The one you’ve been waiting for. Full colour loveliness.
We here at qmunicate were so excited to hear about Wes Anderson’s 9th film that we decided to give you two reviews. There’s Paddy on the left and Kerr on the right (Their positions don’t reflect their politics). Continue reading
One of the youngest councillors ever to take a seat in Glasgow, Liam Hainey, faces losing his seat in the City Chambers, after an uncounted ballot box was found.
Contained within the ballot box are roughly 380 uncounted ballot papers, potentially enough to swing the result to the second SNP candidate for Langside, Alex Hewetson, who lost out by only 121 votes, on the 7th stage of counting.
Councillor Hainey, currently Honorary Secretary of the Queen Margaret Union and a Scottish Literature student completing his Junior Honours year, was behind Hewetson up until the Liberal Democrat candidate, Glasgow Party leader Paul Coleshill, dropped out. At this point he scooped up enough Lib Dem preferences to bypass Hewetson’s challenge.
According to information from the Scottish National Party, Hewetson has been resident in the Battlefield and Old Cathcart neighbourhoods for some 40 years, and the ballot box recovered is one from a Battlefield polling place. Whether this will give him the edge remains to be seen.
The ballot box itself was registered as containing 0 votes. The most important question here is not perhaps whether a council seat will change hands on Thursday, but how nearly 400 papers were misplaced for nearly a week after the count had ended. This mishap has occurred just days after the Electoral Office and the Council were congratulating themselves on a smooth count and job well done.
The biggest worry for sitting Councillors is that losing candidates may be perfectly within their rights to demand a recount of any other ward, but so far the Council appear to be insisting this is the only ward this could have happened in. Quite how they can be sure remains unseen. qmunicate can confirm that one losing candidate for East Centre has already launched enquiries into requesting a recount “in the interests of democracy”.
It was originally thought that the impact of these votes will not be known until Thursday with Councillor Hainey continuing his duties until a clarification of the result. However, Thursday is the same day as the first scheduled full meeting of the council, and had the possibility of leaving Hainey as one of Langside’s three representatives in attendance at the meeting, only to lose his seat hours later. The rerun of Langside’s count will now take place on Tuesday.
The delay between the error being discovered and a rerun of the count taking place is due to court approval being required before any recounts can take place.
Both the SNP and the Greens have suggested that the uncertainty, both for Councillor Hainey, and the residents of Langside is notuseful and look forward to the matter being cleared up as soon as possible.
Predictions from Glasgow City Council suggest that unless the voting pattern in this box differs wildly from all the others in the ward, Hainey’s seat is safe.
As you may or may not be aware, Thursday (the 3rd of May) is Local Council Election day. While this might not exactly thrill you into a state of excited frenzy, the council (or cooncil, as we say it where I come from) is important for students, controlling as it does vital aspects of student life, particularly housing. As such, the QMU held a hustings for the candidates for the Hillhead ward on Monday night, in an attempt to get them to answer the questions that students need answered.
Candidates from the five of the parties standing attended, from the Lib Dems (Kenneth Elder), the SNP (Ken Andrews), the Greens (Martha Wardrop), Labour (Pauline McKeevie) and the Conservatives (Richard Sullivan, actually standing in Shettlestone, not Hillhead). They were an eclectic bunch, for Pauline McKeevie, it was her first ever hustings, but some of the others were clearly old hands.
The hustings began with opening statements, during which the candidates made clear that they felt that the 30 year Labour stranglehold on Glasgow councils had to come to an end. Change was the word of the day, with even the Labour candidate acknowledging that it’s time for new blood, pointing out that both herself and the other Labour candidate running had never held a position before. That rang a little hollow though.
There was a worrying moment early on when the Labour candidate’s inexperience showed, and it seemed (to general dismay) that she may well just read from the manifesto all night. Thankfully, she realised that this would have been unpopular, and began to move away from prepared statements. However, it must be said that none of the candidates were particularly charismatic on stage(‘as a used hanky’ was one viewer’s comment).
