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UWE’s Student Voice - Issue No. 5 - February 2011

we’ve got an interview Wikipedia and with one of the founders, is TEN Jimmy Wales >> 30

Photo: Ian Junor (CC)

Our celebrated Arts section becomes a pull-out >>15

STRIKE

> Dispute between UWE and UCU intensifies > UWE faces first local strike in its history Full story >> 3

Inside WesternEye

UWE student arrested in dawn raid for affray following Bristol protests News >> 2

Neurobonkers: The paper that finally changed the law on drugs, a psychologist’s perspective Life >> 10

The media assassination of Chris Jeffries: a look at a modern day witch hunt Comment >> 14

Basque separatists ETA finally lay down their arms, but for how long? Features >> 16


2

News & Politics

WesternEye 07.02.2011

Arrest made following Bristol protest The espressoMaths drop by station, available free of charge to all UWE students and employees, continues to be available at Frenchay OneZone and at Glenside Traders. At Frenchay, espressoMaths is available 1200-1400, Monday-Friday in OneZone, the central refectory. At Glenside, espressoMaths is available 1200-1400, Tuesdays and Thursdays, next to the computer lab’ entrance in Traders. If you need help with a particular mathematical or statistical problem, then pop along to espressoMaths and then have a chat with the person on duty. Your problem might be connected, for example, with basic (or not so basic) numeracy, with a topic arising in an undergraduate module, with dissertation work, with a research project, or with a workplace issue. On duty will be a member of the academic staff from Mathematics and Statistics. The aim is to provide user-friendly advice in an easily accessible environment. As well as your being provided with face-to-face/oneto-one help, you might be directed to online or to other learning resources for your own self-study. Further information may be found at the espressoMaths website, http://www.uwe. ac.uk/espressomaths

> UWE student detained following a dawn raid by Police on Bristol home Jake Martin newsandpolitics@ westerneye.net

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von and Somerset Police arrested a UWE criminology and sociology student, in a dawn raid on his Bristol home on December 18 last year. Paul Saville, 25, was detained in connection with an alleged attack on a police horse, said to have been caught on CCTV during the student protests on November 24. Several items of property were also seized from the St Andrews address; including Paul’s laptop, mobile phone, note-books and the coat he is said to have been wearing at the time of the alleged incident. Paul was held for twelve hours by the police, ten of which were spent locked in a cell before questioning. He was shown footage supplied by BBC Bristol of him “Stroking a police horse when a fire work was shot at the police.” In interview with The Guardian, Paul alleged that he was “Refused access to a solicitor, denied a pen

and paper, a phone call and two of his three meals while he waited to be questioned about the incident.” On the events of that day, he claims it would have been impossible to be able to ignite and throw a firework with one hand while stroking the horse with the other. No direct comment has been made by the police regarding this particular event. Although, the Avon and Somerset Constabulary website made allegations of certain groups during the protests. One update claimed that “From the outset it became clear that some of the group intended to disrupt the city centre.” After his release Paul proclaimed his innocence via updates on his blog and Twitter page supplying the video of the incident (the link for which can be found below). Saville wrote on his blog: “They accused me of conspiracy to affray. They said that, I was stroking the police horse so that someone else that I knew could throw a firework at the police. This also of course was completely untrue.” Paul has been detained for other

disputed incidents before. In 2009 he was arrested for using water soluble chalk to write messages on a pavement at Broadmead. He was charged for causing criminal damage worth £5000 with politically charged slogans such as: “Liberty. The right to question it. The right to ask: Are we

Paul was detained after alledgedly attacking a horse

A word from the editor...

www.westerneye.net

Balance is an issue we all have to deal with in our lives. When you don’t approach things with a balanced view then it can end up leading to bad marks, bad diet or serious trouble, as the recent problems in Egypt can attest to. Problem is, where this balance lies depends on you. You come to any problem already with your viewpoint more or less constructed, shaped by your past experience in life. You place this point of equilibrium depending on where you consider the farthest reaching sides of the debate to be. These polar points seem obvious to you at that given time. But countless things can change these points: events, new knowledge or better understanding, and thus it follows that this nexus of balance can be caused to shift.

As journalists, we have a commitment to the truth. But printing the whole truth is generally impossible; every debate has so many sides, and we only have so many pages. So selection is necessary, and selection implies omission. Thus, this selection must be informed by accuracy, honesty and, you guessed it, balance. WesternEye has been accused of bias many times in its transient existence; too pro-UWE, too pro Students’ Union, too pro-UCU, you name it, we’ve been accused of being biased towards it. Again though, who you are depends on how biased you may or may not think we are. Which brings me to my point: we are, unashamedly, a student newspaper. I’d like to think that we are a partisan student newspaper; we are actively engaged in attempting to inform, and work to the benefit of, UWE students/UWESU members. All of our writers are students, and so we can

WesternEye UWE’s Student Voice <<

Editor George Rowe george2.rowe@uwe.ac.uk

Sport Editor Jake Procter

News and Politics Editor Sam Butler Sub Editors John Howell, Jake Martin

WestWorld Editor Sean Guest Creative Director James Somerfield Sub-Editor Alice Palmer Brown Illustrator Alex Green

Life Editor Ashleigh Searle Sub Editor Christina Smith Debate Editor Henry Stoneley Sub Editor Vicki Ward Features Editor Yuliya Yegorova Sub Editor Mike Whiting

Photography Editor Ellie Kynaston Broadcasting Lulu Vallano Online Editor Alec Herron

free?” and “As the buildings go up, the wages go down.” Since the Paul’s arrest in December, WesternEye has learned that there was no evidence to suggest that Paul had attacked the horse and no further police action is to be taken in relation to the incident.

necessarily only print what students want to write about. If that gives us an intrinsic bias, then so what; we have a subjective slant, as does every single person, organisation and ideology in the world. So whether it is the Vice-Chancellor or the President of the Lecturers’

We are always looking for new people to get involved with WesternEye. Please get in touch with the editor for more details: editor@ westerneye.net

For advertising info please contact : Luke Sutton at The Student Media Group on (0117) 3179370 or luke.sutton@ thestudent mediagroup.co.uk

Union (UCU) accusing us of not being objective (it’s generally not students), we are attempting to find that ever-changing point that most represents you. If you think that we don’t, then PLEASE come write for the WesternEye, and share your subjectivism with ours.

Fastforward

>> 1 >> 8 >> 14 >> 15 >> 32 >> 36 News & Politics

SU & Life

Video

Debate

Westworld pull-out Features

Sport

WesternEye is published by University of the West of England Students’ Union, 4th Floor F Block, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol. BS16 1QY. Some elements of this newspaper are distributed under a Creative Commons License; please get in contact for more details. WesternEye is printed by Mortons Ltd, Lincolnshire. We believe in making WesternEye as accessible as possible. You can access this publication in PDF format at www.westerneye.net. If you require a different format please get in touch with the Editor (below). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent that of UWESU. We are all human, and sometimes we make mistakes; any problems please contact the Editor at editor@westerneye.net.


News & Politics 3

WesternEye 07.02.2011

Historic industrial action could bring University to standstill > Talks between UWE and UCU over controversial restructure each sticking point

Sam Butler

Industrial negotiations have caused problems in the past

newsandpolitics@westerneye.net he ongoing dispute between UWE management and members of the UWE branch of the Universities and College Union (UCU) has reached crisis point. A press release from UCU states that members at its UWE branch have announced they will be taking strike action on Thursday February 10th in a row over restructure plans. If realised, it would mark the first incidence of industrial action in UWE’s history. The resolve to take action is the result of a month-long ballot among more than 700 members of UWEUCU. 66% of members voted to strike and 89% voted for industrial action short of a strike. The contested restructuring plans include the elimination of 80 professorships and reader positions at UWE and the implementation of a reapplication process for existing members of staff [see WesternEye Issues 2 and 3]. UCU, in an earlier press release, labelled the restructuring as a “bungled demotion of senior staff, including professors.” In a further statement on February 3rd, UCU accuses UWE of attempting to rush through proposals which it believes “could lead to inferior jobs descriptions and a dubious selection process.” UWE claims that the issue over job descriptions are in relation to national alignment and that they have agreed to address this. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, John Rushforth told WesternEye that “It is understandable that there are concerns about jobs throughout the sector in the current climate. We are

determined to invest in teaching and research where we can.” UWE alleges the creation of “40 new teaching posts at senior academic level” is evidence that UCU member’s fears are somewhat unfounded. However, when this is scrutinised more closely in relation to UCU fears of “inferior jobs descriptions”, the term “senior academic level” becomes ambiguous. Keith Hicks, UWE Director of Marketing and Communications, insists that negotiations have not broken down and that UWE has “made a number of offers and gone

We are determined to invest in teaching and research where we can

a considerable way to try to address the concerns.” One major sticking point is the possibility of redundancies among academic staff. UCU is asking for a guarantee that no compulsory

Photo: MuseumWales (CC)

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redundancies will be made among academic staff, which UWE claims is unfeasible in the current economic climate. UWE has stated that “we have strengthened our commitment to UCU to make all reasonable steps to avoid compulsory redundancies.” Mr Rushforth has previously stated [WesternEye issue 3] that “If at the end [staff] have to leave, then that’s unfortunate, but what’s the alternative? There is only a fixed amount of money, and it can only be deployed so far.” A concerned member of staff at UWE has provided WesternEye with an internal email from Associate Dean, Gaynor Attwood, that informs staff members that “following the restructure of the Centre for Fine Print Research” Research Associate, Vikki Hill, departed her post on January 31st “by reason of redundancy.” While unclear whether Vikki Hill’s redundancy was voluntary or otherwise, what is clear is that academic posts are already being

streamlined. Although, it should be noted that Mr Hicks claims in relation to departures by staff already that “Some staff have retired, some sought voluntary severance and others sought to work flexibly.” Obviously strike action would cause some disruption to students. A point made by SRC President, Colin Offler, during his motion proposal at the UWESU Annual General Meeting (AGM) not to support industrial action by UWE teaching staff [see page 5]. A point he reiterated when asked about the now real possibility of such action. “There is only one position in my mind that the Students’ Union should take and that is to work in the best interests of students and ensure that any action taken by UCU members does not have a detrimental impact on the day to day lectures and seminars that our students pay for through tuition fees.” UCU Regional Officer, Nova Gresham, told WesternEye that the

proposed action was intended to be a “short, sharp strike” with the possibility of “more, further down the line” but that the ends did justify the means to maintain UWE’s teaching standards. “UCU members are the ones delivering front line services to students and are totally committed to their students. UWE is jointsecond in the national league tables for providing added value.  But a demoralised workforce does not help students.” On the subject of plans for teaching provision should a strike take place, UWE have insisted that contingencies will be in place to minimise the impact on students. There has obviously been some

UWE is jointsecond in the national league tables for providing added value.  But a demoralised workforce does not help students

breakdown of communication or irresolvable crux for strike action to be a very real possibility, but both parties appear keen to find a solution. Branch Chair of UWE-UCU, Dr Peter Broks, has suggested a moratorium on the proposed changes while further negotiations take place, and possibly an “away day to thresh out the problems”. Mr Hicks says that UWE is open to this suggestion, despite allegations by Dr Broks that University management “won’t even give two weeks to think it though.” The situation appears salvageable as both parties claim to be open to continued negotiation and to have the best interests of current and future students at heart. Whether a tenable solution will be found before Thursday is uncertain, but what is certain is that if no agreement can be made, then the first strike in the history of UWE is inevitable. What do you think about the plans? Get in touch: newsandpolitics@westerneye.net

“Trial by media...”


4

News & Politics

UWESU appoint new General Manager

WesternEye 07.02.2011

Cause of student death “inconclusive”

> Inquest verdict still pending after tragic death of popular student Nick Ota

Newsdesk

Sam Butler

newsandpolitics@ westerneye.net

newsandpolitics@westerneye.net

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he Students’ Union has appointed a new General Manager after an eight month hiatus. Hugh Boyes, previously Acting General Manager, has taken over the role effective immediately. Mr. Boyes started at UWESU way back in November of 1997 as Finance Admin Manager, and has shuffled around through various roles and offices throughout his 13 years with the Students’ Union, including Deputy General Manager under the previous incumbent, Sarah Jane Williams nee Smith. My Boyes said: “My goal for the year is to make the SU financially solvent given the inevitable cuts we will be facing and the recent downturn in turnover. One of my primary goals for the next five years is to create a cohesive area for SU services somewhere in the centre of the University, somewhere very visible to students to facilitate easier access.” 95 people originally applied for the GM post when it was advertised, who where then shortlisted down to six candidates for interview. However, the panel decided none had the leadership qualities required to run a Students’ Union with approximately 30,000 members. Nadia Harding, Sports President, who was a member of the interview panel, said: “Mr. Boyes has the right experience, the right knowledge and most importantly the right attitude for the job in these hard financial times.”

he body of a first year UWE student was found in his Frenchay accommodation on December 12th last year. Security staff discovered the body of Nick Ota, 18, a psychology and sociology student, in his Brecon Court halls of residence and according to a statement by UWE “It is understood that no-one else was involved.”

Nick Ota was a very special boy who touched many hearts throughout his life

“Devoted Liverpool FC fan” Nick Ota

Bristol coroner’s office told WesternEye that: “Prior to an official ruling, the cause of death is currently inconclusive, but the deceased was found hanging.” Theresa McGoldrick, Director of Student Services, said: “We are shocked to hear of this tragic loss of a popular and promising student. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. We are talking to them about how they would like him to be remembered.”

The statement by UWE says that Nick’s funeral was attended by family and friends, as well as UWE staff members. The University has created a memorial book which is kept in The Living Centre, on Frenchay Campus. UWE Vice-Chancellor, Steve West, told WesternEye: “Nick was a very popular and promising student. Our thoughts are very much with his family and friends” A Facebook group ‘In Memory of Nick Ota’ has also been set up for people to share memories and thoughts of Nick. A moving epitaph on the memorial group includes: “Nick Ota was a very special boy who touched many hearts throughout his life. He remained witty and funny up until the end, and will never be forgotten. Please ‘like’ this page and share memories and love for Nick.” Nick’s flatmates, friends and others affected by his passing have been offered counselling by UWE. An inquest is due to take place later in the year. Those wishing to pay their respects to Nick and his family via the ‘In Memory of Nick Ota’ Facebook group, can find it at: www.facebook.com/ pages/In-Memory-of-NickOta/168731889832574?v=info

A ‘tender’ moment for U-Link

> Six new management positions created, duplicated services to meet demand and alleged changes based on student feedback. With the U-Link contract up for grabs, will Wessex Connect’s changes enough to secure their renewal? newsandpolitics@westerneye.net

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-link buses are aiming to improve the several problems seen as affecting the service throughout 2011. The transport service is used throughout UWE, with stops at every campus. Changes are being put into place after senior management from the UWE facilities team travelled on a number of the services and personally identified the problems. Colin Offler, President of the Student Representative Council said “Changes have been made in the interest of improving the experience for students, staff and the local community who use the U-link service”. Colin, who sits on the TravelSmart project board where decisions are made on how to improve the service, went on to add. “There is a still a long way to go, however the ongoing changes to the service, including being out to tender with several service providers, have had my input in every step of the way and I believe we’re heading in the right direction”. Managerial positions have seen a

wholesale change within the Wessex Connect owned company, including the creation of six new managerial positions, with more expected. Bus performances will be monitored against the current timetable, by a new dedicated U-link Liaison Officer, along with three more inspectors to ensure that vehicles adhere to all timetables to the best of their ability with awareness of congestion issues within its routes. Further problems, such as higher than predicted demand, have resulted in duplicate services running on the U2, U4, and U5 services; which run from UWE Frenchay Campus into Bristol City Centre. The new position of Regional Director is currently planned, as well as the addition of a new Operations Director and associated management team. Positions have also been filled to ensure that buses leave the depot on time during morning services. All drivers are to be trained in improved customer care and defensive driving. Students have welcomed the

I’m happy to hear that vital changes are finally being made to the service

changes. UWE student Emily Moore, 21, said “I live in the centre of Bristol and study in Fishponds, so using the U-link buses is an important part of my day to day studying. I’m happy to hear that vital changes are finally being made to the services”. History student Andrew Bridgman, 28, added “I don’t own a car, and so the bus is a very useful way of getting around from day to day. I frequently use U-link transport and will continue

Photo: George Rowe

John Howell

to knowing that they are striving to improve and taking its customer feedback on board”. According to Colin Offler, SRC President: “The University are currently out to tender to identify which operator will offer the best deal for U-link users in the new Academic year and beyond. The tender process asks operators how they will deal with current issues

which have been identified via student feedback such as punctuality, extra buses, passenger safety and additional mechanisms for rapid corrective action where needed.” U-link has so far declined to comment to WesternEye.


News & Politics 5

WesternEye 07.02.2011

UWESU AGM 2010

> UWE Students’ Union democracy in action at the Annual General Meeting John Howell newsandpolitics@westerneye.net

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he UWESUAnnual General Meeting of 2010 saw some significant changes to the workings of the organisation. 10 motions in all were proposed, with eight passing and two failing to garner enough support. The AGM, held on November 25th, is students’ chance to put forward questions to representatives, suggest ideas for the union to work on and, ultimately, vote on proposed changes relating to the Union. The first successful motion requires the Students’ Union to lobby the investigation of amalgamating Student ID cards into a smart card that be used for a variety of different university related services, such as the U-link bus passes, and UWESU memberships. The ‘triple-use card’ would save both money and materials, as well as being more convenient for students. UWESU also used the meeting to officially denounce the infamous bar crawl company ‘Carnage’ and disassociate itself from any promotional company affiliated with it. The move is part of UWESU’s ‘safer drinking campaign’, meaning that Carnage will no longer have a presence at the 2011 Freshers Fair

and is part of the long term goal of the University to make Bristol a Carnage free city. Arts and Humanities were given strong backing. The union has resolved to make explicit its equal consideration for all students across all areas of study. The motion calls for UWE management to make its investment priorities public and to take action to protect the rights of all students regardless of their chosen area of study. The backing comes after Arts and Humanities were the areas

The position of the SU is and has always been equality for students across all areas of study.

Who ya gonna text?

> New health and saftey text initiative at UWE Newsdesk

newsandpolitics@westerneye.net

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he University’s Health and Safety Unit has launched a new initiative enabling students to quickly report any safety issues across all UWE campuses. The system works within the University’s existing SMS based text messaging service, and aims to better facilitate student feedback on safety. How it works is simple: if you noticed a radiation leak (or other hazard) in the undercroft (or anywhere else for that matter), whip out your trusty mobile telephone and text the word SAFETY and details of said hazard (location, nature of hazard, half-life of fissile material) to the number below, and the University will be on the case as soon as possible. WesternEye decided to test out the

service when one of our light fittings was threatening to curtail the life of UWESU’s IT guru, Shane Reidy. Within two minutes of sending our first text we received a phone call confirming the hazard and saying someone would be sent out imminently. Ten minutes later a friendly chap arrived, fetched a ladder and sorted the light fixture right out. It appears as if it really is as easy as that. Granted, it’s not quite the ‘Bat-signal’, but just you wait... Text any repairs or hazards that you spot on campus to: +44 1173 255 500

Seen something unsafe? Something to say about health and safety? Tell the Health and Safety Unit Text SAFETY + your message to 0117 32 55500 Alternatively e-mail safety@uwe.ac.uk

most heavily affected by the higher education cuts. UWESU President, Colin Offler said, “I have alerted Steve West to this motion and he is aware. The position of the SU is and has always been equality for students across all areas of study. Furthermore I am working with the University to be more transparent about their priorities and to send out updates much like staff to receive updates from the Vice-Chancellor”. St. Matthius Campus, scheduled to close down in 2012, has been assured of its commitment by the Union while it is still open academically to its students. “There is no intention currently to change anything at St. Matts until the Campus is closed”, commented Colin. One of the most important motions passed revolved around the recent student protesting and tuition fee cuts. The Union has resolved to support any peaceful direct actions that are taken by UWE students within UWESU’s ‘safe spaces’ policy and to actively condemn anyone who uses violence. The motion officially makes UWESU’s campaign against cuts its primary objective. SU President Colin Offler, elected in September 2010, told WesternEye, “The students’ Union has been in support of peaceful protest for years, it’s part of the student voice which we

Voting underway at the packed out 2010 AGM

strive to embrace. We are currently mobilising for the 26th of March (TUC ‘All together’ in London) and will be supporting students who wish to attend as best we can”. The Union also resolved not to support any industrial action by academic staff at UWE, or any other staff action that could be “Detrimental to students”. Accusations of disingenuous representation in the Src President’s outline of potential consequences for

students through staff action have been rejected by Colin. WesternEye attempted to procure a copy of video footage taken at the AGM to substantiate or disredit these allegations, but were told by UWESU Membership Services Manager, Nerys Neath: “The purpose of taking a video was for staff to be able, if needed, to double check any decisions made at the meeting. These minutes are available on the Unions web pages. The Union did not ask permission from those students featured to release or provided copies of this video.” Heavily abridged minutes are available online, but with the only verbatim record off-limits, these claims are impossible to substantiate.

Have you got a story?

newsandpolitics@ westerneye.net

Newsdesk’s world round up Belarus - The European Union will reinstate a visa ban on President, Aleksander Lukashenko, and other officials in Belarus next week in response to his crackdown on protests after a disputed December election, EU diplomats said. Western governments have grown increasingly concerned about human rights violations in Belarus and have pressed Lukashenko to free scores of protesters detained after the election, which the opposition and international monitors allege was rigged. Britain - The BBC has received over 500 complaints following remarks made on Top Gear about Mexico and Mexicans. Richard Hammond jokingly described Mexicans as “lazy, feckless, flatulent [and] overweight” during an episode of the BBC2 show screened on Sunday Jan 30th. Among the complainants was the Mexican ambassador to Britain, Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza. The ambassador branded the comments: “xenophobic, humiliating and prejudicial.” Egypt - A coalition of opposition groups have told Egypt’s government that they would only begin talks with the military on a transition to democracy once president Hosni Mubarak stands down. Massive protests over the past week have shaken Mubarak’s 30year grip on power, forcing him to appoint a deputy and new cabinet. But protesters, emboldened by an army vow not to use force against them, say they will continue until Mubarak quits.

