their funds, some with up to $50,000 tied up.  Full Tilt Poker was purchased by rival and fellow poker giant Pokerstars, which has agreed to work with the DOJ and pay back players affected. With most offices based in Ireland and the Isle of Man, this also brought about 400 jobs back in to our economy, as web developers and customer service agents were employed. FTP 2.0 has also been backed by a number of h i g h - s t a k e s  o n line professionals such as Tom Dwan, Gus Hansen and Viktor Blom who will be attracting a big crowd as they fight it out on the high stakes felt for millions of

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dollars. Play has now relaunched, albeit without the United States and certain European countries with stricter gambling laws, such as Belgium and Denmark. Players from France, Italy and Spain are only allowed to play in segregated player pools on separate sites. There is now a race to legalise online poker state-by-state in the United States, as it has been shown that there is a potential for big tax revenues from a huge player market. Meanwhile, professional players have moved abroad to Mexico, Canada and Europe to continue ‘working’. In fact, the UK is one of the few places that does not tax either live or online winnings. Poker is set to get another boost in the UK when Zynga poker offers players real money play from the start of next year through Facebook. The third largest app on the social networking site can boast over 6 million daily users. Even a relatively small conversion rate will provide a big online player pool, and social networking could be the future for online poker. If you’re interested in playing poker, the Poker Society meets every Wednesday in the Salad Bowl on the top floor of the union. Free tutorial lessons are also given for those looking to learn the game. Next week’s event is a Pot Limit Omaha tournament, on 21 November at 7pm.

I don’t talk about Scottish football much; I didn’t grow up here, and I don’t feel an emotional connection to it sometimes. But this week, how could I not? Last year we saw Barcelona, incredibly, get beaten over two legs by a Chelsea side who appeared to have no idea when they were beaten, or indeed, what sport they were playing. Fast forward 6 months, our (I use that word in the loosest possible sense) very own Celtic were cruelly denied a famous point at the Nou Camp thanks to a late Jordi Alba winner, only to, equally incredibly, bring (potentially) the greatest team of all time back to Parkhead and beat them. On both occasions, we saw the victorious British side sit back and absorb an incredible amount of pressure, occasionally breaking out to snap a shot off on the counter-attack. Given the poor press received by Scottish football over the last few months, not least from myself, Celtic’s performances, both home and away, are to be applauded, but do they cause us to reaccess Scottish football as a whole? Celtic do not sit atop the Scottish Premier League at the time of writing, although they do have a game in hand over my beloved Hibernian, who are two points clear and having a laugh (or so the songs claim). If Celtic are indeed the worldbeaters which some fans are now claiming, and if they “should be playing alongside the big boys in

England”, as others have often claimed, then surely they should be cruising past such meagre opposition as St Johnstone, who succeeded where Messi and co. failed by holding Celtic to a draw on Sunday at Parkhead? This is of course, an easy exaggeration, but the point stands. I am not going to take anything away from Celtic’s achievement on that Wednesday night, but I am going to bring them back down to earth. It was in the cold light of day, with suitable hangovers, that Scottish football fans were reminded of the deeply troubling problems with the country’s footballing establishment. Last year it was Rangers, and now it looks like Heart of Midlothian are, for what feels like the 9th time, going to go very nearly bust. Twenty clubs in Scotland have gone into administration in the last twenty years. This cannot be a coincidence, but Hearts are particularly guilty of time and again showing themselves not to be financially viable. Let Hearts die, at least in their current form. We cannot keep pushing our thumbs into the dyke in order to preserve what is a rotten state. Andrew McQuillan’s excellent piece on the failings in the Scottish Rugby Union is particularly apt to compare with the SFA and the SPL. Heads must roll, changes must be made, or the magic game of football in Scotland will be lost on entire generation in a fog of administration, strikes, and of course, the taxman...

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Autumn Internationals

Sport in Focus

Scotland take on South Africa at Murrayfield and Tonga at Pittodrie. We’ll have reporters live at both games to give you a fan’s eye view from the cheap seats.

