The RGS Gazette Issue Dec 2023

1 Migration has been one of the most hotly debated topics in UK politics this century, creating controversy and dividing opinions. Policies introduced around this issue range from Brown’s leniency towards migrants, to Farage’s antiimmigration posters, and more recently Suella Braverman’s hardline stance on ‘stopping the boats’ through the controversial Rwanda policy. But since Braverman’s sacking, James Cleverly, the new Home Secretary, has denied privately ridiculing the policy, and has still defended plans to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda. However, the question still remains over the Conservative Party’s next step in dealing with the migration crisis, with Braverman having accused Rishi Sunak of betraying his ‘promise to the nation’ on immigration and the Rwanda Policy looking increasingly less likely to be approved by the Supreme court. The proposed policy involves sending asylum seekers to Rwanda so that their claim can be processed there, rather than in the UK. The government claim that this plan would deter people from arriving in the UK through illegal means, such as on small boats crossing the Channel. However, this approach to tackling immigration has come under criticism and has been deemed as ‘unlawful’ by the Supreme Court, as it goes against the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which focuses on the safeguarding of fundamental rights and the protection of its people. The principal concern for asylum seekers is that there is a strong risk of refoulement to their country of Editor-in-Chief: Oscar Panayi The RGS Gazette Issue 10 - December 2023 Editors: What Does Braverman's Sacking Mean For the UK Migration Crisis? Thomas Waterton (Year 12) examines the viability of the Conservatives' plan to tackle illegal migration Aydın AslamDenn, Umair Editors: Krish Siddhartha, Aayan Editor: Henry Day Editors: Dara Olowoloba, Emad In this Issue News Features The Arts Sports 24 Maximum Impact: Does the Gym bring Pain or Gain? 25 Ask Max 29 Meet the Gazette Team Photos Ashraf, Orlando Thompson Hussain, Adam Yousuf Haroon James Cleverly defending plans to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda (2023) 26 A Term in Photos 23 What makes Lukhanyo Am so Good? 22 The Most Exciting Team in Spain 21 Loki Review 20 Lady Ingram: In for Rochester or Richester? 18 The Evolution of Travis Scott 17 A Misunderstood Career Path? 16 The Death of the Compact Disc 14 Lights, Camera, Distraction 14 Are Ghosts Real? 13 Are You My Teacher? 11 How Have Women's Rights Changed? 10 How Gothic is Our World? 9 The Dangers of Populism 9 Fortnite and Jane Eyre 8 A View From the Field 6 Is Political Polling in Decline? 5 What is Happening to OpenAI? 4 Government Shakeup 3 The Syrian Civil War 2 Euclid: Illuminating the Universe 1 What Does Braverman's Sacking Mean for the UK Migration Crisis? Editor: Daniel Ressell

2 The News The RGS Gazette of origin if they are removed from Rwanda – this is something the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 stands firmly against, since the asylum seekers may be in danger if returned to their home countries. Since her sacking, Braverman has criticised Sunak over his handling of the situation and has called for the UK to leave the ECHR if the Rwanda plan is blocked. It is therefore apparent that the Conservative Party have come to a dead end in tackling this crisis and will have to change their approach before the next election. One method the UK government could take is to learn from other European countries that are dealing with a similar issue. Italy’s scheme is similar to that of the UK, but perhaps much more practical and less likely to be denied. Giorgia Meloni, Prime Minister of Italy, plans to process tens of thousands of asylum applicants in Albania each year, and crucially, only send migrants from safe countries there, something which the Conservative Party’s plan is lacking. So far in 2023, around 145,000 migrants have arrived in Italy from Northern Africa and solutions are needed to combat this growing trend. Whilst there are certainly some flaws with this policy, Meloni’s Albania scheme seems to have a far greater chance of success than the Conservative Party’s Rwanda scheme, and there are definitely some lessons which could be taken from it. So, what does this all mean for the future of migration? Are nations around the world beginning to alter their stance? Each country has its own unique situation in regard to migration, but what is certain is that attitudes towards migration will continue to change. A constant flow of migrants is crucial, especially in the case of developed countries, to support an ageing population and address the shortage of skilled workers. This pattern can be observed in countries such as Japan, which is experiencing a serious demographic crisis (a very low birth and death rate), forcing them to embrace a more open migration policy. This may be the future for many developed countries, such as the UK, who will have to learn to embrace migration as a solution, rather than a problem. . Euclid: Illuminating the 'Dark Universe' Mission Aydin AslamDenn (Year 12) explores the journey of Europe's newest space telescope The world of astronomy was recently adorned with the first images from the new Euclid telescope, as it begins its six-year mission to uncover the secrets of dark matter and dark energy in our universe. Euclid has been constructed and operated by the European Space Agency – an intergovernmental organisation of which the United Kingdom is a founding member. At least 2000 scientists belonging to 16 different countries have provided the data analysis and scientific instruments necessary for the mission, and it is estimated that the telescope itself cost over €1.4bn to produce. The ESA states that their aim is to “make a 3D-map of the Universe (with time as the third dimension) by observing billions of galaxies out to 10 billion light-years, across more than a third of the sky”. It is also hoped that Euclid will help to reveal more about two of the universe’s greatest mysteries: dark matter and dark energy. Dark matter is thought to make up around 27% of the mass of the universe, but since it does not appear to interact with light or the electromagnetic field, it cannot be observed using conventional equipment. Some theories have attributed dark matter to undiscovered subatomic particles, whereas some have proposed that primordial black holes are the main component. Dark energy, meanwhile, composes 68% of the mass of the universe, and is thought to be responsible for expanding the universe and driving cosmic objects apart. However, these are both hypotheses, and scientists remain unsure as to what dark matter and dark energy actually are. What most sets Euclid apart from its predecessors is, perhaps, the astonishing depth and breadth over which it can produce images. Although the famed James Webb telescope (launched in 2021) operates at a higher resolution, Euclid is capable of observing a much larger portion of the universe in each shot. This aspect is crucial in Euclid’s pursuit of dark matter and dark energy – this is because these phenomena cannot be measured directly, rather their effects on visible matter must be examined over the span of entire galaxies. This singular image of The Perseus Cluster contains over 1000 galaxies, some of which are 10 billion light years away. The Perseus Cluster (2023), European Space Agency "Euclid is capable of observing a much larger portion of the universe in each shot."

3 The News Issue 10 - December 2023 The inception of the Syrian conflict in 2011 can be traced back to a series of events that were initiated by some peaceful protests aimed towards President Bashar-al-Assad’s government. Initially, these demonstrations sought out political reforms and increased civil liberties. However, these peaceful protests were met with a forceful response. There was a violent crackdown on protestors. This transformed the situation into a complex and multifaceted crisis. Eventually, external powers, both regional and international became involved, further complicating the conflict. This, in turn, is what led to a devastating Syrian Civil War characterised by a significant humanitarian crisis, mass displacement and widespread destruction. In January to February 2012, the violence started to escalate because the Free Syrian Army (FSA) started to engage in conflict with government forces. Later into the year, Kurdish groups in the northeast began to assert control over certain areas. By August 2012, the UN confirmed the presence of chemical weapons in Syria. By 2013, the Syrian government and opposition accused each other of using chemical weapons in an attack near Damascus. Moreover, Russia proposed a plan to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, averting US military intervention. In 2014, the fighting escalated to another level as Al-Qaeda affiliates and ISIS soldiers started to become extremely prominent in the conflict. ISIS captured large portions of northern and western Iraq and extended its influence into Syria. Then, in September 2015, Russia decided to side with the Assad government and begin airstrikes in Syria. By December, the UN Security Council started peace talks in Geneva. By February 2016, a temporary ceasefire was brokered, however, it was extremely fragile and not fully implemented. By the end of the year, the Russo-American ceasefire collapsed, and the Syrian government launched an offensive into Aleppo. In April 2017, a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun lead to US missile strikes on a Syrian airbase. In 2018, the US, UK and France launched airstrikes in response to another chemical attack in Douma. By December, the US announced the withdrawal of their troops from Syria. In 2019, Türkiye launched an offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria after the US withdrawal. As with any piece of engineering, Euclid required some adjustments before it could fulfil its purpose properly. An error in the guidance sensor of the telescope resulted in the creation of a peculiar image, in which the system failed to locate a guide star and consequently, produced an almost ethereal pattern. The problem was later rectified in a software update. The future of the Euclid telescope is hoped by scientists to be one of great discovery – the predicted lifespan of the observatory is around six years, depending on fuel consumption. Within this time, the ESA hopes to compile a database of information gathered by Euclid for use in various types of astronomical research. The result of a failure in the tracking system (2023) The Syrian Civil War: An Analysis Umair Ashraf (Year 12) looks at how events have unfolded during the Syrian Civil War Syrian opposition forces (2023) A town in northwestern Syria (2023) "By February 2016, a temporary ceasefire was brokered, however it was extremely fragile and not fully implemented."