France - Leaked intelligence files detail how ‘honeytraps’ are being used for spying and industrial espionage, by Chinese spies. Among the cases cited by the intelligence reports, is the predicament of a top researcher in a major French pharmaceutical company wined and dined by a Chinese girl who he ended up sleeping with. “When he was shown the recorded film of the previous night in his hotel room ... he proved highly cooperative,” said an economic intelligence official. United States - The man suspected of revealing classified US government documents to the WikiLeaks website is being held in solitary confinement while awaiting trial, according to his lawyers and supporters. Bradley Manning, a US soldier, has been kept alone in his cell in a Virginia jail for 23 hours a day, under constant surveillance for seven months. The Pentagon denies he is being mistreated, saying that he receives visitors, can make phone calls, and routinely meets with doctors. But the UN says the use of solitary confinement for prolonged periods can be a form of torture that should be used sparingly. Worldwide - What kind of Facebooker are you? New research has identified six types. ‘Friends and family, ‘all about me’, ‘Business body,’ ‘Looking for love’ and ‘Do good or Feel gooder’. Take the quiz now at: tinyurl. com/4tt46gg

Russia - The nation’s top security official said on Thursday 27th January that several people with information on last month’s suicide bombing at the country’s biggest airport have been detained and that the bomber was under the influence of mindaltering drugs. Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service, said relatives of a woman who was killed while allegedly preparing a New Year’s Eve suicide bombing in Moscow are suspected of providing assistance in the airport bombing. It was not immediately clear if any of them were among those detained, but Mr. Bortnikov said some suspects are still being sought. Denmark - A Somali man who targeted Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist known for caricaturing the Prophet Mohammad, has been found guilty of attempted murder and terrorism by a Danish court. Mohamed Geele, 29, had attempted to enter Westergaard’s home in the eastern city of Aarhus on New Year’s Day, 2010. The cartoonist, 75, locked himself in a panic room and escaped unhurt. Westergaard’s drawing of the Prophet, published by a Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005, triggered violent protests a few months later in a number of countries around the world. Several dozen people were killed during the riots at the time as angry crowds attacked Danish embassies around the world.


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WesternEye 07.02.2011

Missing in Bristol

News & Politics 7

Toby Cryne newsandpolitics@westerneye.net

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he recent disappearance and murder of Joanna Yeates struck a dissonant chord with the nation, her face has appeared on every major newspaper cover at one time or another over the last month and a half. Her death has also raised many questions with regards to the attitudes of the media. The media’s priority seems to lie with obtaining a story that the public can swallow and digest. This article seeks to highlight a series of issues that could possibly question our moral standpoint on the media’s portrayal of these events and their often subjective motives for doing so. To start with, there is but one simple, direct question that must be first addressed. Feel free to gasp where appropriate. Why do we care? Now before you reach for the torches and attempt a good old fashioned witch hunt across forest and plane, it must firstly be noted that, according to www.missingpeople.org. uk an estimated 210,000 to 230,000 people go missing on average every year. Their research team held that any exact figure is unfeasible without years of research and a 100% accurate nationwide census, again virtually impossible. With this in mind, out of the possible 230,000 people that do go missing per year, why is it only in this circumstance that the media’s involvement is so great? Why only now is the whole nation asking the question, “Who killed Maddie (sorry, Joanna)?” A swift perusal of the Big Issue can bring to light many cases of missing persons in the UK. Not only does the publication include pictures and pleas for returned loved ones, but it is probably fair to say that many of those selling the publication are themselves ‘missing persons’. Why then is it that those names listed as missing on page 47 of the Big Issue, are unknown to the mass audience? In contrast, Joanna Yeates will inevitably become very much part

What do you think?

of the nation’s idiolect, much like those of Holly Wells, Jessica Chapman and even Madeleine McCann. Within this spread, authored by missingpeople.org.uk lies an example of a 32 year old lady named Natalie Bailey, missing from Kent since the 13, December 2010, four days before that of Jo Yeates. Why did she not make national news? After all, she is still unaccounted for much like her page neighbour, a 38 year old man called Chukwuemeka Meregini, missing also from Kent since 4th August 2010. Why is it that these people only made the rear of the Big Issue while others make the front

They are here because nobody cares” he said,“no one gives a shit about them”

page of every national newspaper? Questions such as these rarely have definite answers; are the reasons sociological? Jo Yeates was after all a well educated middle-class woman in professional employment. Was the interest based upon her status or perhaps aesthetics? Was it Joanna’s beaming smile, blonde hair and fair skin that deemed her a worthy ‘public victim’? Put simply, did she just look better on a front page? Is it possible that even now in 2011, a well educated, middle-class, white women still has greater pull on the heart strings of a nation than someone without said traits? It is clear that this is not merely a matter of ethnicity, socioeconomic demographic or race, which could all possibly account for

“Tragedy over the festive period is a tradition in itself, it not only helps unify families but also reminds people of how lucky they are.”

“Everyone’s aware of violence, fighting, murder and rape. 364 days of the year it passes us by, But to be reminded that someone elses’ lives have been shattered on such a traditionally happy day.”

- Lorna Greville

- Josh Dent

“The media is much more likely to pick up on a missing person from a higher class backgound and neighbourhood such as Clifton, because clearly these things could never possibly happen in a nice neighbourhood, could they? I wonder if she would have received as much media attention if she had lived in St. Paul’s”

“I think the main difference has been the exceptional circumstances surrounding her murder. The papers have been framing the story almost as some kind of murder mystery game, in which everyone can participate, and so everyone’s been eager to go back for more.”

- Joe Buzzard

- Sean Vickers

Photo: Keith tyler (CC)

> Each year, thousands of people go missing in Britain. Yet only a handful receive the sort of media attention the cases of Joanna Yeates and Madelaine McCann have. > WesternEye brings you a special report on the media hierarchy of missing persons

Not everybody is so lucky as to get the national media’s help this phenomenon. Cases such as the murder of Damilola Taylor more than a decade ago springs to mind, which dismisses such a theory. Why does it seem to matter who is missing, killed, raped or abused? Surely anybody is worthy of a tragedy? Is it that only when people succeed by the measure of society that they become more than a mere statistic? Are only those with some perceived value by society, are those deemed by the media to be worthy of our attention? This is evident in our obsessive celebrity culture. A large quantity of the population cares so much about the constant rat race that is Katie Price’s life. If she was to go missing or die, why would her status ultimately create a larger wave of interest in contrast to the interest gained if you or I were killed? Celebrities are still the supposed examples for society and the guiding lights for the common person that they have always been? Or are they merely pawns used by the media to formulate an ideal world of sex, drugs and erm, advertising? It is not alien to admit that the scale of importance defines the scale of public interest. Would the disappearance of a regular office worker make the news? Locally, probably yes. If it were a student such as you or I, people supposedly trying to achieve in life, then there is no doubt that we would get our 15 minutes, probably even nationally, maybe even a front cover spread. Imagine now, you are a homeless alcoholic and former runaway, with little family or close friends and “Jo Yeates was a blonde, middle-class woman and these types of people tend to get much more media attention when something happens to them. Even though it is unfair, I just accept that middle-class people get more media attention and sympathy; it’s normal.” - Safia Yallaoui “It is a sad reminder of how news media functions like fishing. There are plenty of stories to catch but it not all of them will be caught. Some will be prize winners whilst others will just be thrown back.” - Carl Wakfer

you disappear; possibly meeting an untimely demise. Do you honestly believe that you would have made the front page of any national newspaper? Or would you have simply sat with Ms Bailey on page 47? In order to obtain some sort perspective, it seemed appropriate to do some ‘field work’ and gather information on ‘missing persons’ in relation to media attention. During these travels throughout the streets of Bristol It became apparent that many ‘homeless’ people were unwilling to speak, some purely couldn’t through intoxication, although no fault can be found for them for donning their beer jackets, it was bitterly cold. However an source was found in Big Issue vendor, who will simply be referred to as Carl. Carl, though himself not technically

a ‘missing person’, assured your correspondent that there were many whom he knew that were runaways or missing persons, or who simply “don’t want to be found”. In this short stint of time with Carl (he was busy trying to make some money for a sandwich) he said that the majority of ‘missing people’ he knew had no desire to return home. “They are here because nobody cares” he said, “no one gives a shit about them”. When asked how he felt about the amount of media attention that the Yeates case attracted he replied with an outburst of compassion, saying that it was “a tragic loss” and although he accepted the fact that if roles were reversed, the public would not show the same reaction, he also acted with a complete lack of bitterness towards the hypocrisy. The brief encounter with Carl highlighted the asymmetry that comes with power and importance. Here he was, a homeless man, a possible missing person, living on the streets that, although knowing full well that no one in the big wide world cared about him, he himself cared about the case of Jo Yeates. This posed a significant question: Is the hypocrisy so deeply embedded in society, that even the homeless have been caught up?


Students’ Union & Pee for No home comforts Valentines!

...are you?

R

oses and chocolates might be your typical Valentine’s gift but the NHS is offering free pants this Valentine’s as part of a new health campaign. Hundreds of pharmacies across the region are part of the ‘Pee for Pants’ initiative that gives students free pants if they pee in a pot or take a swab to test for Chlamydia. With 1 in 12 sexually active young people now having Chlamydia, it’s important that students regularly get tested for an infection that typically has no symptoms. Barbara Coleman, NHS Bristol, said: “The worst Valentine’s gift you can give is Chlamydia, so why not get tested today and grab yourself some free pants too? Most pharmacies in the area offer free self-test kits that you can take home and then post back to us, postage paid. It’s easy to treat as well so you can get rid of the infection before it gives you long term health problems.” To find your nearest pharmacy just visit www.4ypbristol.co.uk/ chlamydia testing or call 0845 1800050.

> Of all the difficult aspects of coming to univeristy, simply staying put can be hard enough

Laura Hedges life@westerneye.net

A

sk yourself this: which of your university friends goes home the most? Stereotypically, girls are thought to go home more often than boys, based on the fact that we just love our Mummies too much and can’t handle the emotional stress of university life. Recent surveys (well, mine, which I sent to a selection of Facebook friends) have shown that this divide, although not as clear cut as some would like to imagine, is still definitively evident. However, as it turns out only one person told me they went home more than five times last term, and that person was a boy. Surprised? I was. But why should this be? It has become commonplace at university for boys to group up and indulge in a sort of alpha male ‘lad’-off, with event titles such as “Who can down the most tequila in 30 seconds?”, “Who has the balls to run around the student village in nothing but girls’ underwear?” and “Who is man enough to shot vodka through their eyes?” This ever-growing lad culture is seeping into the ideology of male students who believe they will lose their ‘lad points’ if they go home to see Mummy every other weekend. Anyway, I’m diverging from the point. You can’t argue with the facts and figures, so as a general comment: girls do go home more often than boys. What this brings us to question then, is the levels of dedication between the two sexes. If girls are going home continuously, are they less committed to their degree? Being a girl myself and clearly biased, I would argue not, but 85

per cent of the people I questioned, admitted that they work better at university than at their original homes. So if girls spend more of their time away from university...you do the maths. Now, before I get in any more trouble with the raging feminists out there, let me fight my female corner with a little reverse psychology. As an English Literature student, I am not aware of a particular divide in marks between girls and boys. Sure, there are some literary geniuses in the making out there but they are available in both the male and female variety. What I’m proposing then is that girls go home more often than boys, and supposedly are less committed, yet we’re competing at the same level as them academically. Perhaps boys need the discipline that university provides in order to get the grades, whilst girls can motivate themselves and do their work in shorter spaces of time. OK, so now I’ve sufficiently irritated every male out there (I’m never going to get a boyfriend), there’s another issue I’d like to raise. We are one of the only mammals in the world that stay with our parents past the first few years of childhood. Nowadays it is not uncommon, in fact it is expected, that at the age of 18, we will still be living with our parents. Moving away to university at this age therefore, is a big step for a lot of people, although I have reason to believe that boys accept and adjust to this arrangement quicker than girls. 60 per cent of the males I questioned agreed with the statement “I consider myself to have left home, and my university accommodation as my new home”. Only 35 percent of the females I asked agreed with this statement, with the other 65 per cent believing “I still consider my

Photo: Lissalou66 (CC)

pants this

Life

original home as home and university accommodation as temporary”. From this, it can be suggested that boys are keener to become independent and consequently look at university as preparation for going out in the big wide world by themselves. Unintentionally, this is giving the impression that girls are living in some kind of fantasy world, wrapped in the comfort blanket of the university bubble and going home every other weekend. But I believe that the approach people take to university is dependent on the specific lifestyle and personality of each particular student. As an example, many students have noticed a difference between those who took a gap year between university and college, and those who didn’t. Whether these gap year students went travelling, worked for a year or even took another course at college; they have had that extra time to live outside of the rules and

regulations of a school and gain some life-experience. In doing so, I’m suggesting that this means they are less likely to get homesick, and so feel less need to go home as often as others. Don’t get me wrong, I am not at all taking a dig at those of you who didn’t take a gap year, in fact, not taking a break from academic work has been shown to be highly beneficial. You are still in the mindset of writing essays and thinking academically and therefore, getting into the swing of university work is a lot easier. So, we’ve reached a muddled conclusion; gap year students don’t go home, but non-gap year students work harder? A somewhat unfair statement which brings me back to my initial comment. The determination of a student and their dedication to their degree is particular to that person and that person only.

manner. Sales are up all over the U.K. as more and more people are altering their drinking habits. Perhaps this is because real ale is often cheaper than lager, which may be one reason why people are turning to it in this torrid financial climate, and it’s not quite as strong as most lagers either, averaging about four per cent per pint.

Whatever the reason, real ale allows drinkers to support local breweries and the pubs they own, at a time when many drinking establishments are under-threat, and the variety of ales available ensures there’s something for everyone. So put down that pint of Fosters and grab yourself a Barnstormer instead, it’s good for what ales you!

The Real Ale trail: drinkers swap lager for ale Sean Guest

life@westerneye.net

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eal ale is a beverage often associated with old men and dingy, parochial pubs. However, recent figures reveal that for the first time in 50 years sales are on the up, while those of lager have decreased significantly. This increase in popularity has been attributed to the growing number of female drinkers who have come to favour real ale over lager and wine. For those of us living in Bristol, this is no great surprise as the products of local ale merchants such as Bath Ales and Arbor Ales can be found in pubs and supermarkets across the city. In fact, Bath Ales own ten pubs across Bristol including The Bridge, near Castle Park, The Eldon House, in Clifton, and The Hare on the Hill, in Kingsdown. These watering holes offer a range of the brewery’s award winning ales, such as Gem and Barnsormer, as well as a selection of guest ales, often produced by other

local breweries. Arbor Ales, an independent brewery, was founded in Kingswood in 2007. They supply ales to pubs all over Bristol and own The Old Stillage, in Redfield, as well as The Three Tuns, in Hotwells. They offer a range of twelve different ales, the most popular of which are Motueka, a pale golden ale, Old Knobbley, a ruby old ale, and Transpacific Pale Ale, the name of which speaks for itself. With this in mind it’s no wonder that both UWE and Bristol University have their own societies dedicated to ale. The University of the West of England Real Ale Appreciation Society was, according to their Facebook

page, founded as ‘An excuse to meet up and drink’ and thanks to regular socials they do just that. Bristol University’s Real Ale Society also holds regular socials across the city, giving its members an opportunity to get together and, erm, drink ale. Members receive discounts in over ten local pubs and get the opportunity to partake in regular trips to local breweries, such as those of Bath Ales, Butcombe and the Bristol Beer Factory. The society even hosts an annual Real Ale Festival that is open to members and non-members, all profit from which is donated to charity. Of course, Bristol isn’t the only city to have embraced real ale in this


SU & Life 9

WesternEye 07.02.2011

Presidential prose

In a diet decline?

Colin Offler SRC President “Welcome back! I hope you, like I did, made the most of the Christmas break and didn’t get too bogged down with exam prep to kick off your new year. I made a number of New Year’s resolutions this year and amongst the usual: procrastinate less and exercise more a key part of my year will be to communicate better with our wide and diverse body of students! So keep an eye out on updates at www. uwesu.org. The first update is on the U-link service and is available now. Last term was packed with highs and lows for most of us. The vote to increase tuition fees passed in parliament leaving and many students feeling let down by the coalition government, particularly those who

demonstrated against the vote and especially those who voted Lib Dem in the General Election! However, the journey continues as Unions join together in the fight against cuts on the 26th of March, details available on our website soon! Here at UWE I’ve been tackling the issues that students spark up every day such as extortionate Student Village rent, the state of Car Park 20, and the quality of your Education. After a successful debate last term around tuition fees and cuts I’m hoping to facilitate another this term. You decide what the debate will be on, there is a poll on the front page of our website (I’m sensing a theme here... go check out the website!) so please vote for what you want your say about!’.”

>The skinny on how to stick to your diet and feel a bit healthier this February

V TE

IT COULD BE YOU!

year. Both surveys only take about 15 minutes to fill in and you will be entered into a prize draw. The results are used extensively by the Students’ Union to help us keep up to date with student issues and lobby the University for improvements. Go online to www.uwe.ac.uk/studentexperience to leave your mark. Breaking news for all student and halls reps, Rep Awards has been set for the 7th April (venue TBC). Last year’s event sold out and was a great night of awards, wine and comedy walks! Any student or staff member can nominate a rep for an

STAND FOR ELECTION AS

Union President? Vice President Education? Vice President Community and Welfare? Vice President Societies and Communication? Vice President Sports? Nomination Open: 31st Jan 2011 | Nomination Close: 1pm, 24th Feb 2011

uwesu.org/vote | Voting: 7th - 11th March 2011

award and we will also be handing out certificates to reps who are on the certificate scheme. More details on nominations and tickets will be available soon. Remember you can keep up to date with the projects I’m working on by visiting my online blog where I also post my reports to Student Representative Council (SRC). Finally, hopefully you haven’t missed that UWESU elections are quickly approaching, check out my lovely video blog with 10 reasons why you should stand online.”

Nadia Harding Sports President “Hello welcome to the hectic world of term 2! This term brings the start of many fun things: Varsity Series  kick starts with American Football on 13th February. Then come and join us for Football, Rugby and Varsity Day throughout the end of March. This is a fantastic series where UWE plays our rivals from Bristol University and prove we can pull in the biggest crowds and show off UWE’s sporting ability. Full dates and details will be on the website! Body Beautiful: Throughout February we will be doing free classes for women; come and try a number of new and exciting activities! The idea is to encourage and engage women to become more active in a variety of

different sports and classes we can offer. Check out the timetable on www.uwe.org/get_involved/sports all Students and Staff are welcome! We will be trying, Zumba, Hip Hop, Salsa, Climbing, Womens’ Basketball, Pilates and much more we are also offering WILDCARDS where you just turn up and see what happens. UWESU Elections – 6 reasons to run in the elections 1. It’s a once in a lifetime job opportunity that is completely unique compared to the corporate world 2. It’s the only job where there’s no interview and you get to dress up and run around on the roundabout for a week. 3. You represent 30,000 students and get to meet some amazing people

4. It’s a full time job at University and you still get to go to student nights and play sports 5. You are the voice if you and the students have a problem with something YOU can stand up and change it! 6. It’s challenging, exciting, difficult, time consuming, rewarding, fun and most of the entire best thing you will ever ever do! NB: If you are not sure about running because you are afraid to lose...THEN DON’T LOSE! (do everything you can to run a fantastic campaign) If you wish to run for Sports VP then please come and talk to me I can tell you all about the role.  Email me on sports.president@uwe.ac.uk Get stuck in and enjoy term 2 as it will wiz by, believe me!”

Terry Atkinson Activities President “Happy new year everyone! I do hope the festive period was a welcome break from all your University commitments and busy Bristol lives! Now back to action: Activities awards are being prepared, the date is set at the 5th of April. More details will follow shortly but I can assure you I intend to keep the ticket price as cheap as possible so more of you can come. I CAN say we have a D list celebrity, who happens to be a stand up comedian, as the host of the evening. If you ever watched ‘Escape to the Country on BBC1’ you

might recognise him, if not what the hell, he is very funny! We have Jailbreak on the 5th February; you can sign up at: www.unijailbreak.com/uwe. And Rag Week starts on the 7th of February. Both these events are a perfect opportunity for you guys to get involved with some fund-raising for charities, it also looks great on your CV! The ‘One Society Many Cultures Conference’ is on the 8th of February. Elections for sabbatical positions are once again just around the corner; this is a great opportunity to be elected into a job that gives you

A healthy drinking option

life@westerneye.net

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Gail Wilson SRC Vice President “Hello UWE and welcome to 2011! Hopefully you haven’t broken too many new year’s resolutions just yet (there is a whole year to get through!) UWE is now in its survey period where all students can feedback on their time here at UWE, and all final year undergraduates are eligible to fill in the National Student Survey (NSS) the results of which are published nationally. All other students are eligible to fill in UWE’s internal Student Experience Survey, now in its second

Emillie Forrest-Jones

the membership a chance to run things in your Student Union. There are 5 full-time sabbatical positions to run for:

• Union President • Vice-President (VP) Education • VP Sports • VP community and Welfare • VP Societies and Communication

Each position (with the exception of Union President) has Part time officer posts to run for as well. Thank you and good luck!”

anuary arrived, and so did the annual ‘fatidemic’. A widespread disease, commonly known as ‘overindulgence’, caused by Christmas and New Year. The symptoms: mass hangover, an outbreak of spots and acute depression from looking in the mirror and finding a fatter version of yourself, or an actual turkey (depending on how much you really ate over Christmas). The magazines hit back with ‘Get Your Bikini Body Now’ and ‘The New Year Diet’ plastered all over the front of them. In February, issues arrive with a slightly different approach with features such as, ‘Feel Good About Your Curves’ and ‘Real Life Story: “I Miss Being Fat”’, aka your January diet lasted a week before you ate that chocolate cake so there’s no hope for you now. The phrase ‘healthy student’ is something of an oxymoron, the two words contradict one another and form some sort of joke or sarcastic device. Living the student life and being healthy simultaneously is challenging. WesternEye investigated the main reasons behind the huge decline in student’s health and found some solutions to help; without having to compromise your happiness or ditching your student lifestyle. After speaking to students all over the UWE campus’ to get an idea of student’s eating habits, I found that helping male students on this would be especially hard - it would mean substituting beer. So Western Eye has analysed the student’s weaknesses and come up with ideas that will help you feel healthier this year. 1. Don’t snack: Don’t buy crisps and chocolate, if they’re in your cupboard, you’re going to eat them when you’re bored. If you want to snack then buy something healthier like carrots and low fat hummus. 2. Avoid takeaways: If you order a portion of Chicken Korma, Pilau rice, naan bread and some poppadoms it equates to nearly a whole day’s calorie allowance. Make your own at home; it tastes just as nice but with around 1500 fewer calories. 3. Midnight Munchies: Many of you will have woken up in the morning after a night out, walked into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and found that your kitchen has been attacked by some hungry lunatics. Make something a bit healthier than potato waffles such as

This low calorie cocktail is perfect if there are a few of you predrinking. The agave nectar is an alternative to sugar, cutting out the calories but keeping it sweet. You will need: 1x large jug 1x bottle of Vodka 2 tbsp Agave nectar (available from most supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and ASDA) 1x punnet of fruit (raspberries/ strawberries/blackberries) 2x Lemon 1x bottle of fizzy water/soda/ Slimline Tonic Fill 1/3 of the jug with Vodka. Add the punnet of fruit and leave to stand (preferably overnight). Add the Agave Nectar and stir. Squeeze the lemon juice into the jug, cut the other lemon into wedges and add. Fill with fizzy water and enjoy! chicken and leave it in the fridge for your drunker self. 4. Buy low fat ingredients: There is a low fat version of almost everything in most supermarkets. With one exception, ready meals; even the ‘low fat’ ones contain loads of salt and sugar. If you can’t cook, invest in a recipe book and follow it. 5. Buy fresh vegetables: You can buy a bowl sized portions of fresh vegetables for £1 from the fruit and veg stall on Frenchay campus. It will really make a difference to your diet. 6. Exercise: Getting dressed and leaving your warm room is the hardest part, but once it’s over, you feel great. Three 20 minute sessions a week is recommended, the classes at Frenchay Campus gym are great, they’re usually an hour long but the time flies and it’s actually fun. 7. Don’t be lazy: Use the stairs instead of the lift when you can, walk short distances instead of driving. Easy, it will make a difference. 8. Alcohol: Try and stick to spirits such as vodka, gin, tequila and rum with a diet mixer. Wine is a nightmare for calories, as is cider and beer. If you love cocktails go for a Mojito or a Cosmopolitan. Avoid cocktails with lots of sugar and cream, for example, a Pina Colada, Long Island Iced and a Mud Slide. All containing over 500 calories which is the equivalent to two McDonald’s cheeseburgers.