Next week we’ll be getting up close and personal with the women’s football club. We’ll be talking about zonal marking, international flavours, and their challenge for BUCS glory.

Disagree with Andrew McQuillan? Tweet us your views on the demise of Scottish rugby for a chance to win a very special prize. We will feature the best tweets in the next issue, and all tweeters will be entered into a random draw at the end of the semester.

Keep track of all the clubs’ BUCS efforts at The Saint Online. Whether lacrosse is your thing, or table tennis tickles your fancy, we’ve got it all. Saints Sport currently sit 3rd in Scotland, just behind Stirling, so read all about your teams’ challenge for the title!

Friday Debate

BUCS Sport


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The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

Stuart Harlow

The Sports Centre will open its brand new 3G pitch to students on 19 November, signalling the culmination of a project which was only started at the beginning of the summer. The pitch’s installation is the greatest achievement to date of new Athletic Union President Emily Griffiths, who spoke to The

“The contractors have been exceptional in the last couple of months and the project has run smoothly from start to finish.” Saint about it. “The benefits of a 3G pitch to Saints Sport’s facilities will be numerous. It will help many of our sports clubs to further

improve on the development that has been witnessed in the last few years. The pitch will primarily benefit the sports of football, rugby, shinty, athletics and lacrosse, with the facility for handball, futsal and basketball areas at either side of the pitch.” Griffiths went on to stress the multi-purpose nature of the pitch. “The surface is one of the closest artificial surfaces there is to grass. Students will be able to play full contact rugby on the pitch; footwear in the form of long studs and blades is encouraged.” It had been hoped that the facility might be open as early as 9 November, but given the timescale and the size of the project, it is nevertheless remarkable that the contractors have been able to finish in such good time. “The contractors have been exceptional in the last couple of months and the project has run smoothly from start to finish,” commented Griffiths. The artificial pitch brings the University up to speed with other institutions, such as Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt, who regularly use

Sacroiliitis: A Pain in the Backside The sacro-iliac joints (SIJ) are located at the base of the spine and are joined to the pelvis via extremely strong ligaments. There is a left and right SIJ and they are usually very stable joints as they must support the weight of the body when on one foot, such as when running. Their primary role is to transfer the weight of the trunk through to the lower limbs and for shock absorption when walking and running. Unlike the vertebrae in the spine, the SIJ are oriented almost vertically and are held together by very dense and strong ligaments which only allow a tiny amount of rotation when performing tasks like putting on shoes or pulling your knee up towards the chest. The most common way to injure or irritate the joint is by falling on one butt cheek which tends to push the ilium upwards while the sacrum (and spine) are travelling downwards. It can also be irritated with unexpected impact like stepping off a curb in the dark. This sudden jarring can overstretch the ligaments and the result

is usually pain in the lower back or buttock and sometimes pain radiates into the groin and down the leg. The body tries to compensate with spasm of the gluteal muscles and lower back which are trying to stabilise the area. Once irritated there is usually discomfort with weight bearing on the side of the problem. This can be with standing, walking and especially running as there is more impact being transmitted through the joint.

Photo: Sammi McKee

Sports Centre to unveil new 3G pitch

similar surfaces for BUCS fixtures, and adds to the facilities which already bring great sporting sides such as Barcelona, Manchester United, and most recently the national Scottish rugby union side to St Andrews to train.

Stability test - Perform a single leg bridge. Lying on your back with knees bent and arms folded across the chest, lift the buttocks off the ground and then take one foot off the ground. Are the hips level and stable? If the unsupported buttock drops or there is swaying it indicates a weakness in the gluteal muscles and a lack of control which needs to be addressed to avoid further injury or irritation. Pain on the side of the supporting leg can indicate SIJ dysfunction. The use of anti-inflammatory medication can decrease symptoms but it is always best to treat the cause. Treatment usually consists of relieving any muscle spasm, then working on increasing the control of the muscles which help stabilise the SIJ. A structured program addressing core stability and improving biomechanics with running would also be considered essential. For more information or to contact START, please visit www. startclinic.co.uk or call 01334 462 190. The clinic is located at the University Sports Centre.