The councillors were asked many questions, ranging from their views on renewable energy in an independent Scotland (which is a tad beyond the remit of a Glasgow councillor) to sectarianism in Scottish football. The candidates handled the questions with varying aplomb, although some of their comments (particularly those about renewable energy) drew increasing disbelief from an engineering student I was with.
The question of the day, however, was student housing. It’s no great secret that student housing in Glasgow is fraught with problems. One story recounted at the hustings was about someone’s kitchen ceiling falling in and the landlord taking no action to fix it in over six months. All of the candidates agreed that enforcement was the major problem, with existing legislation underutilised or not enforced to an appropriate degree. The SNP candidate was the most vocal in blaming Labour, who took fire from everyone. The candidate for the Greens, interestingly, took up the question with students who’d asked it, and arranged meetings with them after the hustings.
Something that was clear was that while Labour may talk big about change and their ‘100 point manifesto’, they’ve had thirty years in which to effect change, and they have, but rarely in a good way.
Interviewing candidates after the hustings, they seemed to have been happy with the event. A comparatively low turnout could be blamed on a lack of PR for the event, and frankly, we’ve all got exams to be studying for, but it ensured that those students who actually came along were interested in the election. I’ll admit I was surprised at the lack of animosity between the candidates, particularly the Tory candidate, who was far from the baby-murdering monster that Tories are often portrayed as in the West of Scotland. He was actually pretty sound, although admittedly, knowing he’s going to get gubbed might do that. Fatalism can have a wonderfully calming effect on people.
The comparative friendliness between candidates comes from the essentially co-operative nature of council politics. It also seemed like the candidates understood and responded to student’s issues, particularly the Green Party candidate.
Overall, the candidates felt the evening was a success. The students attending might still not be sure who to vote for, but the QMU provided us with a look at the candidates up close, as it were. The potential councillors in general lacked charisma on stage, but off were pretty much nice people. The Lib Dem guy was almost nice enough to make me forget Nick “Spineless Bastard” Clegg’s U-turn on student fees.
Anyways, vote for who you want. Just, please, do go out and vote.
After all, as a famous preacher once said, “I don’t care what you believe in, just believe in it.”
Shiny new issue of qmunicate on campus now! Including a big story on exactly how and why Glasgow’s art scene has been able to and continues to flourish. Only problem is, since publishing this new piece of legislation (commencing as of 1st April 2012) has been publicised, and it looks like it may threaten the future of Glasgow’s vibrant and thriving culture. We’ve signed the petition and reckon you should do: http://www.change.org/petitions/the-scottish-government-scrap-public-entertainment-licence-fees
Enjoy the issue!
The hotly anticipated Second Heat of the QM’s shiny new Battle of the Bands is mere days away! We got the qmunicate team to give you lucky lot a quick run down of what to expect and hopefully some more encouragement to come down on the night. The first heat was rammed with talent and if you missed it, you missed out. Tickets are £2 for QM members, £3 for everyone else and there’s nowhere we’d rather be on a Thursday. Have a listen to everyone below and get down nice and early to get some decent dancing room. The four bands you lucky lot are getting are below… Continue reading
Like getting up before 4pm on a Saturday, emptying a bin or refusing a free drink when it’s offered, watching live television is something a lot of students don’t do anymore. While home students have parents who can waste money on things like regular meals or a TV license, as a future scrounging academic living on his own I can’t be wasting perfectly good beer money on such things as the ability to watch television whatsoever.
Except for online, that is. Thanks to the internet, we can watch a whole array of television programmes, films and radio shows on catch-up services for free at our convenience. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 3am or in the middle of a lecture you can catch up on everything from Downton Abbey to The Only Way Is Essex.
The StaG production of Much Ado about Nothing transports the witty world of Courtly Love to a present day setting, in which every character is a thief. In an ingenious casting move (and a good way to counter the ye olde ‘not enough boys’ problem), brothers Don Pedro and Don Juan (the baddie of the piece) become no-nonsense crime boss Donna Pedro, and vulnerable bad girl, Josephine Pedro. The production was funny, alive and boasted a very good cast, however it was at times disjointed and unclear in terms of narrative.