Join

UWE Pole Society

for ‘L’Amour de Pole’, our passionate Valentines Showcase at Eton. Expect love themed performances and heart stopping routines! With a host of performances from both the Pole Society students, committee members, instructors and various Special Guests – it’s a night not to be missed! This evening promises to be filled with exciting performances from dancers of all abilities, from beginners to the professionals! Doors open at 6.30pm ready to start at 7.30pm.

L’Amour de pole L’Amour de Pole - Bristol Pole Society Showcase 2011. Date: 17th February 2011 Venue: Eton Time: Doors open 6:30, show starts 7pm Tickets: £5 available through the Pole Society web-site: http://www.uwepolesoc.co.uk/ page6.htm. Limited tickets will be sold on the door before the event so order online to avoid disappointment.

Theme: L’amour Any other enquiries email: uwepolesoc@live.uwe.ac.uk or president@uobpoledancesoc.co.uk Photograph by Millie Robson: www.millierobson.com


10 SU & Life

WesternEye 07.02.2011

TET in Bristol The paper that finally changed the law on drugs Neurobonkers

> UWE’s Vietnamese society introduce you to the Year of the New Cat

Linh Ha

life@westerneye.net

T

T

www.neurobonkers.com (that sure sounded like one! - ed).

he case for the end of the war on drugs has never been stronger than it is today. The Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs has just published a paper in The Lancet demonstrating the clear scientific evidence that stands to oppose UK government drugs policy. This follows a recent paper published in the British Medical Journal titled “An Alternative to The War on Drugs” with the same message. Two former UK Government drugs Tzars have now come out publicly in opposition to the war on drugs. Bob Ainsworth who served for two years as one of the most regressive drugs secretaries in history, for a year as defence secretary and for six years serving as Labour Whip enforcing the party line has finally seen the light and announced his wish for full legalisation and regulation. His predecessor the late Mo Mowlam was already well known for coming to the same conclusion just after leaving office. Sir Ian Gilmore, the President of the Royal College of Physicians, otherwise known as “Head Doctor” by the tabloids has wholeheartedly attacked the Government for the war on drugs which he stated has succeeded in achieving “the opposite of its goals“, in his final act before leaving office. We can also add to the list Nicholas Green QC the Chairman of the Bar Council or “head lawyer” as the tabloids describe him who has recently called for decriminalisation. Professor Nutt, the former chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs sacked for making a scientific case that did not conform to the “War on Drugs”, needs no introduction

He has gone on to create his own Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs with the other scientists and doctors who resigned from the ACMD in protest of his sacking.

None of this is a problem for the current home secretary Theresa May whom announced in December that the Government will no longer be seeking scientific advice on drugs policy. This announcement has gone literally unreported in the media (except one article in The Guardian) but its implication is stunning. Since the doctors and scientists on the ACMD have all been fired or resigned the government has been unable to find scientists that they are prepared to allow to do the job. The Government is therefore responding by removing from law the requirement to have a scientist on the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs. A freedom of

information request has confirmed that the Government had received numerous applicants from scientists before it begun legislating to have the need for their existence on the ACMD removed. This will be passed in to law under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill which in addition to removing the need for the government to seek scientific advice, will remove the necessity for drugs to be deemed to have a negative effect on society before they are banned, the cornerstone of the Misuse of Drugs Act. Furthermore it will make it standard procedure to make illegal, all new chemicals found to be being used recreationally without the need of a shred of evidence of harm, without the commissioning of any research, without the consultation of any scientists or doctors and without the need for public debate. This will give the Home Secretary even greater free reign to act unilaterally and ban anything she pleases on the basis of nothing but a couple of screaming Daily Mail readers. This Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Commons and will soon become law if action is not taken. The exception that proves the rule There is, however, one man left in power who’s history does not support the drugs war manifesto. A man whom once said in a heated argument with (now reformed) former drugs Tzar Bob Ainsworth in the House of Commons, on 5th December 2002, “I ask the Government not to return to retribution and war on drugs. That has been tried, and we all know that it does not work”. That man was David Cameron. Funny how things change.

o Vietnamese tradition, Tet is celebrated on the first days of lunar New Year which is based on the circulation of the moon which usually starts in January or February. Tet is the most important festival for Vietnamese people. Most people in my country do farming, so they celebrate their big festival because all of their harvest is done at that time. Those who live far from home also try to arrange their job to turn back for their family reunion. Therefore, it is Tet when people in the family gather together to have reunion meals and have fun together. In addition, it is also an occasion for Vietnamese to give honour to their ancestors. People visit their ancestors’ graves and do the weeding around the graves. It is also the time that people have more days off to relax at home with their family. Therefore, Tet is also considered the festival for families. To Vietnamese belief, we would like to make everything new and bright to welcome the New Year with new things; and hope that this will bring luck, success as well as happiness to us. People tend to buy new things to decorate their house or to buy new clothes for Tet. Therefore, it is also a good time for salespeople, for they usually do better business than usual. In addition, we also have a lot of flowers to decorate our house because we believe flowers bring freshness and happiness to us. The typical flowers that every family has on Tet are peach flowers (in the North of Vietnam) and apricot flowers (in the central and South Vietnam). Fruits are not only used to do the worship but also to decorate the house on these days. Typically, every house has a fruit tray, a collection of various kinds of

New Year, people wear their new and most beautiful clothes as they believe it can make them happy on the first day of the year, so it is similar for the whole year. We have the tradition that the first day of Tet is the Tet for father, the second one the mother Tet and the third one is the Tet for teacher. Generally, all of the activities people do on Tet are to show respect and honour to our ancestor and others who have helped us. It is also the time to relax and have fun mostly with the ‘big’ family and this is especially important for those living far from home. Tet at UWE this year is very special because there is a Vietnamese student group here that usually gather together in order to share joys and sorrows as well as help each other on the days living far from home. Although it is hard to get the ‘true’ atmosphere of Vietnamese Tet with peach or apricot flowers, fruit tray, banh chung, banh tet or candied fruits, getting together to prepare something special for Tet also makes

The Importance of being a Tweeter

> Is Twitter the key-trend of our generation or the anti-social network?

James Bonser

life@westerneye.net

I

t’s contagious, this need to communicate with people at any time and any place. First there was MySpace, then Facebook, and now we have Twitter. In fact it is rare nowadays to meet someone between the age of 12 and 60 who does not have some form of Internet presence. Be it Tweeting, Blogging or You-Tubing, everyone it seems has something to say. With the ever growing online community, it should come as no surprise that 2010 was the year of the Tweet. The micro-blogging site, which offers its users the chance to express themselves in under 140 characters, boomed. Today, Twitter boasts over 1,000,000 users worldwide and although admittedly, Twitter isn’t to everyone’s taste, it is hard to deny the site’s simple, yet

appealing character. Compared to the complexities of social networking sites however; one might assume that Twitter is actually quite a boring place to be. But can Twitter really be considered in the same terms as sites like Facebook? Because the truth is, it offers something completely different. Twitter to me represents a place where I can say what I’m doing and how I’m feeling without absolutely everyone having something to say about it. Facebook can be a rather impersonal space, whereas Twitter can act almost like a diary. It’s minimalist, easy to use and is nothing like as vast and intimidating as the complex Facebook universe. It’s a place where you can contribute to global debates, promote what you are doing to an unfamiliar audience and never before have well known personalities been so accessible. From Stephen Fry to Rio

Ferdinand, Twitter gets everyone talking. Who to Follow at UWE: @Westerneye – Keeping you upto-date with all the goings-on in and around UWE. @HubRadio – The first place to get updates from your student radio station. Look out for reminders about upcoming shows, links to podcasts and updates straight from the studio! @uwetravel – To keep you posted on the Ulink service and give advance warning about any travel disruption. Bristol Tweeters: @bristol247 – Gives you realtime updates of what‘s going on in the city, from the latest news, arts, music and jobs information. @VenueMagazine – Interviews, goings-on listings and reviews from Bristol and Bath

Preparations for Tet in full swing fruits being well arranged in a big tray. Along with the fruit tray, many families also have a pair of watermelons or pomelos for decoration. Another crucial part that can not be missed during Tet is traditional food. As people usually have big family meals, especially for families whose have reunion with their children or siblings, they usually prepare a lot of traditional food for Tet such as bánh chung (squared glutinous rice cake), bánh tét (round glutinous rice cake), thit kho hot vit (pork braised with eggs, coconut juice and fish sauce) and dua chua (fermented vegetables). It is a good combination of all tastes and spices but not so greasy or so bland. On the first day of the Lunar

every body feel very excited. All are eager for practicing for the meeting show on the first Lunar New Year day. Some of them practice for the music performance, some prepare for the comedy skits to get more laughs for the New Year, some students volunteer to decorate and venue, and others take charge in preparing traditional food To our lunar calendar, this is the year of New Cat, a cute and familiar animal to everyone. I hope that this will be a good year for everybody. On behalf of other Vietnamese students learning in UWE, may everyone have good health, success and happiness for this year.


SU & Life 11

WesternEye 07.02.2011 One Society Many Cultures Conference Louise Goux-Wirth life@westerneye.net

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n the light of the current political climate with the rise of tuition fees and the further funding cuts it is essential for all to re-evaluate the services that we are providing and what we are receiving when it comes to education. For many students their time at university is a crucial opportunity for personal growth, development as academic learners, independent critical thinkers, and to gain the skills to be ready to take on the real world.

The One Society Many Cultures Conference will aim to provide students, staff and friends an exciting opportunity to come together and engage in discussion regarding ways to challenge the rise of racism and Islamophobia. It is set to be a remarkable event providing the opportunity to listen to a range of outstanding national and local speakers, and explore the role that you can take in challenging prejudice you may encounter in your campus and in our wider community. Partnerships have been formed with various institutions and local and national organisations which include Bristol University, Bath Spa University, UWE Equality and Diversity Unit, and the NUS Black Students Campaign - creating a very rich and diverse event. Racial discrimination has previously

FEB

Mon 7th

Monday Lock Up - Drinks Starting at £1 Jail Break Returners Party Monday Lock In: St. Matt’s SU,5pm-close, free. Monday Lock In: Glenside SU, 5pm-close, free. Zoology: Thekla, 10pm-3am, £3

Mon 14th Monday Lock Up - Drinks Starting at £1 J Monday Lock In: St. Matt’s SU,5pm-close, free. Monday Lock In: Glenside SU, 5pm-close, free. Zoology: Thekla, 10pm3am, £3

Mon 21st Monday Lock Up - Drinks Starting at £1 J Monday Lock In: St. Matt’s SU,5pm-close, free. Monday Lock In: Glenside SU, 5pm-close, free. Zoology: Thekla, 10pm3am, £3

Mon 28th Monday Lock Up - Drinks Starting at £1 J Monday Lock In: St. Matt’s SU,5pm-close, free. Monday Lock In: Glenside SU, 5pm-close, free. Zoology: Thekla, 10pm3am, £3

been used as powerful weapons encouraging fear or hatred war, and even during economic downturns. Islamophobia is a very sensitive issue to discuss openly today, especially with the recent daily media campaigns that have been whipping up fear and prejudice against Muslims are continuing and demand vigilance and constant refutation. Kanja Sesay, the NUS Black Students Officer, will be speaking at the event and reflecting upon the march in Luton on the 5th February against the English Defence League. The EDL are known to be a violent and racist organisation and

who hold strong links with the British National Party. Occurrences such as this, truly reflects how important it is for us to come together and stand unified against such prejudice attacks. Kanja Sesay is strongly supporting the event, and states that: “It is great that such an event is happening. We must ensure that we are doing the most to tackle these issues and coming to this event is a start.” It is clear that though the society today has become more multicultural there is still a very long way to go. It is essential that we fight against the rise of racism and Islamophobia, and work to strengthen positive relations within our university and wider society. We, as students, are in an ideal position to make a stand against prejudice and work to shape the vision of a truly harmonious multicultural society.

Tue 8th Movie Night at Glenside 7pm – Close Stone Willies Pizza Eating Contest-Red and Escape bar-Frenchay Live Music at St Matts 8pm – Close

Tue 15th Movie Night at Glenside 7pm – Close Pool Comp at St Matts 8pm – Close

Tue 22nd Pool Comp at St Matts 8pm – Close Film Night at Glenside 7pm – Close

MAR

Tue 1st

Film Night at Glenside 7pm – Close Pool Comp at St Matts 8pm – Close

Drama Soc at the BRI > Budding thespians bring smiles to faces of hospitalised children Amy Evans

The Drama Society prepare for their production of ‘Scrooge’

uwedrama@hotmail.com

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uch simple words can evoke warm feelings in the festive season when they are printed in Word Art by volunteers at a children’s hospital, encapsulating their welcoming behaviour and gratitude towards us. The idea for Drama Society to perform at the Bristol Royal Infirmary hospital was born from president Mike Skeates’ lifelong desire to play Bob Cratchit and Productions Officer Amy Evans’ experience volunteering at the hospital as part of her seven years’ Disney Store experience. Skeates actually ended up directing the piece with Ryan Hutchings, with St Matt’s Comedy veteran Paul D .Watts playing Cratchit among other roles and Drama Society regular Khoi Ngyuen enjoying using a pipe prop as Scrooge. The rest of the group comprised of Becca Page, Kate Williams, Katy Frecknall and Michael Relph, all of whom performed with the animation required for performing to children and the subtlety to portray the sadder themes of the piece, helped along by exceptional direction. But then I am biased. The script was a rhyming version written by Amy Evans and David Lewis as part of the society’s new Original Writing group and replaced the Ghost of Christmas Future with The Doctor, after Skeates pointed out that a black cloaked spectre was hardly appropriate to wander round a children’s hospital. (Skeates played the role himself; we let him keep the sonic screwdriver). We were greeted by several smiling ladies from a range of ages, all of whom are volunteers. This in itself

Wed 9th Quiz Night at St Matts 7:30 – Close Pool Comp at Glenside 8pm – Close RAG Bar Crawl-Starting in Escape at 4pm Open Decks Night From 10pm in Escape

Wed 16th

what’s on at your...Students’ Union

Thu 10th

Movie Night at St Matts – 7pm – Close

Quiz Night at Glenside7:30pm – Close RAG Open Mic Night In Escape from 8pm

Thu 17th

Quiz Night at St Matts 7:30 – Close Pool Comp at Glenside 8pm – Close Open Decks Night From 10pm in Escape

Movie Night at St Matts – 7pm – Close Quiz Night at Glenside 7:30pm – Close Open Mic Night- Frenchay

Wed 23rd

Thu 24th

Quiz Night at St Matts 7:30 – Close Pool Comp at Glenside 8pm – Close Open Decks Night From 10pm in Escape

Wed 2nd Quiz Night at St Matts 7:30 – Close Pool Comp at Glenside 8pm – Close Open Decks Night From 10pm in Escape

was inspirational and opened my mind to a range of things I might do during my present job hunt. The wall of the playroom was covered in posters for all of the activities, some from volunteers, and others from professionals from magicians to carol singers. Then of course, were the fantastic posters they had made about us. Entertaining sick children is an incredibly productive way to

keep performing in these times of economic turmoil and everyone should be encouraged to do it. While we had to keep the cast small for the space, it is fair to say that we were not entirely sure what to expect from this performance. Elaine, the play leader warned us that they could not guarantee a big audience and as it was, only four children were well enough to watch the show. A week previously, the show as performed for the rest of the Drama Society and was met with raucous applause which perhaps made it quite difficult to perform in front of a small number of people, but even the youngest ones were dong their utmost to concentrate and when one of the mums excitedly whispered “Doctor Who!” at Skeates’ entrance her son hissed back “I know! Let me watch it!” This was very positive feedback, though the most positive was perhaps the incredibly shy little girl, who while doing her utmost to concentrate had to dash to the little girls’ room but came back at the end and proclaimed to a cast member “I like you!” The staff really made us feel appreciated while they had essentially given us a free venue and a great opportunity. If any societies are wondering where to take their activities, volunteering is always a good way to go. The Drama Society meets every Wednesday at 1.30 in the St Matt’s bar before going to M5 for drama workshops. Our Original Writing Group meets on Monday at 5pm in the St Matt’s bar. E-mail uwedrama@ hotmail.com for more details.

Movie Night at St Matts – 7pm – Close Quiz Night at Glenside 7:30pm – Close Battle of the bands registration closes: http:// www.uwesu.net/livemusic/ botb/

Thu 3rd Movie Night at St Matts – 7pm – Close Quiz Night at Glenside 7:30pm – Close

Fri 11th

Sat 12th

Karaoke in Escape From 9pm Flirt! – The UK’s No.1 Student Night RED 10pm – Close £3 Entry (£5 for Guests) DJ JNo

Fri 18th

Eton and Haze Quiz: 8pm £1 per person on

Pub Quiz In Escape from 7.30pm £1 per person (maximum team 6 people) Win up

to £100!

Sat 19th

Las Vegas Cocktail Night at St Matts – 7pm – Close Angel Party at Glenside 7pm – close Flirt! RED 10pm – Close £3 Entry (£5 for Guests)

Fri 25th

80’s Night at St Matts 7pm – close Flirt! – The UK’s No.1 Student Night RED 10pm – Close £3 Entry (£5 for Guests)

Sun 20th Glenside Vs ST Matts Charity Rugby Match at Colston School. 10am

Eton and Haze Quiz: 8pm £1 per person Pub Quiz In Escape from 7.30pm £1 per person

Sat 26th

Flirt! – The UK’s No.1 Student Night RED 10pm – Close £3 Entry (£5 for Guests) DJ JNo

Fri 4th

Sun 13th

Sun 27th Eton and Haze Quiz: 8pm £1 per person Pub Quiz In Escape from 7.30pm £1 per person (maximum team 6 people)Win up to £100

Sat 5th

Sun 6th Eton and Haze Quiz: 8pm £1 per person Pub Quiz In Escape from 7.30pm £1 per person (maximum team 6 people) Win up to £100


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SU & Life 13

WesternEye 07.02.2011

UWE Dance society: bigger and better than ever!

> New teacher causes excitement in the corps Olivia Gilbert

UWE dancers Amy Thomas, Carys Williams, Lyndsey Carr, Emma Horton and Becci Vause

life@westerneye.net

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ith Semester one proving to be such a successful start to UWE Dance Society’s 4th year; 2011 promises to bring new classes, more variety, and an exciting new face to the society! Since the birth of the society in 2006, it instantly grew to win ‘Best Society’ in 2007 boasting over 200 members. The society offers a huge variety of different styles and caters for all abilities. These include: Jazz, Hip hop, Tap, Dance Fitness, Ballet, Contemporary, Belly Dance and Latin/Ballroom. Whether you want to try something new, improve on current dance experience or just want to keep fit and socialise, come along to the weekly classes; everyone is welcome! All classes are held in Rehearsal Room 1 of the Centre of Performing Arts (behind Car park 1 on Frenchay Campus) unless stated as being ‘CFS’. These classes are held in the Aerobics Studio in the Centre for Sport. Much to the society’s excitement, they have acquired a new

Dance teacher Adam Kemp

THE BIG EVENT

A VARIETY PERFORMANCE FOR AMNESTY INTL  

LIVE BANDS COMEDY

 

STARTS AT 19:30 @ ETON & HAZE TICKETS ONLY £3 IN ADVANCE OR £5 OTD In association with UWE Amnesty Internation Society

New Scandinavian society!

Olivia Gilbert

life@westerneye.net

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Contemporary teacher, Adam Kemp, who boasts an impressive and high profile career in a menagerie of different fields (Actor, Model, Choreographer, Artistic/Movement Director, Dancer, Instructor, Fitness Trainer and Creative Producer to name a few!) and has danced on many popular TV shows such as the Brit Awards and X Factor. Adam will be running the Contemporary Classes on a Friday evening from 6-7 which definitely are not to be missed!! He will also be running Monthly Workshops in a variety of different styles from Ballet to Commercial Hip Hop. These will be held on a Friday evening 7-9 (dates to be confirmed). Upcoming Events • Monday 21st February – AGM. This is a chance for the new society members to be elected in

ready for the new academic year 2011/2012, come along and get involved! • Saturday 26th February – Loughborough University Dance Competition • Sunday 20th March - ‘UWE Dance Society Presents....DYNAMIX’ - Annual Dance Show, Olympus Theatre, Filton Wise College Campus • Wednesday 23rd March – ‘UWESU Bares All’ – Huge Fund Raising Charity Cabaret Show featuring a large variety of different Sports and Societies. Held at ‘Haze’ Nightclub in the City Centre. • Saturday 26th March – Portsmouth University Dance Competition • Wednesday 30th March – Varsity. UWE vs UOB

010 was an epic year with the long-awaited foundation of UWE’s very own Scandinavian Society. The Society welcomes all enthusiastic Scandinavians and supporters of the Scandinavian culture. Our aim is to create long lasting friendships and memories, and spread the Viking heritage. A lot has changed since we first arrived a thousand years ago with the intention to rape, plunder and spread fear on

Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden and Denmark

> Putting the app back into your Apple adams291@hotmail.co.uk

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pple adverts are constantly on our TV’s telling us ‘there’s an app for that’. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally never needed a spirit level for putting up my hundreds of shelves. Plus, my bank account isn’t quite suitable for planning spontaneous trips to Paris. However, there are a fair few gems out there which are perfect for students.