The floodlights surrounding the athletics track, in the middle of which sits the new pitch, have also been improved, so in addition to getting games on during a difficult winter, it will also add more available training hours to the

Sports Centre’s facilities. The AU President finished enthusiastically by saying that “Saints Sport can’t wait for the pitch to open and we’re looking forward to reaping the benefits that this new facility will bring.”


The Saint • Thursday 15 November 2012

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The SRU: the demise of Scottish rugby The worst World Cup showing ever. One of the worst Six Nations showings ever. In the near-140year history of the Scottish Rugby Union this has been a true ‘annus horribilis’. If Scottish rugby were a Dickens’ novel, this would unquestionably be ‘the worst of times’. The question is, does anybody actually care?  Given the manager Andy Robinson and his SRU paymasters are still ensconced in the corridors of power at Murrayfield, it would appear not. The upcoming Autumn Tests and 6 Nations campaign should really be a defining moment for the SRU; if there is another whitewash akin to 2011’s mauling then surely ramifications must cause a change in how rugby in this country is operated? Speaking to the Dundonian doyenne of Scottish rugby writing, Kevin Ferrie of The Herald, he is of a similar opinion. Yet he says he has felt the need for change since mid-90s. “On a par with Portugal” is how he describes the hopes of the national team in the next World Cup. The role of Andy Robinson as manager must be up for consideration. The manager of Scotland’s erstwhile football team, Craig Levein was recently disposed of by the SFA for being not very good. Why it took them so long is anyone’s guess; Levein had a success rate of 41.6% in matches when compared to Robinson’s 21%. If we were being rational, surely the former Edinburgh coach rather than the former Hearts’ manager should have been dispatched long ago? However, as the affable Ferrie

laid out clearly in our discussion, the SRU are constrained by the market in which they operate yet are also constrained by their ambition; the game is a minority interest in Scotland in the face of football. (Given the horrendous condition of football, that tells its own story). It is played essentially amongst the private schools of the land – a fact underlined by the absence of any state schools in this year’s instalment of the Scottish Cup - and the pool of players is not the most talented.   This talent deficit has also been compounded by the lack of money in the SRU coffers,  emphasised by recent attempts to pawn off the family silver as the SRU seek to sell off the naming rights to Murrayfield, with Mark Dodson, the organisation’s chief executive, confessing that it would be madness not to raise revenue in this way. For an organisation that has had an exclusively Scottish based set of sponsors recently, such as the Famous Grouse and RBS, one must really wonder if it is possible for such an Edinburgh-centric entity to entice a multi-national to invest seriously in a product which is about as attractive as the aesthetically revolting bambooclad Parliament down the road at Holyrood. Amidst the laissez-faire slumber of the national side, nodding away like a passed out member of the Tartan Army in a far-flung doorway, much of the media made great light of the two Scottish club sides, Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby, having sterling seasons. Glasgow have moved into their own stadium at Scotstoun and at the time of writing are on a record

unbeaten run in the league, while Edinburgh trumped all expectations last season to reach the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup, eventually being ground down by an excellent Ulster side.  Yet, was this merely a flash in the pan? The current European campaign has been the worst for Scottish sides since 2004/2005, while Ferrie argues that Glasgow congratulating themselves at getting a crowd of a couple of thousand when contrasted to the throngs of people who go to watch Munster, Ulster or even Connaught is somewhat hyperbolic. Speaking as a native of Glasgow I can understand why; Glasgow is a city with red, white and blue, and green and white football mania coursing