4 The News The RGS Gazette Cameron in, Braverman out in Government Shakeup Rishi Sunak created a seismic shock when he unveiled former Prime Minister, David Cameron, as his new Foreign Secretary with a major cabinet reshuffle in an attempt to reinvigorate his premiership. The Prime Minister sacked Home Secretary Suella Braverman after her multitude of headline-grabbing comments, but the biggest shock came in how she was replaced: James Cleverly moved from the Foreign to the Home Office and Cameron, after a seven-year hiatus from frontline politics, was drafted in to replace Cleverly. Cameron served as Prime Minister between 2010 and 2016 and is best known for having called the Brexit referendum despite opposing it; he resigned after the ‘leave’ vote won. It seems especially extraordinary that he’s been called upon given that he is not even an MP, but has instead been appointed to the House of Lords. All government ministers must be members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords, but the vast majority, if not all, are usually MPs from the Commons and a role as crucial as Foreign Secretary being given to a Peer is extremely rare and has not happened since 1982. Equally exceptional is the idea of a former Prime Minister later re-joining the Cabinet, which last occurred when Alec Douglas-Home served as Foreign Secretary in 1973. So why has Sunak appointed him? Well, firstly, the ousting of Suella Braverman was the catalyst for this reshuffle. Her sacking seemed inevitable after a week in which she clashed with Sunak and made several contentious comments. Braverman, well-known for her hardline immigration stance and her tendency for outspoken comments, was firstly criticised for calling homelessness “a lifestyle choice” and describing pro-Palestine protests as “hate marches” before things came to a head over an article she wrote in The Times. In the article, she accused the police of a bias towards Palestine “mobs” and reportedly refused to implement some changes that had been ordered by Downing Street. Given this and the fury her comments generated, it is perhaps unsurprising that Braverman was Orlando Thompson (Year 12) examines the recent cabinet reshuffle and surprise return of David Cameron Lord David Cameron, the new Foreign Secretary and former Prime Minister (2023) "She unleashed a scathing attack on Sunak, branding him as "weak," "failing" and "betraying""

5 The News Issue 10 - December 2023 dismissed the following Monday. She represents a very right-wing sector of the Conservative Party that are growing increasingly frustrated with Sunak’s leadership, as seen by Braverman after her departure, as she unleashed a scathing attack on Sunak, branding him as “weak”, “failing” and “betraying”. Cameron’s appointment could also be an attempt to win back centrist Conservative voters, especially in the South, to whom Cameron and his previous leadership bring back fond memories. As such, this may be a near last-ditch attempt to revive Sunak’s reputation and his popularity with the public. With a general election looming in the next year or so, Sunak has been fighting an uphill battle to win back support ever since he took charge, with the Tories having trailed Labour in the polls steadily for nearly two years. Now, Sunak has about a year to prove why he and his party should win that election and he’s going all out. He has unveiled a series of new policies in recent months and this latest twist seems like an effort to appeal to the centre ground. But can it work? Only weeks ago, Sunak tried to paint himself as a new and different figure from the Tory leadership that came before him, yet now he’s brought back one of those same Tory leaders. He got rid of the northern leg of HS2, a Cameron policy, which led to criticism from Cameron himself. But, importantly for the Prime Minister, he’s appointed someone who is not a future rival for the leadership, something that couldn’t be said of Braverman. Indeed, her recent comments have only further endeared her to the right wing of the party and the “solid centre-right” position that Cameron holds serves as a stark contrast that may well divide and isolate the right-wingers in a party that needs all the unity it can get heading into the next election. What Is Happening to OpenAI? Pranaav Vijayan (Year 12) explains the recent chaos at OpenAI Heardquarters I'm sure you've all heard of the company OpenAI, creators of the model based chatbot ChatGPT. Within five days, they witnessed the departure, replacement, and reinstatement of their CEO Sam Altman, as well as the removal and replacement of most of its board of directors. Amidst this controversy, almost every OpenAl employee - 700 out of 770 - threatened to quit and the company cycled through two interim CEOs. Simultaneously, Microsoft announced three days after Altman was fired that they had hired him and other managers from OpenAl to lead a "new advanced Al research team". However, just days later, Sam Altman announced he would return to OpenAl as CEO. So, what is really happening here? What is OpenAI? OpenAl, founded in 2015 as a nonprofit, Silicon Valley startup, is backed by many prominent figures in the tech