‘My attitude to the press is a presumption that what the press says my attitude to the press is. is what it is, but that‘s not to say that it isn’t — by and large — negative.‘
[floquent actor-tamed-director Sean Penn reveals one of the reasons why he hasn't exactly been the media's darling over the years.
‘If you talk in the pubs or the factories or read the opinion polls. I think that it is Mrs Thatcher and myself who represent the mass opinion in the country.‘
Norman 'l‘ehbit shows that he 's as much in touch with the general public as he ever was.
‘We went for the ability to personify the hand. Ideally. we were hoping to find a very gnarled hand. a hand with a great deal of character.‘
David Rubin. casting director of The Addams Family. explains the difficulty of coating an ()scanworthy performance front five digits and a palm.
‘I‘vc said things in the past year and when l was saying them I knew they were crazy. It‘s the biggest mess I have got myself into.‘
Former Son of (iod David Icke refutes the apocalyptic predictions he made in his (ln'st-selling) book.
‘It was at the (il’l‘ that I saw my first male willy. in Ken Russell‘s Women In Love — an important part in any convent schoolgirl‘s upbringing.‘
Scottish actress ( 'lare (irogan reveals the educational qualities of Glasgow Film Theatre 's busy programme.
l l l
Terror tactics concmned
A recent spate of fire-raising attacks by supporters of the Animal Liberation Front has brought condemnation from medical researchers and animal rights groups. Alan Morrison discovers that such terror
tactics are likely to set back the animal protection campaigns by
n the past few weeks. eight arson attacks have been made on animal-related properties across Scotland. with targets ranging from chicken breeders in West Lothian to research centres in Banchory and Penicuik. Although no concrete statement of responsibility has been made as yet. the attacks bear the hallmark of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) who last week gave an ultimatum to the Reproductive Biology Unit at the Bush Estate near Edinburgh. claiming that. unless the unit closes down within four months. the ALF will destroy it.
This threat encouraged a joint statement of condemnation from the Medical Research Council. who run the unit. and Edinburgh-based campaigning group. Adocates for Animals. Only a few weeks ago. the latter published a report criticising the MRC for carrying out ‘cruel and unjustified experiments‘ at the centre although a subsequent MRC inquiry concluded that ‘thosc
carrying out the experiments had taken every precaution to guard against animal suffering or discomfort.‘ While it is obvious that the two organisations do not see eye to eye over the issue of animal experimentation. they are both united in opposing the ALF‘s terror tactics.
‘We will continue to go along the path of discussing the issues with the scientists and farmers in a rational fashion.‘ says Les Ward. director of Advocates for Animals. "The animal protection movement has a real. just cause and unfortunately that cause could be well and truly damaged by these bombings. It will be set back decades if anyone dies because of these attacks.‘
Advocates for Animals are currently pushing for talks between protection groups and medical researchers. although Ward points out that the scientists are often afraid of becoming known for fear of reprisal attacks by hardcore fanatics. Although the ALF claim it is not their policy to harm animals or humans. targeting property in their attacks. it is also the case that leaders of the group have gone on the record stating they do not know exactly which splinter ‘cells‘ have carried out the recent bombings.
‘lt is a small minority that is planting these incendiary devices.‘ continues Ward. ‘but unfortunately we‘re all tarnished with the same brush. At the end of the day. these people have to realise that in a democracy animals will only get protection when laws are introduced 7— and the only way that laws come about is if the public puts pressure onto politicians. By threatening public support. they‘re also threatening future protection for animals.‘
there are more students in that
Student debt bites deeper
As the first term of the academic year comes to an end, students across Scotland are already suffering levels of hardship so heavy that many are foregoing a balanced diet in order to cut financial corners. According to Alan Stevenson, Vice President (Representation) of Edinburgh University Students Association, ‘the most common dish at all of the Unions' food outlets is a bowl of chips and gravy - nobody can afford to buy a decent meal. At the same time there’s a big increase in the number of students
’ taking part-time jobs and that, coupled
with eating habits, is obviously having an effect on their studies and academic
Student leaders across the country are joining forces to bring the issue of student hardship to the fore in the run up to the General Election. Scottish Sabbaticals, an organisation of office bearers from all of the Scottish universities, is encouraging each institution to prepare its own lobbying document aimed at MPs, which will then be gathered together under the Scottish Sabbaticals’ umbrella. At the same time, NUS (Scotland) is also tackling the problem at a parliamentary level.
‘We will make use of demonstrations, pickets and lobbying,’ explains Derek Munn, President of NUS (Scotland), ‘but at the end of the day, it’s the electoral strength of students which is most likely to bring pressure to bear on those in power. We will be encouraging students to register to vote in marginal constituences where the students’ votes will be crucial. For example, when we held a demonstration in Stirling earlier this year, it showed that
constituency than Michael Forsyth's 548 majority.’
A major area of concern for the NUS at the moment is that Access Fund allocations — the supposedly temporary hardship fund administered by individual institutions - are already exhausted at many colleges. The loss of entitlement to housing benefit and income support, plus the fact that vacation jobs were scarce in a recession-hit summer, has meant that many students began the academic year with accumulated debts which had to be immediately paid off with their first grant cheque. As a result, the Access Funds have been oversubscribed.
‘One that immediately comes to mind is Thurso College,’ Moon continues, ‘where they’d spent their complete Access Fund allocation by early November. What the students at that college are supposed to do for the rest of the year is anybody's guess.’ (Alan Morrison)
WIN A VALVONA & CROLLA HAMPER: SEE QUIZ OF THE YEAR PAGE 16
4The Li; id 635561): 1.9.91 — lblanuary 1992 _