Android apps UK Newspapers: Easy link to all major UK news sources. Keep informed y’all. Google Navigation: Turn your phone into a GPS navigator. gvSIG Mini Maps: Sick of Google Maps? Use Ordinance Survey instead. Find postboxes! Google Sky Map: Hold your phone up to the stars and find out what those constellations are. QuickOffice: Edit all Microsoft Office files on you phone.

Fab Freebies

1) Facebook/ Twitter Sure it’s ironically unsociable for social networks to glue you to your phone, but it is handy keeping up to date, with simple layouts and all of the usual features. 2) IMDB For that argument with a stubborn ass over whether Kevin Bacon really was in Footloose; branching from the website, this app provides the complete CV’s of Hollywood’s finest. 3) Cabfinder An extremely wise and responsible choice of an app, after finding your location, lists of local cab companies’ details and their distances from you are a tap away. 4) My vouchercodes.com Only showing you vouchers which can be used in shops nearest to your current location, it’s a must-have. 5) Train line If you are constantly travelling back home or maybe just visiting friends at other uni’s, this is the app for you.

the British Isles. We return to make amends and recreate a strong and solid relationship between our two fantastic cultures. We plan to celebrate Scandinavian traditions as well as creating a meeting place for students with similar interests. In December we had a Christmas dinner at IKEA and it was definitely raining meatballs. The whole society got to know each other and it was a huge success. To our great pleasure a variety of nationalities decided to join contributing to the awesome atmosphere. We hope to repeat this in the near future. We are in the process of planning several more socials and events. First up is the Refreshers Fair on the 1st of February. Stop by our stand to taste some Scandinavian treats and learn more about the Society. If you cannot wait till then we meet every Tuesday for lunch in OneZone at 1pm to have a laugh and a giggle. Everyone is welcome to join, so bring your friends and come along. Feel free to follow the Scandinavian Society on Facebook to know all about our upcoming socials. We hope to see you as part of this amazing society in the future! Viking glory to everyone.

Photo: Sean MacEntee (CC)

Apps appeal Sarah Adams

DANCING THEATRE

Easy to use and good value tickets, a must have for a train addict.

FOR THE (POOR) CHILD WITHIN

– all free versions of extended games (which you have to pay for). 1) Falldown A classic game, annoyingly addictive. Shake the phone sideways to move the ball through gaps in layers as they move upwards... Simpler than it reads and it’s free so go for it. 2) Fruit Ninja This game involves fruit, bombs and blades. Need I say more? Yes? Well, fruit flies in the air and you have to swipe across them to cut them in half. Become the fruit ninja. It’s great.

3) Angry Birds The iPhone sensation, if you’ve seen someone on a bus, holding their phone horizontally and looking frustrated, they are playing this game. Or just a bit special. As always, addictive, fun and free (up to a certain level)! 4) Snake Remember the days when getting that cool Nokia 3210 was amazing just so you could play Snake? Well this is similar... only with a colour, touch screen and a phone half the weight. 5) Soundboards Completely pointless but hilarious. Soundboards are available for most

programmes or films worth quoting. Press a quote and the board will play the original line in all its glory. Popular choices include Family Guy, the E4 guy and Anchorman. TIP To organise your apps on your home screen hold your finger down on one of the apps to make the icons wiggle. Then drag any apps onto each other to put them in a folder. WARNING Some new apps, like for example for banks, now require you to enter private information like card details. Make sure the app is legit, secure and won’t reveal your information if anyone steals your phone.


Debate

Comment & The assassination of Chris Jefferies

> The media’s destruction of a previously anonymous Bristolian landlord gives cause for anyone who hasn’t recently committed a murder to worry. WesternEye looks at a modern day witch hunt Henry Stoneley

Crossing boundaries: The witch hunt surrounding Jefferies’ arrest went well beyond the realms of acceptable journalistic practice

comment@ westerneye.net he murder of Bristolian architect Joanna Yeates made headlines around the world, and shocked many in her local area of Clifton. But Miss Yeates is not the only victim of the crime. The British media has ensured that at least one other innocent will remain permanently scarred by the event. The case received far more coverage than the murder of Karol Krawczyk, a 31 year old Polish man killed just 10 days before Yeates. Sadly this will not come as a surprise to anyone who has ever opened a British newspaper; Yeates was a successful, attractive, graduate, living in an affluent area with her partner. She was blonde, British, and popular. Unfortunately in media terms, she was the perfect victim. But for every perfect victim, there must be a perfect villain. At least there should be. It is after all 2011. With all the technology at our disposal catching a criminal, should be easy, right? Often though a culprit is not immediately, if at all, forthcoming. 2011 it may be but that has not stopped the media from embarking in a medieval witch-hunt. Welcome to infamy Chris Jefferies. Before Christmas, Jefferies was an unknown Bristol landlord and former English teacher. His hairstyle, whilst certainly slightly eccentric, was certainly never compliant with his supposed credentials as a murderer. Hairstyles are rarely a decent indication of homicidal intent. Not that the British media were about to let that stop them. When first a senior officer, and then a judge, granted the police more time to question Mr. Jefferies, the media went into hyperbole overdrive. The Sun, which has, let’s face it, never been a bastion of decent fact-based journalism ran with “The Strange Mr Jefferies: Kids’ nickname for ex-teacher suspect”. At school there was a female history teacher, nicknamed “Itchy green-beard”. I met her some years later, and was perplexed to discover that she was not sporting a beard, nor any kind of uncomfortable looking facial hair and was in fact thoroughly pleasant. God help her if she gets arrested for a crime she didn’t commit though, because apparently the churlish nicknames children give to their teachers is now acceptable headline material. Needing to beat their rivals at The Mirror, who ran with “Jo suspect is peeping Tom” (winner of my award for “best use of quote marks to cover your own arse”) The Sun followed up with the blunt “OBSESSED WITH DEATH”.

Surely a statement this presumptuous must have something concrete to back it up. Something, you would think, more concrete than the fact that former English teacher and graduate Jefferies’ likes the works of 19th century poet Christina Rossetti. Unfortunately not. Rossetti is the closest link between Jefferies and murder that the media could unearth. She may have been a little macabre at the best of times, but likening Rossetti fans to murderers, is akin to calling anyone who enjoys the works of John Betjeman a pervert because he once said “with hard excitement to her breast” (amongst others). Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect libel compensation. The line of argument seemed to be “Of course he’s guilty, just look at him!” Look at him? We couldn’t help but look at him. For three days his face was everywhere. In fact, most of Britain has had a horrifically up-close insight into the life of a man whose life has been destroyed by careless, cavalier journalism and slander. Albeit slander protected by quotation marks and consistent use of the word “alleged”. What we saw occurring, time and time again was three tenuous arguments, rehashed and angled to say different things. Looks a bit like Professor Wheeto? Serial killer. Blue rinsed hair? Must be guilty. Former Neighbourhood Watch vicechairman? Net-curtain twitching peeping Tom.

Yet there is a contradiction inherent in this argument. If we are to believe the media, Jefferies arrest caused mass panic. The way in which he was portrayed led many to presume his guilt. Yet Ipsos MORI, one of the UK’s leading research companies, reported that trust in journalists in 2009 was just 19%. With this distrust in mind, why was Jefferies immediately presumed to be guilty by so many? Hysteria is a hard thing to quantify, and if, as the media would have us believe, a state of hysteria surrounds the murder, it seems odd that a statistically sceptical public would believe what was printed in the press. Perhaps this article misses the point. Perhaps the public did not presume him instantaneously guilty. Yet the more the press hammered home the message, the more we seemed inclined to fall for it. The scariest thing about all of this, is not the total defamation of an innocent man, nor the horrendously invasive methods and tone of the media, but how easily this information was obtained. To remove ourselves from the Jefferies case momentarily, and focus on this through an entirely selfish prism, think how the media could portray you... Like a drink occasionally? No you don’t, you’re a “problem binge drinker”. Ever been arrested? You’re now a “seasoned criminal”. Smoked a joint? Habitual drug user”. Every little facet of your personality can

The fingerpointing and character assassination by social and news media of an as yet innocent man has been shameful

Photo: FreefotoUK (CC)

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be picked apart, savaged and repackaged from a new angle. Even the most studious, hard working individual becomes a “sullen loner”. It is truly petrifying to thing of the smear campaign that could be so easily constructed against almost anyone. We can only hope that Jefferies, who has become an auxiliary victim in an already disturbing crime, can take some comfort from the case of Robert Murat, the British man initially questioned in relation to with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007. Murat was continually hounded by the British press, and in particular The Daily Mirror, and though he was eventually cleared and awarded £600,000 in compensation, his name will forever be synonymous with a case he had no real involvement in. It seems appropriate to leave the final words to Greg Reardon, Miss Yeates’ boyfriend. “The fingerpointing and character assassination by social and news media of an as yet innocent man has been shameful. It has made me lose a lot of faith in the morality of the British Press and those that spend their time fixed to the internet in this modern age.” For a man under so much pressure, his integrity is something the majority of journalists could learn from.


Febuary 2011

Exploring Arts, Culture, Music & Film within Bristol.

westworldinfo@gmail.com twitter.com/Westworld_news

Westworld is and always will be a free speaking student voice for anything creative and cultural,. want to be heard or get free exposure, then get in contact. We are now a PULLOUT!

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George Newman

George Newman George Newman is a first year Illustration student at UWE. He prefers the simplicity and contrast of working in black and white, especially because much of his work covers intricate subjects. George’s doodles are heavily influenced by nature and organic subjects. He tries to create playful juxtapositions between objects that already exist and give them new life by placing them out of their original context. George makes characters the centre of attention, allowing other areas of interest to orbit or sit next to a character by giving him a purpose or context. If he had a motto it would be “bloody fun”, and he is inspired by artists like: Jeremy Fish, KRSN, Michael Sieben and so many more. http://www.birojoust.blogspot.com/

Cover Image Stephanie Third www.stephthird.co.uk www.stephthirdphoto.blogspot.com

Submit Artwork westworldinfo@gmail.com

Publications Editor George Rowe

Submission deadline for the March issue - Febuary 20th

Editors Sean Guest Alice Palmer Brown

steff_third@hotmail.com Westworld is growing up and sadly some of us here are graduating, we will be looking for a couple of guys and gals to takeover the reigns. If you fancy getting involved get in contactwestworldinfo@gmail.com

Join us on Facebook Westworld news Twitter twitter.com/Westworld_news Tumblr westworld-news.tumblr.com

Creative Directors & Design James Somerfield hello@jamessomerfield.co.uk Alex Green alexinleeds@gmail.com

Contributors Stephanie Third George Newman Joe Buzzard Ellen Martin Heath Wulff Flick Clarke Liam Shrivastrava Julia Phillips Tom Lane (Ginger Monkey) Sean Guest

Contact UWE Publications Frenchay Campus Coldharbour Lane Bristol, BS16 1QY www.westworldmagazine.net Typeset Grotesque MT Std Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk & Warnock Pro


Big Jeff

The Jeffrey Johns Story By Sean Guest.

Jeffrey Johns is Bristol’s most dedicated gig-goer. It’s likely that if you’ve attended a few gigs in Bristol you’ll have seen the man himself. He always stands right at the front and always bops and sways to the music like a man possessed. His curly, blonde mop has become a thing of legend on the Bristol music scene and now, thanks to a group of student documentary makers from our fair university, you can learn more about the man behind the legend. ‘The Jeffrey Johns Story’ provides a candid insight into the life of Big Jeff as he opens the doors of his home and discusses all manner of things, from his relationship with his parents to his obsessive gig-going, for our benefit. The cameras accompany him as he takes a trip to Windmill Hill Farm, where Jeff recommends the vegetarian breakfast, and also to one of the Art and Power group session that he attends on a regular basis.

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The Bristol Live Launch is the first in a series of student organised events celebrating live music in Bristol. The diversity of Bristol’s music scene is undoubtedly an inspiration to many and it’s this excitement and diversity that has motivated a group of second year Creative Music Technology students from UWE to start Bristol Live, an organisation dedicated to hosting fantastic live music events in Bristol. They hope that the launch party will be the first of many fantastic events, so join them for a night of live music at The Fiddlers Club in Bedminster on Friday 11th March. Headlining the event are First Degree Burns, who were finalists in the Redstripe Music Awards of 2009, an eight piece band whose influences stem from the concrete roots of Bristol, via France, and much in between. Channelling a plethora of musical styles and influences, be it Dub, Skank driven Ska, Roots Reggae, Two Tone, Rock, Metal through the all inclusive umbrella of Hip Hop, they've created a fusion which they proclaim as Skip Hop; up tempo, conscious, danceable invitingly innovative, musically accomplished, eclectic and most importantly, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Supporting First Degree Burns is another one of Bristol's finest; Clumsy. In addition to playing all of Bristol's top venues, Clumsy have played in London on numerous occasions and in 2002 they had several Radio appearances under their belt, as well as an appearance on ITV's "Earshot", a musical Magazine Programme. Playing alongside these well established acts are student band The Kinsey Scale, as well as a host of DJs playing Reggae and Dub rhythms. Tickets are £8 and are available from Bristol Ticket Shop, TicketWeb online and from the Fiddlers Club in person. Doors at 7:30pm. www.bristolticketshop.co.uk www.fiddlers.co.uk Facebook: Bristol Live

The Bristol Live Launch Party By Heather Wulff and Flick Clarke


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Cultural Preview

2011 CULTURAL PREVIEW By Joe Buzzard

Music Firstly is Bristol’s always fantastic live music scene. Colton Hall’s highlights include: – Imelda May (17th February) The Saturdays (22nd February) Ray LaMontagne (24th February) KT Tunstall (1st March) Interpol (19th March) and Buena Vista Social Club (9th April) with more yet to come. – Elsewhere, water-borne venue Thekla promises to provide musical performances that will get the dance floor moving, with artists booked so far including: British Sea Power (8th February) We Are The Ocean (22nd February) Patrick Wolf (28th March) Noah and the Whale (4th April) and X-Factor 2009’s runner-up Olly Murs’ on 16th May. – Offering a range of live music, Bristol’s 02 Academy must also certainly not be forgotten. At the time of writing: The Hold Steady (5th February) White Lies (9th February) Mogwai (19th February) Futures (27th February) Reel Big Fish (28th February) The Streets (1st March) Robyn (4th March) Chase & Status (15th March) Silverstein (21st March) and Stiff Little Fingers (27th March) number among those booked to play, not to mention a brutal night of metal in 29th April’s line-up of Bring Me The Horizon with Parkway Drive, Architects, and The Devil Wears Prada supporting. – Speaking of heavier stuff, if you’re looking for something a bit more punk, rock or metal, look no further than The Croft. An example of the numerous smaller venues in Bristol, The Croft is located amidst the cultural melting-pot that is Stokes Croft, with tickets rarely breaching the £10 mark. With rising punk rock bands like Gay For Johnny Depp and The Computers (15th February) expected as just one night of their many gigs, their listings are definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Comedy However, although some of us may like our gigs boisterously loud and in an intimate setting, others are wont to desire something on a bit of a grander scale. Luckily for you, Bristol is once again here to cradle your eardrums in the atmosphere of stadium concerts, with this year providing another top act in Bon Jovi, who will be rocking up to Ashton Gate on 27th June. Predictably, tickets tend to sell at a high price of around £60-£80, varying in price depending upon your preference for sitting or standing. However, bear in mind the difficulty many of these smaller arenas have in filling up all of their seats. Judging from previous years, a big marketing push is likely to occur as we approach Spring and Summer, so if you’re willing to risk it there could be a good chance that you can get hold of a ticket or two for that little bit cheaper closer to the time. As if that wasn’t enough, Bristol’s local (and inevitably much more intimate) scene is teeming with up-and-coming musical talent, with bands such as Wilder, Dinosaur Outfit, Kill Cassidy, Flashguns, Teengirl Fantasy, Know Buses, and The Naturals a sample of names to look out for. Check them out if you get the chance—you never know, you might just find yourself a new favourite band playing right on your doorstep! After all the ups and downs of 2010, you have to admit, it was a pretty great year all ‘round right? Well, alright, in terms of culture some stuff was pretty rubbish (I’m looking at you Tuition Fees), not to mention the mass loss of funding to the arts and culture that Britain is going to suffer from sooner rather than later...but despite all of that, little ol’ Bristol still managed to fill us up to bursting point with some fantastic cultural memories, as hopefully we’ll have reminded you.

Kick-starting this month is Swindon-based comic and one time BBC Radio 6 Music co-host with Russell Howard, the brilliant Jon Richardson. Performing his ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’ tour at the Tobacco Factory (16th February), this openly OCD comedian is sure to have you creasing with laughter at his witty and quirky slant to stand-up. Following closely at the Tobacco Factory will be a host of other stand-up gems, including: Russell Kane (20th Feb), the delightfully surreal, master of witty one-liners Milton Jones (27th March), Arthur Smith (17th April), and Richard Herring (3rd and 4th May). Further down North Street, confirmed comics for 2011 at the Comedy Box (upstairs at the Hen and Chicken) include Terry Alderton, John Maloney, Tom Stade, Simon Evans, Jo Caulfield and Shazia Mirza. February also entails top UK comedian—not to mention lifelong Bristol City fan—Mark Watson bringing his stand-up show to Ashton Gate on the 24th of the month. Taking place in the Evening Post Dolman Exhibition Hall, the comedian, author, and sports pundit—who is a regular on shows such as Have I Got News For You and Mock the Week—will be turning over all proceeds to Bristol City Community Trust. At £12 for students, this is an absolute steal. Venturing further into the year for more belly-aching laughter, Colston Hall will be hosting regular Mock the Week panelist Ed Byrne (8th March), who’s conversational style of observational comedy and colourful anecdotes are sure to be a hit with Bristol audiences. Furthermore, later in the month and into April, Bristol’s innovative improvisational comedy troupe Instant Wit will be playing at the Brewery Theatre on 27th March, Midlands comedy legend Lenny Henry (April 3) will be taking centre-stage at The Hippodrome to begin April in fine form, whilst A League of Their Own’s Liverpudlian comedian John Bishop will be bringing his ‘The Sunshine Tour’ to Colston Hall on 11th April. If by this point in the year you’re not wiping tears of laughter away from the corner of your eyes and have regained the ability to breathe evenly.

Well guess what? 2011 looks set to be even better. Here are some of the goods coming your way courtesy of this colourful city...

The Hippodrome are ready to deliver a sucker punch to your funny bone with the caustic stand-up of Dylan Moran (June 20) followed by...wait for it...Weston-super-Mare’s most successful export: the one and only John Cleese (June 21-23), who for the first time ever, will be bringing his ‘Alimony Tour’ to the UK. From the mouth of the man himself, this will be “an evening of well honed anecdotes, psychoanalytical tit-bits, details of recent surgical procedures, and unprovoked attacks on former colleagues, especially Michael Palin”. Summer in Bristol just got one heck of a laughter boost.


Cultural Preview

5

Theatre

Food

Events

This year Bristol promises a wealth of fantastic theatre, spread out across a host of different venues.

The beginning of the year marks some interesting additions to Bristol’s restaurant scene. Most prominent is the opening of Jamie’s Italian on Park Street in early February; the 17th branch of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s collection of Italian restaurants. Offering good value Italian food in an informal setting, it will be interesting to see whether or not residents find it worth the hype.

Enjoyed your New Year celebrations? Well on Sunday 6th February, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery will be holding a day of events and activities in conjunction with the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Running from 10.30am-4pm, visitors can expect of the event spectacular lion dances, music, dance and performances to welcome the year of the Rabbit. Also held here will be the free performance from Torrid Star productions, presented by actor Jay P McWinen, entitled ‘Hello Sailor’ (2nd February). Part of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans History Month, which celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community, this performance concerns gay life in the merchant navy, and will be followed by a question and answer session.

Central to Bristol theatre, The Hippodrome’s 2011 line-up offers plenty of great shows, beginning with Joseph (February 22-27) starring Keith Jack in the title role, with Hairspray (April 12-30) starring Michael Ball and Micky Dolenz, puppets-for-adults Avenue Q (May 23-28), Derren Brown’s ‘Svengali’, and Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita (June 27 – July 2) among those worth seeing. One production many critics are also getting excited about is Matthew Bourne’s ‘CINDERELLA’. Running from 17th-21st May at The Hippodrome, Bourne’s interpretation sets the story away from its fairytale origins, instead portraying a ‘thrilling and evocative journey through London during the Second World War’ concerning the story of Cinderella, her chance meeting with a dashing young RAF pilot, and the parting of these two lovers by the horrors of the Blitz. Figuring the tale more as a wartime romance, this production is a heavily revised version of that which was first seen in the West End in 1997, created to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Blitz. On a lower-key front, at the Tobacco Factory, Shakespeare’s Richard II is being performed between 10th February and 19th March, with the bard’s The Comedy of Errors then running from 24th March to 30th April. Furthermore, a play not to miss out on at the Brewery Theatre is highly-rated After the Accident (5th-16th April), which focuses on restorative justice after a child is killed by a joy-rider.

Park Street also welcomed Bristol’s branch of The Mission Mexican Grill, which has been open from 10th January. Specialising in burritos, which have been hailed as some of the best in Britain, this San Francisco-inspired restaurant’s speciality is its “carnitas” (slow roasted pork with thyme, bay leaves, and orange zest), which according to diners at The Mission’s Oxford restaurant, are the stuff of legend. The Clifton area will also receive some new additions, including January seeing the arrival of French restaurant Côte Brasserie setting up its first branch in the Mall, Clifton Village. Offering affordable prices for a menu focusing on ‘a drift away from sophisticated food to less complicated cooking’, Côte aims to mirror the trends in Paris, a decision which has proved a great success for its London-based counterpart.

