:— Peer


At first glance, it looks an unlikely alliance; student union representatives and a rebel group of Conservative peers in Parliament’s second chamber. but both agree that the proposed reform of student unions is neither welcome nor needed. The passage of the Education Bill in the Lords has now been delayed to allow education ministers time to find a compromise which will bring the Tory peers back in line.

The original timetable for passing the Bill was drawn up so the changes could be implemented for the new academic year, but this delay now makes that unlikely. The peers’ main concern is Clause 20 ofthe Bill which would give education secretary John Patten the power to decide at a later stage what will be defined as core services, those the student associations can provide. and non-core. the ones they can't. These powers are likely to be diluted when the revised Bill is put before the Lords again. probably in February.

‘Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end ofthe legislation.‘ NUS Scotland president Jim Murphy says. ‘The Lords. along with other sections ofthe education system. believe the plans are unworkable and should be shelved.‘

NUS has argued that the Bill should be dropped altogether but if it becomes clear the Government will have to retreat significantly from its original plan. some kind of compromise 1 solution may be suggested by student i leaders. NUS is already exploring the ; possibility of turning student ; associations into charities. which under existing charity rules would prevent them undertaking overtly political activity one of the Govemment’s main concerns.

When a clearer picture of the


TV’s living Soap; will student unions be the same for

(i‘\\_-- he 4 4-5: ‘Wf‘"§""" i“‘

the next generation of undergraduates i Government‘s revised Bill emerges.

NUS Scotland could also break ranks

with its counterparts in the rest of the

UK and push for separate legislation

for Scottish student unions. ‘lfthere is

} legislation. we would expect there to be differences between England and

' Scotland.’ Murphy says. (Eddie Gibb)

I The Bedlam Theatre Edinburgh

3 University's student theatre, said its

. future would be threatened by the

3 proposed reforms. at the announcement of its Febfest programme.

I Curfew update A man was killed in a nightclub in Glasgow‘s city centre during the first weekend the curfew restrictions were relaxed (see Club News). Councillor James Coleman. chaimtan of Glasgow's licensing board. told The List the new hours would continue but that the incident will ‘obviously affect the way we think about things’ when the curfew is reviewed in June. Clubs had been allowed to let people in for an extra half hour to allow more time for security searches specifically to prevent this kind of incident. he said.

I Racist fans Shortly after the launch of a campaign to kick racism out of football in Scotland. two Dunfermline fans were convicted of causing a breach of the peace when they shouted racist abuse at Falkirk's black striker Richard Cadette. Kick Racism Out of Football. backed by the Commission for Racial Equality. aims to persuade clubs to take decisive action to stamp our racial abuse on the terraces.

I Bottled out Style-conscious drinkers in Edinburgh will continue to be able drink their premium lager out of the bottle, despite attempts to ban glass bottles in some bars. The district council's environmental services department is concerned about the number of injuries caused by bottles in bars but the licensing board decided not to implement a ban.

I Getting shirty The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh has agreed to remove a T-shirt bearing the slogan ‘Fuck the Police‘. part ofthe 3+3+3 multi-media exhibition. because it was visible from the street. The T-shirt was removed after police suggested it could constitute a breach of the peace.

l i _ l

Secret agents

“as” T" » . ‘. .‘ M K~ \ \

The Environmental Investigation Agency, a radical environmental campaign which works undercover to expose exploitation of animals throughout the world, now has its first Scottish group. EIA staff, who have been dubbed the

‘eco-detectives’, use electronic

1 surveillance equipment to gather

evidence of animal abuse (such as the

3 killing of rhinos for their horns which

' are sold to make aphrodisiacs). After the EIA found huge illegal stockpiles of rhino horn in China and Taiwan, it

I used the evidence to press the United

, Nations to impose sanctions on the

g two countries, a proposal which will

i be considered by the [III in March.

I ‘Investigations are highly

E sophisticated,’ according to an EIA

spokesman. ‘We believe this is the

. next step forward for the

1 environmental movement because the

l problems are getting bigger and you

EIA; thered evidence about whale slaughtering .

have to be able to prove these things are going on. The truth is that governments won’t act unless they

, have to.’

However this kind of in-depth

v investigation doesn’t come cheap. The EIA insists on being self-financing to maintain its independence from political influence and so is largely reliant on the fund-raising activities

of members. Callum Cochrane was impressed with the EIA’s approach and

helped set up the new Edinburgh-

based group. ‘I liked what they stood for,’ he says. ‘They get things done and don’t mind stepping on a few

, toes.’ Cochrane hopes that as the new

3 group establishes itself it will begin to

3 focus on environmental issues in

Scotland. (Eddie Gibb)

The EIA in Edinburgh can be contacted : on 529 0118. The head office number i is 071 490 7040.


I The Phenew Factor Writer Elspeth King will be addressing the February meeting of Engender. on Mon 7 at 7.30pm about her book The Phenew Factor. Saint Phenew was the mother of Glasgow's patron saint, Mungo. and one of the first battered wives. The Phenew Factor examines the role of women in Glaswegian and Scottish history. exposing the way in which women have been ignored and written out of the records. The meeting is at The Tron. 63 Trongate. Glasgow and costs £3 (£l concessions).

I Markets for Native Timber BANC. The British Association of Nature Conservationists. is holding a public meeting on the benefits of using timber from native forests rather than importing wood. Speakers at the meeting. to be held on Wed 9 at 7.30pm at the National Trust for Scotland. 5 Charlotte Square. Edinburgh. are Nick Marshall. Forestry Officer with the RSPB and Tim Stead. a sculptor and furniture maker. A donation of £2 will be requested to cover costs. All welcome.

I Small Change The Edinburgh group of Friends ofthe Earth is holding a public meeting on Thurs 3 at 7.45pm at the Centre for Human Ecology. 15 Buccleuch Place. Francesca Leoning will give a talk based on her successful book Small Change. which outlines ways people can do their bit for the environment. All welcome.

I Kelvingrove Park Demonstration Members of the Kelvingrove Park Action Group are concerned about plans to put a pub in the park. They will be demonstrating at the Burgh Court Hall. John Street. George Square. Glasgow on Tue 1 from l2.30—l.30pm. Further details from the Action Group on 041 339 7749.

I Stop Smoking! The new Edinburgh South Bridge self-help group for women to stop smoking has become too popular for its time slot. The group now meets every Monday evening, 7—9pm. at the South Bridge Resource Centre. Infirmary Street. Edinburgh. All would-be ex-smokers welcome.

I Drum Fever Positive help for those who have caught the percussion bug: a new evening course covering everything from Ghanaian Ensemble drumming to Japanese ritual drumming by way of Ugandan Xylophone techniques. Details and booking for the course which costs £30 (£20 concessions) and takes place every Thursday evening at the Maryhill Community Central Hall. Maryhill Road. Glasgow. from 7.3()--9.3()pm

are. available from 0-H 946 I605.

I "to Ceilidh The Edinburgh-based Rights Office, who offer independent advice on welfare rights. is holding a fund-raising ceilidh with The Ceilidh Collective on Fri 4. The ceilidh takes place at the Southside Community Centre and starts at 8pm. Tickets cost £5 (£3 concessions) and are available on the door.

I If you have news of any events or courses which you want publicised in this column, please forward them to ‘Action’ at The list, 14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TE and include a day- 1

time phone number. 1

The List 28 January—l0 February I994 5