through its veins. I have only ever been to two Warriors’ matches in my life, and for all their clever marketing, it would take something colossal to breach the hold that football has on Glaswegian sporting life.  One  embarrassing titbit of knowledge that portrays quite starkly  the battle that rugby has to fight to win the hearts and minds of people in the Central Belt is that Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland with the largest population, has never produced an international player from its state schools.  However, as Celtic majestically defeat Barcelona in the Champions League and Rangers, despite exile in Division 3 continue to sell out Ibrox on a regular basis, the appeal of the

windswept bowl at Scotstoun on a Friday night weakens day by day. “I’m sorry to have been so gloomy” is one of Kevin Ferrie’s parting shots as we finish up. Yet you honestly cannot blame him. Rugby in this country is not only institutionally stagnant but faces numerous cultural bulwarks. Arguably, as the SRU continue to plod along, I fear rugby will drift further away from the public consciousness, and as one of the nations involved in the establishment of the international game, that would be a tremendous shame for all of those who have experienced a bracing February encounter against the “Auld Enemy” at Murrayfield.

firstly from a Matt Scott intercept which sent Tim Visser through early on, before Geoff Cross barged over in the last play of the half. After the break, a resurgent Scotland bravely pressured New Zealand, their tenacity and territory yielding another try for Visser. New Zealand were unfazed, though, and although noticeably slowing with the result largely decided, Carter conjured up another two tries for Savea and Smith. Scotland, though clearly outclassed, were competitive and hit hard, Richie Gray and David Denton proving their Lions credentials with hearty drives and dynamism in spades whilst the Flying Dutchman Visser, recently

recruited from the Low Countries, proved that he may be the answer to Scotland’s annual Six Nations try drought. New Zealand, however, were truly irresistible, largely thanks to Dan Carter. All pre-match media coverage compared the matchup to football’s midweek Celtic vs. Barcelona upset - Dan Carter proved to be rugby’s own Lionel Messi as he waltzed through nonexistent gaps, nailed touchline conversions and played the part of puppet master, pulling all the right strings. Both teams opened shakily, with Scotland giving away two kickable penalties, Carter uncharacteristically missing the second. Carter then compounded the error by giving away a sloppy

interception which Scott seized upon before offloading to Visser who sprinted in for Scotland to take the lead. Carter, determined to redeem himself, ghosted through tackles and sprinted into the Scottish 22. A few phases later he once again jinked through, with Dagg, seemingly an omnipresent threat from fullback, taking an offload to run in New Zealand’s first try. Flowing All Black forays were quite simply poetry in motion, the backline poised perfectly, running directly with deft offloading that built momentum like a welloiled machine; props popped up on the wing to provide hotpotato passing straight out of the handbook - and straight into the corner for tries galore.

Scotland worked their way upfield with brave, crashing drives from the likes of Denton and Gray allowed Cross to burrow through for a score. They looked to carry the momentum into the second half, and played with genuine belief despite the score, putting their faith in the forwards, kicking all penalties to touch and implementing the catch-and-drive, forwards throwing themselves into stubborn All Black defenders and fulfilling coach Andy Robinson’s pre-match promise to “go toe-totoe in a physical contest”. Their control of territory allowed an opportunist second for Visser after Laidlaw cleverly kicked the stray ball out of a New Zealand ruck.

Photo: Ian McIver

Andrew McQuillan

Scotland succumb to All Black magic Hugo Porter

New Zealand handed Scotland a rugby masterclass in front of a sold-out Murrayfield, winning 2251 on Remembrance Sunday. Despite the weighty scoreline, Scotland can be proud of being the only team to put three tries past the All Blacks this year, a fact made more impressive as they faced a team smarting from narrowly missing out on a world-record winning streak after drawing 18-18 with the Wallabies last month. The irresistible play of the New Zealand backs resulted in four first-half tries, one each for Israel Dagg, Julian Savea, Cory Jane and Andrew Hore. Scotland responded with two of their own,

Sport 31


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09/11/2012 10:31:46


Issue 167  

Issue 167 of The Saint, published 15 November 2012

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