Excitingly, another event that has been announced for 2011 is Bristol’s Folk Festival, which after 32 years, is being revived. This time taking place indoors, it will span three days of folk music and performances over the May Day Bank Holiday from Friday 29th April to Sunday 1st May at the city’s Colston Hall. With Seth Lakeman, the country’s leading folk musician, as their patron, the festival will not only provide some quality folk-music acts, and musicians, but also ceilidhs, workshops, sessions, singalongs, family-friendly entertainment and local performers. Seth Lakeman has gone on to say that as it is taking place over the May Bank Holiday there will be Maypoles, mummers and Morris dancers. Tickets are already on sale at the Colston Hall, priced £60 for the three days, acts and performances going on from 10am to midnight each day. For more details, go to www.bristolfolkfestival.com. Last, but by no means least, The Interesting Games Festival— or ‘Igfest’ as it is known—will return in 2011, and after the fantastic games of Igfest 3, Igfest 4 should be fantastic. A festival devoted to ‘the reclamation of public urban spaces for play and adventure’ taking place in the city centre, this is one event not to be missed. Arriving in its new earlier time slot of May 27-29, the Igfest team are planning for it to be more than twice as big as it has been in previous years. Amongst numerous other street games, this will include the return of the immensely popular ‘2.8 Hours Later’, the city-wide zombie chase game in which players will have to try and survive for as long as they can against the zombie hordes! Good stuff. More information will be being released over the next few weeks and months, so keep an eye on igfest.org or their twitter @igfest for further updates to come! So, to sum it all up for you lucky lot: this year in Bristol culture is so far shaping up to be incredible...and bear in mind that there is so much more to come this year that has yet to be announced. Excited? You’d better be.


8

Underground Music 2011

UNDERGROUND MUSIC IN BRISTOL By Liam Shrivastrava

2010 was an eventful year for the Bristol underground. It saw Easton’s Dubstep wonder kid Joker sign a publishing deal with heavyweight label Universal and a landmark collaboration between some of the local scene’s heavyweights and Jamaican Dub engineer Scientist. Curated by Tectonic label boss DJ Pinch, Scientist Launches Dubstep into Outerspace received widespread critical acclaim and featured reworkings of local material from Guido, RSD and Pinch himself. After a year that also witnessed the untimely passing of nationally respected independent record shop Rooted Records and the closing and subsequent re-opening of The Black Swan, it’s clear that things don’t always run smoothly. However, the outlook for 2011 from numerous DJs, artists and promoters is unanimously positive. At a time when commercial Dubstep is finding favour in the mainstream, the emergence of more experimental Techno & House oriented sounds feature heavily in the Bristol landscape. Local label Idle Hands – founded by Rooted Records’ Chris Farrell encapsulates the city’s turn towards the niche aspects of established genres. With previous releases from the likes of Headhunter, Kowton & Peverelist, Farrell feels Bristol’s somewhat laid-back approach permits and opportunity to carve out unrestricted styles and sounds, removed from the London hype machine: “We’re kind of shielded from hype a little bit in Bristol. We just get on with things. Things move a bit slower which gives us a bit of breathing space.” Filling the void left by Rooted is Farrell’s new venture – an Idle Hands Records shop. Despite being faced with the increasingly low mark-up on vinyl, Chris still sees the independent record shop as viable and important: “There’s still room for a shop that’s geared towards Bristol’s underground music scene.” Stocking all the usual Reggae, Dubstep, Drum & Bass, House & Techno vinyl as well as Bristol memorabilia, books and clothing, the new shop opens in Stokes Croft next month.

Both Stryda & Dub Boy have seen the influence of Dub & UK Steppas in the productions of Sureskank duo Gorgan Sound - made up by local DJs Kahn & Neek. Having had support from various Bristol luminaries including Rob Smith (RSD) of Smith & Mighty, Gorgan Sound have no planned releases and instead are choosing to stay under the radar with a few choice dubplates doing the rounds. Conversely, Kahn’s solo productions are generating faith in the more archetypal Dubstep genre. Whilst admitting Dubstep has become ‘a bit of a dirty word’ and with clear nods towards Grime and UK Garage, the diversity of his sound from atmospheric, sinister soundscapes to club bangers guarantees a big year for the London based Bristolian. His imminent release on Peverelist’s Punch Drunk label will definitely be one to watch out for. With so many artists wanting to distance themselves from the ‘typical’ or ‘mainstream’, Dubstep that has saturated the market in recent years, there appears to be an exceptional amount of creative freedom for a lot of producers in the city. More recently, this has also translated into the club scene. Obviously, this is nothing new to Bristol. The city has always been a breeding ground for esoteric music and culture, albeit sometimes erratic. However, the current crop of new artists emerging off the back of the cultural explosion that was Dubstep lays a solid foundation for sustainability. As well as more under the radar artists set to blow up this year like the percussive house sounds of Hodge, Holmes tips tropical bass badman Julio Bashmore to make a serious impression in the dance world: “Bashmore’s gonna absolutely takeover this year.” After recently forming the collaborative project ‘Velour’ with fellow Bristol producer Hyetal and dropping ‘The Velvet Collection’ on London label Night Slugs, Julio Bashmore is a name that will continue to dominate the blogs and forums over the next 12 months. With so much musical talent in Bristol, it’s easy to wax lyrical about it. My advice is to get out and listen to it.

5 EVENTS OF 2011 Ruffnek DiskotekBi-monthly events at Cosies plus epic Monster Bass sessions featuring the resident Mungo’s Hifi Soundsystem with the latest instalment on the 18th March at the Blue Mountain club. Featuring diverse styles, from Soca and Bashment to Dubstep & Funky.

Peng Sound Wicked vibes always found down at Take 5 Cafe on Stokes Croft. Rooted in Dub but exploring all other forms of Bass culture, this night typifies the new generation emerging in Bristol. Intimate and affordable, with a refreshing DIY ethic. Well worth hitting up when you next can.

CrazylegsJust over two years in the game and these guys have already received plaudits from Resident Advisor & Drowned in Sound for their superb line-ups containing the brightest and boldest in contemporary Bass music. After winning Venue’s best club night of 2010, the event relocates to Blue Mountain in March.

Teachings in DubHeavyweight roots and culture at Trinity Centre that plays host to some of the most established sounds in the UK, most recently Channel One. Expect a mammoth collaboration with Pinch’s Subloaded event in the spring. The food’s not bad either!

Boundary ObjectMonthly Sunday afternoon sessions down at The Bell pub, focussed on pushing the deeper elements of the Bristol underground. Always free and always sure to find top local talent.


Ellen Martin

9

a. Laser cut bone

Ellen

Martin Ellen Martin is studying in her final year on the ‘Design: Material, Process, Context’ (D3) course at UWE. She is currently working towards the Bower Ashton degree show and fundraising to show at London’s New Designers graduate showcase this July. Ellen’s work is concerned with our perceptions of material value and aims to challenge them, juxtaposing both precious and commonplace materials and objects. During this current project she has been working with bone; giving the discarded by-products added aesthetic value by laser-etching and goldleafing their surface.

b. Laser cut bone with gold leaf


10

CPA - Our House

This year’s student production by the Centre for Performing Arts’ (CPA) is the Madness musical ‘Our House’ - a show not only packed full of the band’s classic hits but one that also features an intriguing storyline.

even after 30 years together, are still touring and releasing new material.

You don’t have to be mad to come to this but it certainly helps for the show is based around the slapstick, antic-filled music of the famous band Madness. During their heyday they held the record for the highest number of weeks in the 1980s UK singles charts. Suggs and the Nutty boys (as they were known) eat your hearts out, for this insanely talented cast will show you how to bring the famously fun-loving hits to life along with a plot that cleverly combines hilarious teenage moments with thoughtful poignancy. If you remember singing along to those zany numbers Baggy Trousers, Driving in my Car, House of Fun and the title tune Our House then this will be a trip down memory lane for you. If you’re too young to remember, come along anyway to find out why Madness became such a legendary band and,

E’lan Standard E’lan Standard presents presents ‘My Dark Side’ ‘My Dark Side’

Imagine a balmy summer’s evening in north London where main character Joe Casey is out on his 16th birthday with his dream date Sarah. Unable to resist showing off to her he breaks into a newly built apartment block and gets caught. The police are on their way, leaving Joe with two choices – stay and face his punishment or run for it. At this point his character divides into two – the Good Joe and the Bad Joe. What happens next is anyone’s guess but the plot is full of action both at home and abroad! The show is a feat of directorial ingenuity but the production team is, as ever, out to meet all challenges with Alex Turasiewicz as director, Jacquie Bell as choreographer, John Cousins designing set and costumes and Ian Henderson as producer and musical director. With a script written by Tim Firth, the original production opened in the West End at the Cambridge Theatre in 2002 and in 2003 won the Laurence Olivier Award. What a great opportunity to see this award winning musical and enjoy those time-honoured pop classics, so book up now while there are still seats available!

The show will be held at the Redgrave Theatre in Clifton from Wednesday 2nd to Saturday 5th March at 19.30 with a matinee on Saturday 5th March at 14.30. Ticket price: £10 (concessions £7) available from UWE on-line shop https://store.uwe.ac.uk By post – Centre for Performing Arts, UWE, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour lane, Bristol BS16 1QY, cheques payable to UWE Bristol

By Sean Guest.

Local production outfit E’lan Standard describe their new film ‘My Dark Side’ thusly... ‘Michel is a projectionist at his local art house cinema, lonely and depressed from his recent break up with Miranda, he works unsociable hours and fantasises constantly about his memories in film format’. The film will attempt ‘to demonstrate the loneliness of antisocial occupations and the inevitable strain this places on personal relationships’, an effect that will be accomplished by shooting large segments on a Super 8mm camera ‘to achieve a style that echoes a family home movie from the late 1960s’. E’lan Standard is about to commence shooting the film, which they claim ‘is unique because it could be one of the last films made about a Projectionist which is set in the present day. From now on most venues are going digital and the role of the Projectionist will become obsolete.’ The cast and crew consist of twenty six members, most of whom are students or graduates, including UWE Film Studies graduate Helen Gwyther. Keith Kopp, one of the founding members of E’lan Standard, will direct the screenplay and shoulder the burden of ensuring that each shot is filmed perfectly, due to the miniscule budget the production company will be working on. They will be using various locations in Bristol, Bath and Clevedon, as well as a beach situated just outside of Bristol, to bring the project to life and also intend to enter the film into the Soho, Miami and Slamdance Film Festivals upon completion.

The Centre for Performing Arts presents ‘OUR HOUSE’ By Julia Phillips


Slapstick

11

Slapstick....yeh? Slapstick Festival 2011 Neil Innes: The People’s Guide to World Domination.

I am going to be painfully honest about this from the outset; I had never heard the name Neil Innes until I was asked to review his performance as part of the opening night of the 7th annual Slapstick Festival. I didn’t want to be completely in the dark about who he was, and so I performed a little internet search and found myself feeling very foolish about my previous ignorance. I feel it necessary to explain that I was raised on a steady diet of Monty Python, The Goonies and Tom Lehr and from a young age I could, and would, at any inappropriate moment, recite my favourite, the Philosophers Drinking song. So imagine my delight upon discovering that Neil Innes is commonly referred to as the ‘Seventh Python’? In comedy terms, to be associated with these six men: John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle, is to be marked as a comedy pioneer of the twentieth century, and probably a name that I should have known. So it was to The Colston Hall I skipped, ticket in hand, on the evening of the 27th January, to watch Neil Innes’ show: The People’s Guide to World Domination. When a man in his midsixties takes to the stage wearing a backwards Kangol cap and a studded leather jacket you sort of know that he’s going to be a bit eccentric, and Innes definitely had the aura of a man who had always been in the business, a professional who knew how to put on a show.

The show was very funny and widely varied, and mainly musically based, as is Innes’ forte, with songs in many styles, on many different instruments, about current affairs and topics ranging from the internet, supermarkets to politics. Showing a deeply rooted appreciation for the support of fans, over the years, Innes told us about his time with the Pythons, singing my favourite ‘The Philosopher’s Drinking Song’ and a song that he wrote for the Holy Grail that didn’t make the final cut, and with a self-depreciating laugh Innes added ‘because it was as rubbish then as it is now!’ He spoke about his relationship with the Beatles, after meeting them at the Abbey Road Studios, where they were both recording, and listening to their session in awe. Whilst he shared these lovely stories he was never boastful, and was always humble about his own talents, which was refreshing even if it was not necessary. As far as my usual Thursday night entertainment goes, this was definitely different, not in a bad way, but in a way that made me realise that comedy nights are undervalued, and I as I creep closer to the impending doom of my dissertation deadline, I need to go to more of them, I need to embrace evenings of laughing wholeheartedly.

I didn’t really know what to expect, past funny songs, but I was not disappointed. Innes was everything I expected him to be, friendly, sharply witty, musically talented and full of interesting anecdotes. The evening was very nearly sold out, and the second room of the Colston Hall was full of appreciative fans, leaving me feeling a little inadequate, but once Innes had the audience participating in his songs all differences were forgotten.

– As far as my usual Thursday night entertainment goes, this was definitely different, not in a bad way, but in a way that made me realise that comedy nights are undervalued


12

Ginger Monkey

A Word With Tom Lane AKA Ginger Monkey Monekey

"So many times I almost got a job, instead I chose to live on the bread line scraping through with no money"

by Alex Green Tell me a little about your journey to where you are now... I graduated from University when I was 22 years old, I then realised that there were at least 50 people in Bristol alone doing exactly what I am doing. Initially I did want a job but it is never that easy. I guess the way I played it was to just get art directors to look at my work and hopefully something would come from it. I was confident in my work and the way I approach people, which is important. Ask the people you meet ‘yes and no’ questions, be blunt, be confident, make sure they see your work. This led me to work in a studio in Bristol working as a ‘helper’. I would simply help people finish off their work, I was given jobs from the job board to help them out. To be honest I hated it, and if I didn’t do something about it soon I was going to become an angry designer doing other peoples work (which

is something I never ever wanted to do). They were using my work without even commenting on me. So I packed it in and said “If you want me to work for you, you will have to ring me and get me to work for you”. I flipped the situation on its head, something I never ever wanted to do).They were using my work without even commenting on me. So I packed it in and said “If you want me to work for you, you will have to ring me and get me to work for you”. I flipped the situation on its head, it was risky but it did pay off. Before long I was doing work in my own style with my ideas and developing my portfolio, which I continually showed to other art directors throughout this whole process. So many times I almost got a job, instead I chose to live on the bread line scraping through with no money. I was doing

illustrations instead of doing payed work, and intern improving my portfolio, diversifying and harnessing my skills. The first 2 years were hard living on around 12-15 grand a year, over the years it got better with some bad years. Over all I would definitely say I sacrificed a lot for the bigger picture, and sometimes that’s exactly what you have to do.


Debate 27

WesternEye 07.02.2011

Just say TescNo? Kayleigh Jenkins comment@ westerneye.net

P

etitions, Squatters and Road blocking protests … Plans for a new Tesco store in Stokes Croft have caused quite a stir over the last few months. There have been several attempts by Stokes Croft residents to stop Tesco opening a new Express store at the old Jesters site, but the supermarket has somehow still managed to gain council permission to open the new store – which will be the fifth in a mile. The ‘No Tesco in Stokes Croft’ group formed in February 2010 made up of Stokes Croft residents has repeatedly announced that ninety three percent of local people do not want a Tesco in Stokes Croft as it poses a threat to their ‘culturally distinct community’ and continue to fight against it. Some may think the idea of a small local group trying to take on a big business like Tesco is futile but as Carla Denyer from the ‘No Tesco in Stokes Croft group’ states: “None of us are naïve enough to believe we’re capable of closing every Tesco in the country but we might as well attempt to fight the one on our own door step.” A major objection raised by the group is to Tesco’s attempt to obtain a licence to sell alcohol from 8am – 11pm seven days a week. Locals insist it will only encourage the pre existing street drinking

problems in the area. Although, one of the rare pro Tesco local residents (who does not wish to be named) has refuted this claim. “The street drinking is already a problem. There are several other shops in the area open 24/7. ‘The Best’, in particular will sell alcohol at any time, day or night. They’ll also make up the price on the spot depending on how drunk they think the customer is. There are already loads of street drinkers. The No Tesco group are just blaming Tesco for the problems that are already there. They’re wasting their time really, Tesco is too big a business to try and stop.” So is Tesco really going to cause that much of a problem? Are the residents ignoring the problems the area already has? Despite recent efforts to rejuvenate the area into ‘Bristol’s cultural quarter’ the area still suffers from alcohol fuelled crime. So will Tesco just serve to make this worse? Carla Denyer from the No to Tesco in Stokes Croft group refutes these claims. In response to the alcohol license she admits to the current street drinking is a problem but insists that: ”Just because there’s an existing (street drinking) problem doesn’t mean it’s pointless to try and stop it getting worse. It’s a lot more difficult to change the business practices of a business that’s already open than to stop a new one opening.” Responding to the criticisms, Tesco however has tried to minimise any problems by introducing

minimum pricing rules in an attempt to reduce their potential threat to the street drinking problem after coming under scrutiny in the past for their cheap deals supposedly encouraging binge drinking culture. Carla however, argues that many Tesco stores do not adhere to their claims‘. From her own research in another local Tesco express she found super strength lager and cider for just a few pounds each. “You could be several times over the recommended daily limit for the price of a bus fare. These (the street drinkers) are alcoholics, not just binge drinkers. Price isn’t a factor to them; it’s the availability that’s the problem.” At the time of going to press Tesco had lost their hearing to obtain an alcohol license but have recently launched a fresh appeal in order to reapply. As well as the alcohol license the group have also raised numerous other complaints about how Tesco will negatively affect the area. The traffic disruption caused by up to 52 deliveries per week has also been a major topic for the group. Recently a flash mob took place in which group members formed a human square outside the shop front representing the amount of space the articulated delivery lorries will take up during its several daily deliveries. Although pro Tesco campaigners have dismissed this “stunt”, the local resident said: ”The group needs to look at the problems they’re causing, not Tesco…they’re moaning about the

Photo: Sonja Huttunen

> WesternEye looks at Stokes Croft’s proposed supermarket, the progress of which has been (Sains)buried in red tape by campaigners, and wonders if a Lidl common sense and some Co-Operation might make Aldi difference [Sorry - ed]

Irony returns to Stokes Croft on the side of a Ford Transit lorries and the disruption they’ll cause but it’s fine for their demos to block the roads.” Some pro Tesco supporters have tried to focus on the positive effects the new store may have, particularly the economical benefits. In this time of recession and unemployment, Tesco is one British supermarket chain that is doing well in the global market; with annual profits of 2.3billion pounds it holds its position as the 3rd largest retailer in the world. Tesco claims to create 173 jobs every week and could introduce some extra jobs into the area. So, whilst Tesco may not ‘fit in’ with Stokes Croft it may help with the fragile local economy and bring extra custom to the area. Despite the group successfully warding off Tesco for over a year their recent success at planning

committee meetings mean Tesco will be able to open their store, albeit minus an alcohol license. Will the people of Stokes Croft continue to refuse the lure of big business and cheap deals? Or will Tesco eventually become part of the community? Only time will tell.

Got something you would like to share your opinion about? Get in touch and write about it. comment@ westerneye.net

This is your Lifebook

> More mutual friends than real mates? Status updated more regularly than your underwear? It’s probably time to take a look at your relationship with Facebook comment@ westerneye.net

F

acebook seems to have devoured our lives. I’ve reached the pathetic point of speaking in its language, saying ‘mutual friend’ more than I normally ever would. Then you’ve got the planning status syndrome (PSS). If anything slightly interesting happens I’ll take a mental note to remind myself to put it in my next status (this realisation was literally the lowest point of my life). Over 500 million people depend on the site, even with the list of flaws which have each slowly crept out of the woodwork ever since that fateful first log in. Firstly, you have the friends. Princeton dictionary defines the term ‘friend’ as a ‘person you know well and regard with affection and trust’. In the Facebook world, I have 380 ‘bestest’ friends of which no more than 100 of these would fit into that category. The rest have gradually been collected from tagging needs and ‘friend of a friend’ duties. Why do we feel the need to add people after meeting them once,

Ridiculously public breakups are golden especially when the mums get involved

probably under the influence of a Jaeger-bomb or four, never aiming to get to know them, but just letting them hold dust on our friend shelf? Think about your mass of Facebook friends. Would you invite all of them out for a drink or even just call for a chat? Probably not. But, you are privileged enough to get front row seats to their life, knowing every

personal and inappropriate detail. You lucky thing you. Which leads me onto my next Facebook faux pas, the beloved status updates. In fairness, status’ can be entertaining. Ridiculously public relationship breakups are golden- especially when the mums get involved. Otherwise, you have the ridiculously public pregnancies; not as golden… more sickening. Maybe it’s my rough middle class background, but I have witnessed six pregnancies, all thanks to Facebook, about girls I hardly know. I knew how far along they were, the outcome of doctor’s appointments and whenever ‘OMG, the baby kicked!’. I just don’t give a sh*t, and wonder why their warped minds think I do. I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of ‘statusees’. The ones who want to be liked and the ones who want to be commented on. Liked is the little thumbs up that represents a shared opinion or new found respect for such hilarity to be created, i.e.: ‘Kanye West loves lamp’. Anchorman is cool, making Kanye cool, so if you admire Kanye’s clear coolness, your little thumbs up will be heading his way. Then you have the comment hungry users like:

‘Taylor Swift doesn’t know what to do anymore’. This would initiate a ripple effect of care and worry from her friends. Beyonce would be there leaving a loving note just to comfort poor Taylor. In either type of ‘statusee’, one thing is clear: we all want a

reaction. Has Facebook just provided an excuse for us to release the attention seeking brat from within? Facebook is a major element to everyday life for a huge proportion of our demographic. I suppose I just need to accept that… in no way like a friend request.

Image: Henry Stoneley

Sarah Adams

Better than real life? Friendship in figures and photos


28 Debate

WesternEye 07.02.2011

It’s life Jim, but not as we know it

>There is a wonderful bubble called university. We spend three years drunkenly floating about it in, before something nasty called reality comes along and pops it. Welcome to the real world comment@ westerneye.net

Right: Life; it can be a daunting thing sometimes

Photo: Crashmaster (CC)

Steve Maguire

Photo: Mark Cummins

hen I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” – Corinthians 13:11. Now I’m not a religious man, but this struck a chord with me as I got older. As a child, life is simple I’m sure you’ll agree. We go to school, we play, we bathe (occasionally), we sleep; lather, rinse, repeat. The older we get, the more complicated life becomes and we hopefully adjust accordingly, a process known to experts as ‘growing up.’ Life, though, remains relatively straightforward with little discernible change from earlier childhood routines. Then, suddenly, it’s time to make decisions and take actions which will influence the rest of your life. Scary times but with the help and support of friends, family and faculty we muddle through as best we can. What is common throughout the early chapters of our lives is structure and guidance. The path, for many, is a simple one: School, GCSEs, A levels, university. Now though, we have a problem. Around this time, following Christmas and those tedious January exams, many of your minds will doubtless have turned to the future. Dissertations will (hopefully) be coming along nicely, and your university career is coming to an end; so what now? Those of you hoping to find an answer in this article will be sadly disappointed, for I do not have one. Not a conclusive one at any rate, because there isn’t one. Some of you will already know what you want to do once you graduate. Some will have plans to continue in education, going on to do a masters or PhD and some may already have a job waiting for them. The majority of people though will be in the same boat, looking to the future trying to work out what to do next.

The path, for many, is a simple one: School, GCSEs, A levels, university. But what next?

Below: The building block of life, DNA

Photo: George Rowe

W

The wonderful thing about this though, is that you are far from alone. If you are one of those people coming to the end of your academic career, with no greater idea of your future than when you started, you are in fact part of an overwhelming majority. For many people the scary thing is the loss of the structure and order; since the beginning of your academic lives the next step has been glaringly obvious. There is a commonly accepted, almost natural order to things. We finish one step, begin the next, and so on; until now that is. For some of you this will be the first time that you have been solely in control of the path your life will take. The structure which you have relied on for the past 20 something years doesn’t extend beyond this step. From here on in, you’re on your own. As scary as this notion can be, try to think of it in terms of excitement and most importantly, freedom. Now, without the admittedly useful structure of academia, you are free. Free to make your own choices, your own decisions, and your own mistakes. You are now 100 percent in control of your life, and you may do with it whatever the hell you want. All this new freedom, though, brings with it an inherent sense of responsibility. While you are now free to make your own decisions, unhindered by external influence,

you are also responsible for their consequences. Fear not though, for your time at UWE has been about much more than lectures and exams. The life lessons you have learned over the last 3 years will serve you well in the future, whatever you choose to do. The mature students amongst you will know how important life experience is, how invaluable simple lessons can be. The dayto-day things which seemed so alien and difficult when you arrived at UWE will by now be second nature. Your education has not been confined to the classroom. With every new day and each new experience you have been learning by osmosis; absorbing information and knowledge from the second you arrived without ever knowing it. Three years later and your university education is complete. Your time at the University of Life, however, is just beginning. The University of Life accepts all applicants, there is no interview and there are no exams, enrolment is compulsory and the classes are really rather hard. But just like your secondary school education prepared you for university’s academic trials, the things you have learned here, both in and out of the classroom, have prepared you for the rest of your life. Those who came to university a little later than usual, like me, will tell you that life without a decent education is a great deal more difficult. Your university education

is like a video game cheat; you have a greater knowledge and understanding than many of those around you and best of all, you have your degree. That piece of paper will open more doors and opportunities than you can possibly imagine. If you only take one thing from this article, make it this: Life is hard, very hard. It will test you constantly and there are no resits. But it is also exciting, unpredictable, enchanting and exhilarating, the rewards far outweigh the trials and for the first time, it is all yours. The quote from Corinthians 13:11 tells us that as adults we must put away childish things. Just put them somewhere safe and keep them with you always. Life is indeed difficult and challenging and maturity is a valuable commodity. But what is the point in thoiling and struggling if when all is said and done you can’t enjoy the fruits of your labour? Work hard, make good decisions, do the best you can but let the child in you come out whenever you can. They know what life is really all about. Lather, rinse, repeat.


Debate 29

WesternEye 07.02.2011

An age old argument Hattie Barnes comment@ westerneye.net

O

n the afternoon of January 11, Arlene Phillips must have been rubbing her hands with glee and carefully choreographing her next move. At the same time Gloria Hunniford and any female television presenter over 35-years of age must have punched the air, knowing that their jobs are now forever safe. This general feeling of jubilation felt by the ‘older’ women on television comes after the former Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly, aged 53, won her landmark unfair dismissal appeal against her former employer, the BBC. O’Reilly had formerly worked, for eight years, as a freelance presenter on the long running (and little watched) Sunday morning show, Countryfile. In November 2008 she was informed that when the show was to move time slots, to a primetime Sunday evening slot on BBC2 the following April that she, and two other female presenters, would not be kept on. Meanwhile their co-presenter, John Craven, 65, would complete the scheduled move but also be taking on a different, and smaller, role in the future presenting of the show. O’Reilly maintained that she had been treated unfairly by her then employers claiming that the decision behind her dismissal was based on her age and gender, saying in a press conference held after her win that “it was hard taking on the BBC as I love the BBC but I felt I was treated badly.” Here lies an interesting argument; was she treated badly

or did she react badly to her treatment? Whilst the distinction between these two options might not seem substantial, they are markedly different, and they very much place the blame with the opposing parties involved. Society’s obsession with youth and the notion that ageing naturally is becoming rarer for those in the public eye seems to have been ratified by this case getting the media coverage it has. O’Reilly has asserted that she doesn’t ‘think having wrinkles is offensive’. As a television watcher, I can genuinely say that I have never been offended by their appearance on TV, although, if this ever changes I promise that I will write to Points of View, at the earliest opportunity. After all, we have to remember that Ms O’Reilly was working on Countryfile, a nature programme focussing on, well mainly birds and trees. A young and sexy image is not really necessary, after all it’s not exactly Babestation. The point I mean to raise was that age and gender are barely relevant in her dismissal, and as her employers did not exploit it or expect her to change it, it remains almost irrelevant to the case. It would be very different if someone had suggested that she tried botox to sort her wrinkles out, but nobody did. Personal image isn’t relevant in these terms unless you make it relevant, which O’Reilly has definitely done. Whilst her image was fitting to the style and the subject matter of the programme she was working on, in the eyes of the BBC, she just wasn’t primetime presenter material. The whole thing boils down to viewing figures, and creating a show that people will watch and enjoy, and anyone

Photo: George Rowe

> The BBC has found itself embroiled in another age discrimination argument. Is the corporation ageist? Or does this latest case represent a case of sour grapes from a former employee?

working in the industry should understand that this means that sometimes, and certainly not always, decisions are made that upset people. Let’s be honest, losing your job is never nice, and it is easy to see why she took offence and placed the blame with the BBC. After all we do live in a society where blaming other people has become natural. Interestingly, Miriam was replaced by two presenters who both have experience in primetime presenting, having worked on two key BBC programmes, Blue Peter and Watchdog. When the ageism element of this argument is removed and the substitution is seen in context, this replacement seems logical. Especially when you consider the change in demographic that the show underwent when it was ‘refreshed’. Yes these two presenters are younger, that is obvious, but not significantly so. What they have is more experience in the Prime Time slots and, crucially, a permanent, rather than freelance, contract.

It is possible to sympathise with the grounds for O’Reilly’s dispute. When she stated ‘I am a 53 year-old-woman, I have my own difficulties surviving this industry’ she voiced the fears of many who find themselves in both her age bracket and line of work. Ironically though what she pinpoints here is the exact argument she has embroiled herself in; does age matter in terms of television? I would argue that it is does and doesn’t, but it is less relevant for men in the industry. Male television presenters and newsreaders have a certain ageless employability that their female counter-parts seem to lack. O’Reilly’s QC raised this point, saying that there is a ‘notable disparity’ between the treatment of the sexes and that ‘physical appearance is an issue for women in a way that it is not for men.’ Intriguingly the other two female presenters of the show, Michaela Strachan and Juliet Morris, 44 and 45 respectively, kept very quiet about it all. What seems to have been

seriously ignored in this argument, and the court case, is that she wasn’t really a very good presenter. Former BBC controller, Jay Hunt spoke to defend his choices at the tribunal saying that O’Reilly’s claims were ‘profoundly distressing and utterly offensive,’ adding that they were also ‘entirely and categorically untrue.’ He has his programming to fall back on here, if you look at many programmes on the BBC, they are more often than not presented by ‘older’ women, that is, when they are presented by women. Yes, here there are of course a few exceptions, and this is where Arlene Phillips comes in. When the BBC saw how successful Simon Cowell’s X-Factor replacement of Sharon Osbourne with the young, beautiful and apparently musical Cheryl Cole, they jumped on the bandwagon. The un-cool cousin of the television world ditched their Sharon O, judge Arlene Phillips, 66, from the panel on Strictly Come Dancing and replaced her with Alesha Dixon, 30, of popular 90’s girl-band fame. She might have less than half the ballroom dancing experience but she also happens to be less than half her age. If any woman recently fired from the BBC had a valid ageism argument it was Arlene, but she didn’t take it any further than a few moans to Doctor’s waiting-room magazines. Miriam on the other hand received a formal apology from the BBC, who somewhat sheepishly said that they would be interested in working with her again, and received an undisclosed payout from the BBC. I hope Arlene Phillips has been taking notes.

Sideswipe: phone hacking

> A satirical look at events in your worldsphere. > This month: The phone hacking scandal thickens as namesakes get tapped right up Henry Stoneley comment@ westerneye.net

T

he News of the World phone hacking scandal was last night blown wide open in the light of fresh evidence, suggesting that the paper may have accidentally been hacking the phones of ordinary civilians who shared names with celebrities. Alan Titchmarsh, 67, a retired civil servant from Chelmsford, alerted the Crown Prosecution Service, after reading stories about his gardening namesake which closely echoed his own life. “At first we thought it was a hilarious coincidence, but then we realised that there had been some horrible mistake. It wasn’t so much the invasion of privacy we minded, more the fact that it was

being passed off as news. I mean, it’s clearly not. Alan Titchmarsh’s colonoscopy, that is to say my colonoscopy, is nobody’s business but mine. Or his. It’s certainly not news.” The allegations throw in to question the allegations that Jordan’s estranged husband Alex Reid is currently pregnant, particularly after alledgedly Somerset born primary school teacher Alex Reed yesterday announced on her Twitter page that she was “bemused to find a media scrum at my first ultrasound”. Fame-hungry Reid is yet to deny the allegations. Andy Coulson, former editor of The News of the World, denies knowing anything about the phone hacking which took place while he was at the helm, stating: “Honestly, I thought all of the salacious and damaging gossip we got our hands

on was freely given to us by those involved. That’s why I resigned from two jobs and have refused to give a media interview on the subject”. Current editor Colin Myler was today called as a witness in the hearing, where he denied that the process was still going on. “There is absolutely no way that the News of the World would continue to hack into the phones of celebrities or anyone else. Particularly after the embarrassing affair with the confusion of numbers”. Myler went on to add that the paper had learnt from its mistakes, before informing presiding judge Keith Smalling that his wife would be late home because the Circle line had “gone to buggery again”. Coulson’s actions since the scandal broke have caused some critics to question his role in the scheme, with one stating “If people

genuinely believe that Coulson didn’t know about this, then it’s a travesty. But the only people stupid enough to believe that are News of the World readers, and frankly,

they don’t care how they get their content”. The expert, who asked not to be named, continued “If a small foreign child is crushed to death by paparazzi photographers trying to get an elusive Lily Allen-toplesssunbathing-nipples-out-shot, then so be it”. He refused to be drawn on Lily Allen’s actual nipples. Allen’s agent yesterday denied that she has ever considered using them as an artistic space in the first place. News of the World owner Rupert Murdoch seemed aloof when questioned on the subject, before fixing reporters with a steely gaze, pointing to the sky and saying “I’ll own that next”. Breaking into maniacally laughter, Murdoch added “And then you’re all f*cked. You only breathe when Murdoch says you breathe”.


30 Special feature

WesternEye 07.02.2011

The digital revolutionary

> The co-founder of Wikipedia and head of Wikia, Inc., Jimmy Wales, was in Bristol on January 13th this year to give his only forthcoming UK based talk, marking the 10 year anniversary of the online encyclopaedia > WesternEye was lucky enough to snare the much in-demand internet entrepreneur to talk about ten years of changing the way people access knowledge, the guiding principles behind Wikipedia, and much more...

George Rowe editor@westerneye.net

The figure who takes the stage at Bristol University’s Victoria rooms has been called many things: ‘digital revolutionary’, ‘web royalty’, the man who literally changed the way knowledge is distributed and accessed all across the globe. Today, he is introduced by Bristol Pro Vice-Chancellor Guy Orpen as simply a “legend of the modern age.” Jimmy Wales, or ‘King Jimbo’ as he is referred to in Wikipedia circles, presents a confident, affable demeanour on stage, his all black clothing contrasting with the blasting white of the projection screen; for some reason a digital Johnny Cash springs to mind. Bristol, with its historic links to the forefront of technology and industry and the present day large involvement with digital technology, seems like an appropriate venue for this talk on the ten year anniversary of Wikipedia. Wikipedia began as a complementary project of Nupedia, a more traditional online encyclopaedia written by certified experts and reviewed via a formal process. Wales, along with Larry Sanger (who met while arguing over philosophical objectivism online, fact fans) envisioned a site where articles could be created and edited by absolutely anybody, and originally it was thought that Wikipedia could act as a ‘feeder’ project for the more professional Nupedia. By the end of 2003, however, Wikipedia had reached 46 language editions and Nupedia’s servers were taken offline permanently, with its text being incorporated into its Wiki sister. So did Jimbo have any idea that the project would grow so exponentially when they started? “I was always very optimistic. I remember looking at a list of the top 100 websites online and seeing an encyclopedia site ranked 50th, and thinking that if we did a really good job, we might make it to the top 100 or maybe even top 50. Today Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website in the world.” It seems his optimism was well founded. When Wales surveys the sell-out crowd at the Victoria Rooms, every single person has used the site and somewhere between a third and a half have edited it as well. The 10th Anniversary celebrations are happening in Wikimedia chapters all across the globe; what is it that has so inspired people to take to it with such fervour? “I believe there is a natural human desire to want to share knowledge. I also think there is a natural human desire to hoard and hide knowledge. Somewhere in the balance is where life gets interesting, and for basic information about the

facts of the world, openness is the right way forward without any doubt.” Did he have any core principles that guided the progress of Wikipedia through the ten years? “The core vision statement that I have always held for Wikipedia is: ‘Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge’. That’s what we are doing. I have never deviated from that, I am proud to say.” I n h i s talk

Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we are doing

Wales paraphrases Charles Van Doren: “The ideal encyclopaedia should be radical. It should be anything but safe.” If anything, Wikipedia has also been a radical reimagining of how a massive organisation can function nearly all on volunteer contribution. The fifth most popular site on the internet, with 408 million unique visitors and 199 language versions with more than 1000 articles, employs only 50 people. Compare that with Google’s near 25,000 staff members and you can easily see that this is a radically different way of doing things. Where does the money come from? “We are funded primarily through small donations from people all over the world. We take great pride in this model. In order to make this work, we have to run a very efficient organization, and we do. We have around 50 employees now, and may grow a bit this year. But we intend to remain small and extremely efficient.” But it is the 100,000+ writers who really make up what Wikipedia is all about (the employees don’t do any actual editing of articles). Who these people are, what they do and what they know naturally affects the content of one of the globes major learning tools. Wales thinks it is primarily “techy nerds” like himself that dedicate their time to the free encyclopaedia, and he has the stats to back it up: 87% male, average age 26, double the amount of PhDs than the norm. This has led to some holes in the Wikipedia knowledge base, both in content and language. A study by the Oxford Internet

Photo: WiLLGT09 (WC)


Special feature 31

Photo: George Rowe

WesternEye 07.02.2011

Alex Stinson

Campus Ambassador

How many times have you used Wikipedia? Institute showed that most entries are written about North America, Europe, and East Asia; what is being done to address this? “We are opening our first office outside the United States in the coming year, in India. My passion is to see Wikipedia be strong in as many languages as possible, and we are turning more attention towards the languages of the developing world, to provide technical support, outreach support, etc.” In his talk Wales also bring up the often terse subject of China. Wikipedia was blocked for three years in the notoriously controlling Eastern state; it was finally being unblocked, albeit with some restrictions, before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. There is, for example, no point searching for Tianamen Square, where between 400 and 800 protestors were massacred in 1989, on Chinese Wikipedia. The nature of how a Wiki (a website that allows creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser) works has had its critics, with accusations of systemic bias and a tendency to accept consensus over researched fact. Does Mr. Wales think that this is an inherent problem of ‘crowdsourcing’? “Well, I don’t like the term ‘crowdsourcing’ so I never use that word. For me, we should always been keenly concerned about questions of systemic bias, always looking for ways to correct it, and always careful that we aren’t blindly allowing for a premature view of consensus to prevent positive change. The problem with the term ‘crowdsourcing’ is that it misses the heart of what Wikipedia is: a community of thoughtful people in a dialogue and discussion about how to neutrally present the facts of the world.” There are other projects out there with a similar ethos to Wikimedia. One example is Bristol’s own ARKive project, an attempt to catalogue all the endangered species on the globe, and championed by another affable nerdy type, Sir David Attenborough. Wales is trying to something similar with the Wikispecies project, except with all species, and sees Wikimedia as a potential umbrella which everything could form partnerships under. “Our basic partnership strategy these days is to work very often through the local chapters - these are local volunteer organizations who do outreach and collaboration with institutions all around the world. Wikimedia UK is a relatively new and exciting chapter, and I expect you’ll be hearing a lot about them in the coming year!” There are other varied outreach projects being implemented by the Wikimedia Foundation, attempting to enhance the knowledge base of Wikipedia. One such project that has really taken off in the United States is the Wikipedia Ambassador program, which is an effort to help new users and reach out to new potential contributors—particularly professors who want to incorporate Wikipedia into the classroom, and their students who are assigned to edit Wikipedia articles under the auspices of the Wikiversity program [Confused? Take a look at the interview with Campus Ambassador Alex Stinson, right]. And how can budding UWE students, or indeed the University itself, get more involved with the Wikipedia/Wikimedia program? “The best way is to just.... get involved. Turn up at a meeting of the local chapter. Go on the website and start making edits and talking to people. We try to be friendly and helpful. Speaking more broadly, for institutional cooperation, I think the best avenue is generally to contact the local chapter and set up a meeting to discuss the possibilities in depth.”

Mr. Wales has also been attempting to catalogue all the exhibits, knowledge and information available in Galleries, Libraries and Museums through the GLAMwiki program. In this time of financial austerity, does he think it prudent for these generally public institutions to be giving away their secrets for free? “I think galleries, libraries, and museums have a very strong obligation to serve their mission to share and spread learning and culture. Sharing their work freely online is a great opportunity for them to generate interest and support from the general public, which will result in more museum and library visits and therefore more funding.”

Wikipedia is a community of thoughtful people in a dialogue and discussion about how to neutrally present the facts of the world

Wikipedia’s growth is slowing. It had to happen. When you have 9.25 million articles in 250 languages it becomes more difficult to find new areas that have not been covered. That by no means Mr. Wales is slowing down, however, and he sees the drought of articles in Africa as a next hurdle to overcome. “I think we are all about to be astonished in the next 10 years by what is going on with the growth of the Internet in the poorest parts of the world. In many places, Wikipedia will be the first serious access to much information that people have ever had. I think that’s remarkable. What is he most proud of in the first ten years of the phenomenon of Wikipedia, and what might he have done differently? “I am proud that we have maintained the independence and neutrality of Wikipedia as a core value. Of course, there are many things that I might have done differently, but nothing substantial, nothing core.” And finally, just to clarify for our readers, what is the relationship between Wikipedia and WikiLeaks? “There is no relationship of any kind between the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikileaks. Wikipedia is an effort to create a freely licensed high quality encyclopaedia in all the languages of the world. Wikileaks is a site which leaks documents. There is no relationship of any kind.”

Tell us a bit about yourself... I’m an undergraduate of James Madison University, Virginia, currently studying in the UK at Hertford College, Oxford. I’m a history and literature major back in the States, and have been a Wiki editor for two and a half years. How did you first get involved with Wikipedia? I had the intention of starting some kind of site on novels or literature or something, a place to take notes for my degree. So I thought, I want to take notes, and I know I use notes on my computer, so why not write Wiki articles that have really good citations. So I just started writing articles, I didn’t even look at the Wikipedia policies. I think I made some pretty big mistakes in my first couple of years. When the Public Policy Initiative launched the Ambassador programme I immediately went to the head and said I’d like to start a student organisation. I thought that Wikipedia should really be engaging students, and there’s a prolific amount of subject areas like history, literature, sociology, that are really poorly covered. Now, you have this venue where students who are passionate in a full active research kind of way can share information. Luckily I was working very close to the Wiki base and they offered to train me! How does the Campus Ambassador programme work? Campus Ambassadors (CAs) are Wikimedia volunteers that work on university campuses, developing teaching for new Wiki contributors, finding new people to get involved and helping the professors design assignments based around Wikipedia. It works in conjunction with the Wikiversity programme, which is a project devoted to creating learning resources, learning projects and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education. It is open to teachers, students, and researchers to join us in creating open educational resources. It’s great for your CV! How long has the program been going in the US? It’s only 7 or 8 months old from the conception that was publicly announced. What we’re really trying to do now is to reach out to the community and find out how we can improve the public opinions perspective. When people hear about it they think, yes this is a cool, exciting thing and we need to try it, we need to start writing papers. When I knew I was coming to the UK, I thought I would try and bring it with me! They’ve given me the thumbs up to try and start recruiting CAs at universities here, start up Wikipedia society at Oxford, and now other areas are getting in contact and hopefully the whole process will snowball. We want to make the program truly international, but we know we will have to reconfigure our strategy for different countries, and the UK is a good place to try that. What does the weekly working life of a CA entail? We expect our CAs to do 3 to 5 hours a week. There are two types really: those that are attached to professors, who would spend there time working with the professor and their class to better facilitate the creating and editing of good, neutral articles, and those that are more outreach workers, who try and push for student Wikipedia organisations at their university. How can we get involved? Email me! stinsoad@dukes.jmu.edu, or visit http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Campus_Ambassadors to get involved in something truly exciting!


Features Is it ‘business as usual’ in the former USSR?

Russia: back to the 90s

> On 30th of December 2010 one of the most influential Russian oligarchs and owner of the oil giant YUKOS, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was sentenced for the maximal charge of 14 years in a penal colon Yuliya Yegorova features@westerneye.net

I

n Mr Khodorkovsky’s last words before the verdict was given, he said he hoped that “the court will have enough courage” to make a decision of not guilty. The court case was being translated live on the Russian website ‘Radio Svoboda’ (Radio Freedom); Mr Khodorkovsky said: “I have to admit that for me, as for any other person, it is hard to live in prison and I don’t want to die here. But if I need to...my beliefs are worth giving my life for”. On 30th December, Khomovniki’s district court judge, Vladimir Danilkin, announced the verdict for Khodorkovsky and his former business partner Platon Lebedev. They were found guilty of money laundering: stealing 218 million tonnes of oil, and, therefore taking possession of 487 million roubles, and 7.5 million dollars. They were both sentenced to prison, and may not be released until 2017. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev have been in prison since 2005, and their first criminal case was raised in 2003. They were originally sentenced for tax evasion and fraud; their second and more recent cases were made public almost simultaneously. They are accused of plundering oil and receiving money from its sale. During Khodorkovsky’s imprisonment he enacted four hunger strikes. The first was declared in August 2005 to show solidarity with Lebedev being contained in a ‘punishment cell’, and the second was May 2006, protesting against its premise in a single chamber. At the end of January 2008 Khodorkovsky went on hunger strike again in a pre-trial detention centre in Chita, demanding a release from custody of seriously ill Vasily Aleksanjan (Vice Minister of “YUKOS”). The strike lasted for two weeks, and ended with the transfer of V. Aleksanjan to a civil clinic. In May 2010 Khodorkovsky went on hunger strike again, because the court considering the second case prolonged the term of his holding in custody. Mr. Khodorkovsky saw this action as contradicting the new law forbidding taking those accused of economic crimes into custody without sufficient evidence. To get any kind of justice, Khodorkovsky decided he needed to get the attention of the media. He knew that the ruling political powers in Russia were not interested in his release so that he could make further plans and changes. According to RiaNovosti, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said of Khodorkovsky’s imprisonment that “[that] thief should be in jail”. However, there seems to be parallels with the times of Stalin’s dictatorship, when getting rid of the potential rivals by any means necessary was the norm. The imprisoned oligarch was one of the rivals; a man not afraid of standing up for himself and against the dominating power, rather than fleeing the country. Khodorkovsky is not only rich and intelligent, but he had an enormous influence that may have challenged the current political system in Russia. His punishment to imprisonment until 2017 is still causing some controversial debate. Did his sentence have a political motivation, with a threat to the so called ‘democracy’, or did the judge send to prison an enemy of the nation and a man stealing money from the government? His lawyers claim the sentence to be political, while Mr. Khodorkovsky remains silent, possibly understanding that what he says will not make a difference. Some people see him as a modern ‘Robin Hood’ figure, stealing money from the rich (however, in this case the rich haven’t lost that much). Others argue that he is just one of the many oligarchs who are stealing money from the government and poor people. Fourteen years of imprisonment may not be enough for us to fully understand the true cause. If the main argument laid against him is ‘not paying taxes’, we all know that there are plenty of people and companies who do the same (Vodafone, anyone?), but not every guilty party is sent to prison. And Russia is by no means an exceptional country. It was also argued that by Khodorkovsky’s orders many

people were murdered in the early 90s. But here there is controversy again: most of people know the history of 1990s, a time when there was political chaos and it was impossible to control any of Russian mafias. It was rough, sanguinary times and all the ‘bad boys’ (now more glamorously titled ‘businessmen’) tried to expand their small businesses, get rid of their rivals and become a dominating authority within their specific region. The same things appear to be happening now, but it is not as widely known, and mafias have been transformed into the new forms of authorities.

From top: Mikhail Khodorkovsky, fellow prisoner Platon Lebedev, Khodorkovsky and Vladimir Putin in happier, less imprisoned times.

They were found guilty of money laundering: stealing 218 million tonnes of oil, and, therefore taking possession of 487 million roubles, or 7.5 million dollars

Talking of Mr. Khodorkovsky’s past, no one seems to be mentioning his recent political ambitions. Before being arrested for the last time, he was planning to get into Russia’s political life and make some radical changes in the political system. As well, Khodorkovsky had always supported opposition to Putin’s parties. He strongly believed that without competition Russia could not be called a democratic state. His main aim was to transform Presidential power into a Parliamentarian political system, as many still see Russian Federation as a dictatorship rather than a democratic state. The Presidential chair is seen to be hereditary rather than won by battling political parties. Boris Yeltsin became the first President of Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He was the one who appointed Vladimir Putin to be elected as the next President after him. In 1999 the Russian people fell in love with his authority and strong will, which led to him being re-elected in 2004. It was a time of some prosperity for Russia, as relations with other states started to get better and Russia no longer played the last role in the world of international politics. However, we should not forget that it was also the time of war (Afghanistan in 2001) and the disappearance of the best journalists working against his power (Anna Politkovskaya was supposedly murdered in 2006 because of her strong political objectives). Before his ruling ended, Dmitry Medvedev became Putin’s ‘right hand’ and it became blatantly obvious to everyone who would become the President in 2008. It is no surprise then, having such power, great authority and influence on people, everything went to Putin’s plan; Medvedev became the President, not forgetting who he had to thank for the role – his good friend Putin, who was subsequently appointed to be the Prime Minister not long after the Presidential elections. Having such a democratic system, I wonder if these people, who feel comfortable with their positions, have any need or want for someone who wants to change it all. Having ex-KGB, and now Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, the ex-chairman of board of directors of the Gazprom company and now the President of the Russian Federation, as the main authorities who seemingly set their own rules, regulations and preferences, it was no surprise really that a witty businessman such as Mr Khodorkovsky, with his ambitions, had no chance of standing against their power. We can only guess what will happen in the future. Will Khodorkovsky be stay in prison imprisoned as long as Vladimir Putin is in power?

All photos from the Press Center of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev


Special feature 33

WesternEye 07.02.2011

The UK once again grinds to a standstill because of some cold rain...

The beginnings of peace

> Recent developments in Northern Spain show that the Basque separatist organisation ETA is ready to call a cease fire. But is this promise genuine and for how long will the peace last?

Alec Herron features@westerneye.net

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ollowing a video statement released publicly to the Spanish media, and then the rest of the world on the 10th of January, the Basque separatist organisation ETA affirmed their commitment to a “permanent, generally and internationally verifiable ceasefire”. The video has created optimism in Spain, a country currently struggling with one of the weakest economies in Europe and high levels of unemployment. The video, recorded in Spanish and Euskera, the language of the Basque people, shows three black-uniformed figures, sat at table in front of an Axe and Snake - the renowned symbol of the outlawed organisation. White cloth masks the faces of the three “Etarras” below the traditional Basque beret, as they announce a lay down of arms. However, they still define their continued ambition to push for an independent, socialist Basque state. ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, translated as “Basque Homeland and Freedom” in English) was established in the 1950’s, as a youth nationalist movement against the Francoist dictatorship that ruled over Spain. It outlawed all symbols of Basque identity, including use of their language “Euskera”, the oldest in Europe, and any public displays of Basque symbolism. Such as traditional dances, parades and the hoisting of the green and red “Ikurriña” flag of the Basque people. Since then, ETA has killed 829 people and injured thousands more, both in Spain and France, mainly within the Basque region. The group has been recognised as a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, and has over 700 members incarcerated in prison across Spain. The organisation operates from varying covert locations in both France and Spain, with a structure that is believed to be splintered into eleven branches to distort police infiltrations. The group’s main aim is to force the Spanish and French governments on the matter of self-determination for the Greater Basque Region “Euskal Herria”, which covers four provinces of northern Spain and three in the south of France, as well as amnesty for all currently detained members of ETA. In the past, the organisation has used armed violence, including kidnapping, to highlight their stance. Whilst claiming to only fight those who are “enemies of the Basque people”, many civilians have been hurt and killed through their attacks

Whilst claiming to only fight those who are “enemies of the Basque people”, many civilians have been hurt and killed through their attacks that have taken place on streets, in supermarkets and airports

that have taken place on streets, in supermarkets and airports. Several full time staff are currently held on its pay roster, for which the funds arrive often through extortion, which the group deems a “revolutionary tax”. Frequently ETA demands money from business owners in Spain or France under threats to themselves and their families. Though the scale of violence perpetrated since the organisations bloodiest period during the 70s and 80s has declined. In the last five years, “only” twelve lives have been

taken in the name of ETA, the last being a French guard killed in a shoot out with ETA members near Paris. Perhaps the group’s most infamous assassination was that of the Prime Minister of Spain and apparent heir to Franco’s dictatorship, Luis Carrero Blanco, in 1973. Four ETA members placed 100 kilograms of explosives in a tunnel under a Madrid street, through which Blanco’s car would pass whilst returning home from mass. The explosion was so powerful that the car was catapulted over an adjacent five-story building and landed on a second floor balcony on the other side. It is seen by many as triggering the spiral of events that led to the transition to democracy for the whole of the Spanish state.

addressing assemblies in the complicated Basque tongue. Despite denying links between the peaceful political organisations and ETA, the Spanish government pushed through court procedures to dismember the popular political party Batasuna. It usually gains around 15% of the vote in the Basque Autonomous Community, by claiming links and even dual membership between key members of Batasuna to ETA. The outlawing of such parties is seen by many as hypocritical of the Spanish government, following the deadly “dirty war” of the 1980’s between the illegally organised death squads “GAL” Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación, in English Antiterrorist Liberation Groups, created by the government to fight ETA. The group was colluded in, carrying out several murders,

Three ‘Etarras’, dressed in traditional Basque berets, announced the lay down of arms

The ETA was also involved in the kidnap and countdown assassination of Miguel Ángel Blanco in 1997. The conservative Spanish Partido Popular party politician was kidnapped by ETA members, who then demanded the beginning of the transferral of all ETA prisoners to prisons in the Basque Country within 48 hours. As the deadline drew closer, the Spanish and Basque people took to the streets to display one of the largest mass demonstrations ever seen in the country. Their efforts though were in vain, as soon as the deadline passed Blanco was shot in the back of the head twice, with his hands tied behind his back. ETA’s armed groups usually contain their arms and explosive making materials in forest tunnels or undisclosed attics. In the past propaganda videos have been released by the organisation, showing the military and assassin training of ETA members, using real firearms. Though consisting of many members, and support in many cities and towns in the region, civilian support of the radical separatist group is not overwhelming. According to the University of Deusto, which has its campus in Bilbao, one of the main cities of the Basque region and an area that has witnessed several ETA attacks, 64% of people who describe themselves as a Basque citizen reject ETA completely, 10% agreed with ETA’s ends but not their means, and only 1% gave ETA total support. During the last decade several political parties were founded to continue the Basque quest for independence from Spain, an emotion that is held strongly amongst many Basque people, who do not see themselves as Spanish, instead identify much more closely with Basque heritage and customs. Several of these parties were outlawed during the last decade, including Batasuna (Unity in Basque) and Askatasuna (Freedom), for having supposed links to ETA. This factor which could well have led to the successful election to power of the independence-opposed: current “lehendekari” Basque regional president, Francisco Javier “Patxi” López Álvarez. Although he was born and raised in the Basque Country, he struggles when

kidnappings and torturing of suspected ETA members and supporters, many of who turned out to be innocent civilians. So is this latest offering of an olive branch a real step towards a peaceful discussion on the issue of Basque independence, or are ETA just biding time to rebuild and restructure internally, following the arrest of several prominent figures in the group during the last few years? In the days following the release of the latest video from ETA, the Spanish government, headed by socialist President Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero, claimed the group have not gone far enough for the Government to accept a truce. Speaking on Spain’s Antena 3 television channel, he claimed the “definitive end” to ETA is what the Government demanded. Moreover, Spain’s Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcada had claimed ETA to be as “arrogant as ever”, no doubt hoping for a complete downing of arms from the organisation. It was also revealed that only two months before this latest ceasefire was announced, ETA members had voted in favour of continuing with arms, stating that the group’s political and military strategy was “unquestionable”. Ten people were detained by the countries Guardia Civil in the eight days following the announcement of the ceasefire, for alleged links to the separatist group. The Spanish government seems determined to stand unwavering and united with its opposition parties in calling for the complete disbandment of ETA. Any true ceasefire will be widely accepted, not only by the Spanish and Basque people, but also the wider of communities of Europe and the world. The government, however, has effectively rejected the truce, undoubtedly still licking its wounds from the collapse of the 2006 ETA ceasefire, which had opened the path to government negotiation, but eventually ended with the bombing of the Madrid Barajas Airport, in which two South American immigrants were killed.


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Special feature 35

WesternEye 07.02.2011

The UK once again grinds to a standstill because of some cold rain...

It’s snow problem!

> In the United Kingdom, snow is somehow seen as both a wonderful playground and chilly Armageddon. Why are we so inept at dealing with it, and why can most of Europe cope just fine? Ashleigh Searle life@westerneye.net

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Last year, a cousin of mine named Phillipe moved over to Switzerland; when he subsequently returned for Christmas he had nothing but contempt for the British and their abysmal efforts regarding the weather. In Pillipe’s opinion, he had luckily escaped the dismal British response to adverse weather conditions. I realise this all sounds terribly shady and Von-Trapp family-esque, but they did have a point. When you compare the Swiss snow defences to the British, ours more than pales in comparison. The majority of the daily visited Swiss websites flag up weather warnings, so everyone knows whether it’s safe to drive, and most of the time it is. In Switzerland the country is prepared weeks in advance, with snow ploughs, winter tyres; a much better infrastructure. Every night vehicles plough all the roads, even small tracks and residential roads; they then rinse the roads with a saline solution, to reduce the risk of ice and then grit. This continues throughout the day, on roads, pavements and even train platforms. Compare this to London, where Boris’s 90,000 tons of grit did well, very little, and the trains and tubes were stopped at 7pm. For those students who are drivers, I wish to draw another comparison to our Swiss friends. Whilst sliding down Park Street in the early hours may seem unavoidable, it’s often not, and there are many things the European’s do that we don’t. For example winter tyres: you dress yourself for winter so why don’t you do the same for your car? Winter tyres aren’t cheap, but the very expensive risk of skidding and crashing is greatly reduced. In no country in Europe are they compulsory, but in Switzerland, everyone has them. Drivers also generally carry a shovel, blankets and food in their cars in case they get stuck. Surely though, we know all this; we hear it on the

Photo by Paul Walker (CC)

have something to admit. I hate driving. I really do, especially in this city, in winter. I know, how female of me? Or just, how British? A few mornings of de-icing the car for ten minutes and careful manoeuvring out of spaces and we’re all ready to up-sticks and escape to somewhere warmer. Except we can’t, much like last winter, the majority of airports declared a state of emergency and millions of people were told to return home or wait for another flight. Two winters ago this was acceptable in our usually mild climate, or just another case of English eccentricity and over cautious natures dominating how we live our lives? It seems to be a mixture of both, combined with an overzealous media desperate to make us aware of the perils of stepping out of our own front doors. The arctic temperatures and treacherous conditions brought Britain to a standstill last month. Whilst much of the countryside was transformed into a winter wonderland, the countries airports and roads were awash with travellers desperate to get home or away. But whilst Europe suffered a similar fate to ours, it was the British Government who were predominantly targeted for a lack of preparation and resources with which to battle the conditions. Of course the extent of the bad weather and the depth of the snow were no doubt serious, but is it really the responsibility of the Government to pay for these infrequent weather conditions? In an interview in December, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson urged people to be patient and stressed that the government were “doing their best” to clear the snow from the major roads and airport runways. So whilst the snow was slowly moving from being a national treasure to a national disaster, the Government were crumbling under the pressure of having to spend their precious savings on salt and grit. Poor Boris was even heard mentioning to an aide “I may well be in trouble for this,” after he boarded a flight to Zurich to oversee Britain’s World Cup bid instead of remaining in London to oversee the relief efforts. In mainland Europe the situation wasn’t much better. In Germany the icy roads contributed to more than two thousand car crashes, and over a thousand people were evacuated from Charles de Gaulle in Paris airport after fears that the 60cm (24 inches) of snow on the roof would lead to its collapse. In Lithuania, the freezing conditions and heavy rains lead to nearly eight inches of ice on the roads and thirty-five inch snowdrifts, but little of this was reported on an international level. With Boris Johnson’s mind full of footballs and David Cameron’s full of fire extinguishers being thrown off buildings, is it any wonder we have little preparation for the conditions?

With Boris Johnson’s mind full of footballs and David Cameron’s full of fire extinguishers being thrown off buildings, is it any wonder we have little preparation for the conditions?

news, read it in the papers and most likely our dearest Mothers tell us about the dangers of driving on ice. But still we don’t prepare. Do we need more shock tactics? The answer is yes, Phillipe informs me: “We are shown graphic images of the aftermath of car crashes and accidents. This not only warns people of the danger, but the picture stays with you. Therefore everyone is more than happy to invest in their own safety and

‘Chaos’ on the roads convenience.” It would be understandable for Britain to invest less time and money into preparing the country for snow; we are so infrequently frequented with it. But the problems run deeper than this. Britain is less prepared not only because we don’t have the money, but because we don’t have the infrastructure to support the weather. The railways in England are the only in Europe still using the third rail, a system that is terrible in bad weather, especially snow. We also don’t have snow ploughs and gritters and winter tyres. But with all the money the country has lost from being unprepared, surely investing is a better option? In the opinion of many UWE students the best way to handle these extreme conditions is to plan ahead: “It seems the government have little regard for our safety at these times. They are more concerned with saving money than helping us be safe and get home for Christmas” said Alice Raines, 22, studying Business Management. In order to really change the way we cope with snow, we need to change our mindset, we need to pay heed to the early weather warnings, prepare our homes and our cars and remember not to drive unless it’s completely necessary. If, as is predicted, the freezing weather will return this month and next winter, it is up to us to take the necessary precautions. Make sure you fully equip your cars, grit your drives and stock up your freezers in case you get snowed in. It seems this is a case of prevention being better than cure, but with the all important matter of our tuition fees taking precedent and cuts being made seemingly everywhere, those Government funded snow ploughs seem to be a long way off.


Bristol & UWE

Sport

UWE Lions savage Oxford >Ice Hockey team storms to a comprehensive 19-2 away victory as the UWE Lions title challenge gathers pace Gareth Reid sport@westerneye.net

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he ‘UWE University Lions Ice Hockey Club’ could be the new poster-boys for UWE sport this year. Whipping up a storm and leaving more established teams in their wake in the BUIHA Southern Division 2 winning all-but-one of their games they are sitting clear atop of the table! Last weekend saw the Lions biggest win of the season, beating the Oxford Vikings to a devastating 2-19 defeat on their own ice. Even with depleted numbers, the Lions dominated play throughout with good passing, team play, speed, and unbridled aggressive determination that saw the Vikings struggle to gain any foothold in a match epitomising true Lions’ team spirit. The effort from all players was evident, with special praise going to an experienced and determined display given by the backbone of the team in defence who ensured the shot count against confident and calm rookie goaltender Rich Feist was kept to a minimum. However, their efforts were not limited to shot-blocking only as they turned to scoring some fine goals seemingly at will. By the end of the second period the game was all sown up with a score-line reading 1-11 in favour of the Lions. But, with stern words of encouragement spoken in the final interval, the team were determined to push for more

Lion’s James Callum finds the net in the 19-2 drubbing goals and completely break the will of their opponents. Building on last season’s efforts, where the Lions battled hard in only their second season in existence in

typically the most evenly contested division of university ice hockey, the team has set clear goals from the outset for 2010/11: Win the BUIHA Division 2, win the Division 2 National

WesternEye tries...Snowsports > In our regular feature, reporter and broadcaster extraordinare Lulu Vallano catches up with the Snowsports club

Lulu Vallano sport@westerneye.net

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ell, I can’t really say that I only “tried” Snowsports. It is not very professional for journalists to be involved in what they write about, you know, some sort of job ethics and objectivity obligation. But I have to confess, I live Snowsports, I breath Snowsports, I even dream about it most of the time. Trying the UWE Snowsports club is adopting it; it’s becoming addicted to a rare lifestyle. Of course, trying Snowsports is not like trying your usual University sport. Obviously impossible to train on campus, unlikely as well to find long-lasting snow on the steep Bristol hills. What do they do then you may ask? Well, they drive 24 hours to go to their competitions. They also drive some other 3 hours to go to Snow Domes, where they bake Domino’s pizzas, which is clearly a plus. But the Snowsports club members don’t really care about the

distance, they care about sensation! All these hours spent on dry slopes to perfect a decent carve is worth it. The Snowsports experience, either on dry land or in the snowy Alps, is unique and exciting. There is no need to say that beginners are more than welcome to learn this exceptional skill with qualified professionals at the weekly training. Indeed, the club takes its members to the Gloucester dry slope every week to sharpen edges, skills and talents. And it’s only 30 minutes away! So close you’re exclaiming! Furthermore, the experienced skiers and boarders benefit from a free, yes free, gym session. How serious of

them! They seem to train very hard don’t they? Well, don’t be fooled by all these squats, press ups and other slalom runs, trying Snowsports is also embracing its social side. And they are said to be the craziest club on campus! I can confirm this rumour, they absolutely are. In fact, there is a hidden competitive category within Snowsports: après-ski. You might believe that the beginners are the best at this sport but you are misguided, for competitors are as fierce at the bar as they are on the fresh snow. Where do these newcomers fit in this koi pond of awesomeness? Don’t worry, new snowboarders and skiers, even if you are really bad at snowsports (which I am not, I am badass) you still can make the most of your snowsports time mingling, drinking and falling on your bum, in short, having a blast! If you still need to be convinced to try this extraordinary club, honestly, what other club can top a week of snow, croissants, cheese, sun and fun in the French Alps? The Surf club maybe…next on my list!

Championships and put on a show for their loyal fans while doing so! The reasons for their current success and giant steps forward can be put down to a number of factors. The addition of new players mixed with old heads in the forwards eager to prove themselves has only further served to catapult the team to new heights. Led upfront by talismanic centre James Callum (the team and league leading goal scorer), a rich vein of scoring form has been found in every game so far. Even the new boys are getting in on the act most notably with Bjørn Nøstberg adding 14 goals in 4 games. However, with a largely unchanged squad, the defence and core of the team, comprised of Captain Mike Fraser, Geoff Tivendale, Jim Larkham and Adam Reeve, have now had two seasons gelling together and intense competition reflected in their uncompromising approach to the game in which they rarely if ever find themselves bested either physically or skillfully. There is rarely a moment in which their influence is not left on a game, and this was particularly seen in the Oxford game in which they not only kept goals conceded to a minimum but also contributed in front of goal. The greatly intensified training regime of new Captain and coach, Mike Fraser, has also been paramount to the Lions’ high class performance this season and fundamentally altered the way the team views each game. This intensified training regime,

according to Fraser, is aimed at one thing and one thing only “winning the overall Division 2 title and taking home the National Championships”; a goal which certainly seems more than a mere pipe-dream should the team continue to perform as consistently high as they have. Many of the new team members have also noted the incredible home support and fan base the club has behind it, citing it as a direct cause for some inspired performances; Alex Hobern a team freshman quipped “it’s fantastic to see such support at every home game. Playing in front of 200 people really gives you a drive to perform beyond your limits!” Each home game has seen well in excess of 100 people in attendance creating an atmosphere unrivalled in many other more established university sports. And with more upcoming homes games against Nottingham University (23/3/11), Oxford University (9/3/11) and the London Dragons (23/2/11) there is still plenty of opportunity to see your team in action, so get down to the Bristol ice rink on those dates to watch the fastest team sport on Earth!

Report on your team sport@ westerneye.net

Water Polo win tournament > UWE’s first league champions of the season in BUCS Tier 3D Tournament

Sports Desk sport@westerneye.net

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n unbeaten tournament run and a first championship for a UWE team this year, the men’s waterpolo team stormed the West Conference 3rd division to secure their place in the knockout stages. After comprehensive victories against Marjons (9-3) and Aberystwyth (10-5), the league was tightly poised going into the final game against Gloucestershire, with a win for either side being enough to make them champions. Committee Vice President Sam Bailey admitted that the pressure was on in the title deciding match but the team held their nerve, and romped to a 10-3 win, with Bailey claiming “we managed to score early on and were very disciplined throughout the game” Following a perfect league campaign, Bailey told the WesternEye “Everyone on the team

was elated to come away with three big wins as it has been an up and down season for us. Everyone stepped up for these big games though and we showed fantastic team spirit” Next up is the knockout stage, taking place at the end of February. Other regional champions will compete and the team will be looking to capitalise on this tournament win.


WesternEye 07.02.2011

Passion for Pole fitness

Sport 37

> A plethora of showcases and events mean 2011 is looking bright for one of UWE’s best supported societies Kayleigh Hole sport@westerneye.net

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re you a member of the UWE Pole Fitness Society? As a member are you aware of all the fantastic opportunities available to you this term? If the answer to the first question is no, are you at all interested in the UWE Pole Fitness Society? Then keep reading! This term is set to be another awesome and action packed extravaganza, with events, showcases, competitions, fundraisers – the lot! Here is just a little peek at what’s on offer and how you can support one of the biggest and most welcoming societies’ UWE has to offer! Kick starting 2011, UWE Pole Fitness have been working hard and would like to present to you; L’AMOUR DE POLE. This is an amazing opportunity for some of the society’s members to demonstrate their skills, at a level most comfortable to them. UWE and Bristol’s Societies combine our passion for pole in our unique Valentine’s showcase, being held at Eton on Thursday 17th February. Be prepared to witness moves you previously thought were impossible with heart stopping routines and love themed performances, you will be amazed – we guarantee it! Bring along friends, family and partners for a night of sheer entertainment and skill. Ticket information and further details can be found by checking out our facebook event (search L’Amour De Pole). To make it even more

Dancers are in pole position exciting, tickets are only £5.00 and if you buy over ten you can receive an online discount. Although tickets are available from the door, they are

limited so buy online to make sure you don’t miss out on one of THE events of the year. If you are a society member and fancy grabbing yourself

a free ticket, then why not volunteer to be a helper for the showcase. We are looking for six helpers to include two ticket collectors, two pole cleaners and two runners to help the evening run smoothly. If you are interested please email uwepolesoc@live.uwe. ac.uk and state which helper you would prefer to be. Not only do our members have this fantastic opportunity, but we’ve signed up with Bristol to enter an inter-university competition. The competition has categories for all abilities and while there are set rules and regulations, we’re confident that our competitors are going to be returning with a few prizes and smiles from ear to ear. Not only are our members overcoming performance nerves, altitude sickness and some good old fashioned bruising, but this event allows each performer the chance to wow some of the UK’s best pole performers, who complete the judging panel. If you want to come along and support our beautiful performers, the competition is being held at Cardiff University on 19th March 2011. But it doesn’t stop there! March is set to be one of this term’s busiest months with a collaborative fundraising event ‘UWE Bares All’ a number of societies and clubs, including UWE Pole Fitness Society. We’re also in the process of organising an Events Evening for the Pole Society, with dinner, wine, a gigantic raffle and of course the awards. We recognise how hard our members work and believe they deserve to

have an evening of entertainment where they can be the audience for a change. More details to follow so keep your eyes peeled. To top it off, we are going to be putting on some fundraisers of our own and although we know you’re all students, this is open to everyone to come along and help support us in our challenge of getting Pole Fitness recognised as a sporting skill, rather than a money maker! Don’t forget that it is never too late to join our society and to eradicate any fears that the academic year has already started; we’ve put on a shiny new beginner’s class especially for you! Open to both men and women, pole fitness aims to improve strength, confidence and general wellbeing. A fitness class with a twist to combine health with fun, why exercise any other way?! If you would like any more information, you are welcome to contact uwepolesoc@ live.uwe.ac.uk or visit the Spin City Pole Fitness website. If you have a passion for pole and would love to be the face of pole for the academic year 2011/2012, why not put yourself forward for a position on the Committee. The elections are due to take place in February and more details can be attained by contacting us on the email address above. This term is set to be exciting, fresh and like nothing we have done before. Your support on our journey of success is much appreciated and we look forward to seeing you at some of our events!

Windsurf’s up-date

> Race days, victories and local pubs as the Windsurfers review some of their big events and competitions

Alex Wullschleger Arnold sport@westerneye.net

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e have started off this year with huge goals of beating as many other uni’s as possible. Our first event was Aussie Kiss 9 on Oct 22nd-24th, this left us one month of training at Bowmoor Sailing Club. Until this week we’ve been down to the lake every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday all day. This has given the opportunity for our beginners to get to a very respectable level ready to start racing. The Student Windsurf Association (SWA) is in charge of running all the events, in total there are 5 core events and 3 wave events. Each core event has races in individual, boys, girls, advanced, intermediate and beginner as well freestyle. Aussie Kiss 9: We got down to AK Friday night, registered our 24 UWE windsurfers for the event and joined the rest of the UK’s windsurfers at the bar. Friday night has increasingly become just as messy as the Saturday night fancy dress. Saturday morning saw excited fresher’s up early, eager to get down to the lake but not after a bacon butty and a cup of tea. Saturday is the day for all the beginners to get on the water and have some expert tuition and for the

intermediates and advanced there were clinics run by pro windsurfers. The evening got underway early as everyone gets changed into each uni’s shot-gunned emergency themed fancy dress, with a beer in one hand and face paint in the other. It’s a rush to get ready in time to grab a pint and hit the dance floor before the band finishes. It was a messy night with most windsurfers relying on photos to recall the night. Race day Sunday, everyone puts in a massive effort to get hyped and off to the lake. With not much wind the decision was made to get the competitions underway. First off the freestyle, UWE need to work on our presence in this as none of us competed. Next up team racing, this year we have somehow landed ourselves an ex RSX racer Charlie Money, the best a windsurfer can get. We intimidated the other teams by being the only team wearing old style seat harnesses. Needless to say we dominated, as the next closest rivals sent their last racer off from the beach to round the mark we had won. We also won best beginner (Emily Jay) and the Taffy Osborne outrageous behaviour award went to Nathan Lindop. 1st UWE team (Nathan Lindop, Charlie Money, Alex Arnold)

Sun, sea and surf...and wind

2nd Southampton 3rd Cardiff Perfect end to a messy weekend. Next Up Nottingham’s PondLife (Nov 12th-14th) …. Standard setup, very similar to AK 9 apart from instead of sleeping in caravans we stay in Nottingham’s windsurf members houses. Friday registration and drinking, training for Saturday. Everyone wakes up hits the lake this event is more of a free for all, beginners grab any kit they find and advanced either rig their kit up or pick some up from SWA sponsors Boardwise. Once everyone is suitably cold and

exhausted its back to their warm houses for pre ordered pizza followed by getting changed into their West End fancy dress. This all adds up to yet another crazy night of shenanigans. Sunday at the lake brought another competition day where UWE walked away with; 1st in boy’s advance racing (Nathan Lindop) 1st in girl’s beginner racing (Nia Humphreys) 2nd in team racing (Nathan Lindop, Charlie Money, Rupert Elphick) Exeter RaveX wave event (Nov 26th-28th) Wave events are a much smaller

closely knit group of windsurfers; this event UWE had three windsurfers going, Thomas Malin, Peter Wood and Alex Arnold. We drove down through ice and snow in Pete’s van with an iPhone for entertainment. The weekend had looked unbelievably windy and wavy but the forecast just kept getting more and more marginal. Saturday saw wave sailors hit the water for the competition on the biggest boards we could get our hands on. Peter and I competed along with a lone Bristol Uni windsurfer who we had taken under our wing. It was Icelandesque. We got off the water dropped our kit off and hit the pub to get warm. By the time we got back to the house for Dominos, the UWE party team had arrived consisting of Bob McArthy, Kate O’Flynn, Jodie Rimmington, Nia Humphreys and Laura Longley. This party dedicated team brought life back to the largely male dominated wave windsurfers and were very welcomed by everyone. As there was no wind the next day Sunday was a day for a warm pub. 1st SJ Southampton 2nd Alex Arnold UWE 3rd James Goss Bristol Interested in joining? Contact: nathan2.lindop@live.uwe.ac.uk Website: http://www.uwesu.net/windsurf


38 Sport

WesternEye 07.02.2011

Kickboxer’s striking gold

> UWE team look ahead to PUMA Southern Championships, aiming to capitalise on end of year flourish Tom Moore sport@westerneye.net

N

ovember 2010 saw teams of UWE Kickboxers compete in (and win!) the GTI, PUMA and NITA British Championships respectively as well as putting forward individual fighters for full contact bouts in Bristol in December. Club President Tom Moore finished off his winning streak in 2010 with not one but three gold medals in the GTI British Championships in Cheltenham on 6th November, successfully defending his title for the third consecutive year. Led by Captain Upkar Singh Lally and accompanied by lead instructor Mr. Phil Whitlock, an inclusive team of 8 UWE Kickboxers made their way to Swindon on 21st November for the PUMA British Championships, fielding in excess of over 800 competitors. The tournament was the largest of its kind in over 4 years and fielded fighters from as far away as Norway. Despite being the first tournament for many, UWE competitors took 6 podium positions and medals on the part of 8 fighters. Some very close fought contests ensued with several UWE fighters meeting their Bath University rivals through the heats in the men’s middleweight divisions. UWE tournament veteran Tom ‘hands of death’ ‘twinkle toes’

UWE’s Mens team, ready to kick you in the face. Maybe. Davies comfortably secured gold in the men’s light middleweight advanced division and was awarded a British Title for his trouble. Lead instructor Phil Whitlock kept UWE and Bath on even footing with victory in a spectacular showdown with former Bath Kickboxing Instructor Jasper Chow in the men’s heavyweight black belt final to also gain another British Title. The list of UWE entrants and results are as follows; • Phil Whitlock (Instructor/ coach) PUMA Men’s

• • • • •

Heavyweight British Champion - Continuous Tom Davies PUMA Men’s Middleweight red belt British Champion - Continuous Pete Jones Men’s middleweight blue belt bronze - Continuous Owen Dodds Men’s middleweight blue belt bronze - Continuous Upkar Singh Lally - Men’s middleweight yellow belt silver - Points Simon North Men’s lightweight yellow belt silver -

Points • Alex Evans • Tom Keeling The following weekend President Tom Moore led a small number of competitors through the rolling Welsh hills to compete in the NITA British Championships in Hereford. Despite being smaller in size, the competition was no less hard fought with UWE encountered strong opposition from competitors at Warwick University. Returning from injury, a beleaguered club President fought up a division and was forced into not one but two rounds of extra time in the men’s middleweight points final narrowly missing out on a British Title, UWE competitors also met each other in the heats and finals with Pete ‘Pedro’ Jones and Tom Davies scrapping it out for the first time since their bout at the Fresher’s Fair. The President and Vice President also fought off for third place on the podium in the men’s continuous sparring divisions resulting in a narrow win for the former via split decision. A rematch is surely on the cards! Finally UWE Kickboxers Tom Davies and Dave Norman completed the club’s recent success in Thai and full contact bouts at Broadplains boxing club on 12th December. A large portion of the UWE Kickboxing club were in attendance and screamed their lungs out as Davies put on a stunning display, sending his opponent to the

An interview with Tim Hallissey sport@westerneye.net

T

he seductive smile of a star columnist, the draw of a dramatic headline or the idea of a comforting read on your route to work; the newspaper, even amid the 24-hour media madness, remains relevant, offering reflection and inspection on the good, the bad and the ugly strife of every-day life. Turn to The Times and peer to the rear, where you’ll indulge in arguably the most erudite and entertaining sports section on the national press. A parish headed by Tim Hallissey. “I’ve never been a sports reporter,” he concedes. “It was only when I got a job here at The Times as a sub editor that I had ever worked on sport. I worked my way through and ended up as the sports editor six years ago,” adds Hallissey, who conducts an orchestra of award-winning writers. The section boasts a host of renowned correspondents like Oliver Kay, Patrick Barclay and Matt Dickinson, columnists such as Matthew Syed, that eloquent investigative observer of sport, while Simon Barnes, Neil Harman and Mike Atherton, the former England captain and foremost cricket correspondent, also hail and regale at The Times. “We certainly pride ourselves on having a very good writing team,” Hallissey says of the section’s scribes. “[But] even they would admit that there’s the odd ego or two that needs to be soothed, because they’re all very competitive people and everyone

wants to be on the back page or have the big spread. It usually works itself out in the end.” The back page is the end product in every sense, a consequence of meetings and a maelstrom of plans and ideas discussed back at the News International headquarters in London. Indeed each day of Hallissey’s is dynamic. “The editor [James Harding] has a general conference at 11 o’clock, which all the departments attend [and it] explains what they’re hoping to do that day. So that’s home news, foreign news, business, sport, opinion, pictures. And at 12:30 we begin planning the sports section. “The editor has another conference at four o’clock where all decisions

...the internet, the iPad, the Android - these possibilities are limitless

are made. From there, our first edition goes [to print] at 10:15pm. As news happens they [the pages] get chopped and changed. Things that you thought were really good at the start of the day turn out to be not quite so good. You shuffle it all around and hopefully produce some sort of

Got a question about UWE Sport?

Contact Nadia Harding, Sports President: sports.president@uwe. ac.uk

Cheerleaders want you!

> Sports Editor of The Times speaks exclusively to WesternEye Giles Lucas

canvas twice in less than a minute with brutal combinations of kicks and punches and an unforgettable flying right cross. Norman also won his fight with a solid performance and a granite chin, downing his opponent in the second round to complete the evening out for UWE. 2011 is already an even busier year for the club who recommenced their gruelling squad training sessions on 22/01 in preparation for the PUMA Southern Championships, GTI English Open, an invitational international tournament in Hereford as well as the forthcoming ITS British Championships. Whitlock and Davies also have an even greater number of full contact kickboxing bouts and instructors Phil and Mike Whitlock are also training hard in preparation for the PUMA World Championships to be held in March. UWE Kickboxers will also be in force at the Inter-University Kickboxing Championships hosted by Newcastle University on Sat 18th March.

Tim Hallissey, second from right, accepting an award

...to come to their night

Don’t miss out on this years ‘hottest’ event hosted by our very own UWE COMETS CHEERLEADING SQUAD! coherent newspaper at the end of it. “[While we’re also] running an up-to-the-minute website that is not just dealing with breaking news and interpreting and analysing that, but providing the other bells and whistles and extra added value that we can’t put in the paper but can work so well online – graphics, video and audio.” It’s a wonder what the old writers think of the make-up of the online set-up, esteemed erstwhile scribers such as Geoffrey Green and the perennially penning Brian Glanville and Hugh Mcllvanney. The days when you’d bark your copy over the phone are vanquished. Now reporters often file their first article for a blog or for breaking news not long after mid-day, after some have had their say on a weekly podcast like The Game. It’s going to be an internetdriven business,” observes Hallissey.

“Newspapers are a mature business, a hugely valuable and much-loved industry. [But] the internet, the iPad, the Android – those possibilities are limitless. That’s where a huge amount of thought and resources are going to be ploughed into.” With the ever-developing output in place, what qualities does Hallissey look for when employing a sports reporter? “What you want with sport is someone who is very knowledgeable, very passionate.” What else is important? Ideas and enthusiasm? “Yes,” Hallissey says. “And not wanting to be paid very much.” You may begin poor in money but should you be rich in hard work and earn lavish luck, landing a position on a title like The Times is far from unattainable, as Tim and every other top journalist will tell you – probably via twitter.

BRING IT ON...... AGAIN! Is being held at Rewind at Walkabout, Corn Street Bristol on Thursday 10th February from 10 pm. Tickets are a reasonable £5 each. There will be student priced drink and even a chance to win a cheerleader in the...

CHEERLEADER AUCTION!

Come along and support our very own cheerleaders at their event in order to send them to competition. Ask any cheerleader for tickets or contact Kayleigh on 07850363202. You can also buy tickets on the door but to secure your place for the AUCTION buy before you go!


Sport 39

WesternEye 07.02.2011

UWE sportsmen go all out for charity > Steve Wright memorial day, featuring the first Glenside Vs St Matts rugby match > 50K London Ultra-marathon for Combat Stress > 6 Nations tickets up for grabs in RAG auction

Ultra Marathon Men

Sports Desk sport@westerneye.net

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F

ebruary 20th will be an important day for many students and staff both past and present at UWE, particularly from Glenside and St Matt’s, as this will be the first Steve Wright Memorial Rugby Match. Taking place at Colston’s School, Stapleton, with kick off at 1pm, followed by a memorial service at Glenside Students Union and a party to celebrate Steve’s life to be held at Rewind, the top bar of Walkabout, in Bristol city centre. Steve Wright was a popular charismatic student on Glenside, with a passion for helping others. These qualities were best demonstrated by his organising and participation in the previous charity rugby matches Glenside hosted and it is in this manner that Glenside students wish to remember Steve. Sadly Steve was tragically killed in a climbing accident in Greece in September 2009, leaving many devastated friends and family behind. It was this loss that sadly drove his mum to take her life two months later. Therefore in memory of both Steve and his mother, Sherie, students from Glenside and St Matt’s will come together on February 20th to put on spectacular show with the aim to raise as much money for charity as possible. The charities chosen were done so to reflect the person Steve was; a caring, family orientated individual with a passion for sports. In light of this the first charity selected was The Compassionate Friends, who provide bereavement counselling and other support to parents, grandparents and siblings of loved ones. Steve’s friends and colleagues felt this was particularly appropriate due to the loss of Steve’s mother who was his number one supporter in his ambition

Steve Wright, who was tragically killed in an accident in 2009 to be a physiotherapist. The second charity is KIDS, which provides opportunities to disabled children. These opportunities included holidays that were often unobtainable due to the increased cost and services required to meet their needs. They also offer support to families through education and practical support, focusing on the big picture not just the child themselves. This also reflects Steve’s caring personality and his ambition to help others in his career choice. This is going to be a brilliant day,

with a charity raffle, light refreshments pitch side, a brilliant after party at Rewind. A real chance to embrace the rivalry between Glenside and St Matt’s all in memory of one of Glenside’s own. For further information or tickets to the evening event, costing just £3, please contact Millie Allen on Millie2. Allen@live.uwe.ac.uk.

t would take the heart of a soldier to run a Marathon; what if it was an Ultra Marathon? ll UWE students Marc May and Louis Macleod are going to soldier on through a 50km run across London on February 20th. They are running the London Ultra not only for their own personal achievement but for Combat Stress, a charity supporting our troops who suffer from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The charity helps rebuild the lives of troops that have suffered from their experiences of war after leaving the services. With 50km to run training is crucial to their success, both of them running four times a week from 10k up to 40km in preparation. Both will embark on their mission to London on the 20th to prepare and get a feel for how large London actually is compared to Bristol! They will be supported by Louise Card and Huw Jones who are also members of the UWE athletics team; they feel confident that they will be able to run the distance. Marc: “I have attended a number of 10k’s and half marathons but have run nothing above 22k, so it’s going to be a massive physical and mental challenge to get to the finish.” Marc served in Iraq for six months in 2007, which has given him a greater understanding of the psychological

effects of war and the people that the Combat Stress charity seeks to help. Louis stated: “I have never run a marathon and only began athletics in September, but I have full confidence that the end is achievable due to my overall fitness and training”. The run itself will be starting in Streatham and finishing in the Wembley area from North to South stopping is not an option and running tips from Forrest Gump will be of a great help to their success. Also a new pair of running trainers might keep them on their feet until the end! They have received sponsorship from Envira-Mech Services Ltd of Clevedon and UWE. Both will be proud to see this challenge accomplished for a worthy cause. Envira-Mech owner Terry Macleod “ I think they are running for a brilliant cause to support Combat Stress, and that with the help of my sponsorship it will show everyone that it is possible to travel across London by means other than by vehicle” The students are keen to get to their donation target of £2000. You will be able to donate through the following link: h t t p : / / w w w. j u s t g i v i n g . c o m / ultrarunlondon and you can also add them via Facebook and donate through their group.

For further information on either charity please visit: http://www.tcf.org.uk/ or http:// www.kids.org.uk/.

Win 6 nations tickets in ONE DAY ONLY raffle A

s part of RAG week fundraising all across UWE, the Students’ Union will be (amongst many other things) auctioning a pair of tickets to see England take on France, at Twickenham. The game takes place on Saturday 26th February 2011;

Marc May and Louis MacLeod

kick off at 5:00pm. The match, which will be England’s third of the tournament, will see them facing up against last year’s champions in what promises to be one of the highlights of the tournament. In no small part due to the dominance these 2 nations enjoyed during the 1990’s. England will be looking to regain the trophy for the first time since 2003 (their World Cup winning year too!) and start the competition a best priced 2/1 favourite with Coral. In an interview with SkySports, England full-back Ben Foden has been talking up his sides chances of victory.

"The top two is a realistic target but as a squad we are aiming for the number one spot. Anything less would be a failure in our eyes," said Foden. "We are a confident squad, we feel like we are going in the right direction. "We performed well in the autumn and we feel the next step for us is to challenge for the Six Nations The tickets go on sale AND the draw takes place on the 10th February. Tickets available from 9am onwards at all the campus bars. The draw will be held at escape bar, at 7pm. Money raised by RAG will be directly going to St Mungo’s, Sparks, Teenage Cancer Trust and Heartful Dodgers.

The home of multimedia sports reporting at UWE

www.westerneye.net



WesternEye - Issue 5 - February 2011