industry, like Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, whose mission was to research and develop technology with significant transformative potential, requiring careful and responsible development: an Al capable of independent learning and reasoning. In 2019, OpenAl needed money. They hired Altman as CEO and also established a "capped profit" division, allowing investors to receive up to 100 times a return on their initial investment, with the remaining profit reinvested into their nonprofit. While OpenAl was still governed by a board of directors dedicated to their nonprofit mission, it was pretty much the only thing remaining of OpenAl's nonprofit origins. In 2022, the company released some of its generative Al products, including ChatGPT, to the public and the response was impressive, placing OpenAl as the frontrunner in the industry. As well as this, due to Microsoft's substantial $13 billion investment, they now had the resources to develop their services, as well as solidifying a partnership with Microsoft, causing OpenAl's valuation to experience significant growth. Altman also emerged as the leader of the Al movement as the head of the front-running company and became one of the most powerful people in tech. Who is Sam Altman? Sam Altman is a 38 year-old American entrepreneur and investor, who was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Missouri. In 2005, after one year studying computer science at Stanford University, he dropped out without earning a bachelor's degree. At this time, age 19, he co-founded the company Loopt, a social networking app. During his time as CEO, he raised over $30 million in venture capital, however, it failed to gain traction and, in 2012, it was acquired by the Green Dot Corporation for $43.4 million. He started working at Y Combinator, another technology startup, as a part-time partner from 2011, and later became president there in February 2014. By this time, he had played a pivotal role in the growth of Y Combinator, boasting a total valuation exceeding $65 billion by 2014, and in 2016, he expanded his role to lead YC Group, encompassing Y Combinator and Cameron travels to Ukraine as Foreign Secretary (2023) "He often says that his company's products could contribute to the end of humanity"

6 The News The RGS Gazette other units. In March 2019, Altman transitioned from the president of the company to the Chairman of the Board, a far less hands-on role, allowing him to focus more on his role at OpenAl. As of early 2020, he was no longer affiliated with YC. Altman is listed as a cofounder of OpenAl, while being hired as CEO in 2019. He often says that his company's products could contribute to the end of humanity itself, attesting to his refreshing honesty, even at the expense of his company. He has become one of the most powerful people in tech, making his abrupt termination as CEO at OpenAl such a shock. OpenAI Chaos On November 17th, OpenAl released a statement that CEO Sam Altman would be leaving the company "after a deliberative review process by the board" and that Greg Brockman would be stepping down as chair. They concluded that Altman was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities and lowering their confidence in his leadership. Brockman also resigned in solidarity with Altman. Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati was placed as interim CEO. On November 19th, Microsoft announced it had hired Altman and Brockman to lead a "new and advanced Al research team", as well as other unnamed colleagues. on November 20th, OpenAl announced another interim CEO in Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear, however, this did not last as many of OpenAI's employees, 700+, openly revolted, signing an open letter, urging the board to resign and threatening to quit if Altman and Brockman weren't reinstated and the current board didn't leave. Murati, despite filling Altman’s position, was the first signee. On November 21st, OpenAl released a statement that it had reached a "deal in principle" for Altman to return as CEO, with a new board chaired by former Salesforce coCEO Bret Taylor. The agreement includes a plan for an independent investigation into the events that led up to the original ousting of Altman and has led to Brockman also returning. Much of the reasons behind this dispute remains unclear, but with Altman’s return, the turmoil at least seems to be behind OpenAI now, who will try to continue with their groundbreaking technology. Sam Altman (2023) Political Polling: A Dying Craft? Over the last decade, political polling’s accuracy has decreased notably, especially when polls attempt to reflect voting intentions before large scale elections. The last two U.S. Presidential Elections have become flashpoints for this trend. Firstly, in 2016, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton despite pre-election polls giving her as much as a 95% chance of victory in key states. Secondly, in 2020, Joe Biden’s eventual 4-point lead was overestimated by up to 8 points in mainstream surveys. More recently, the Midterms reinforced this distrust, as the expected ‘Red Wave’ in key states such as Pennsylvania was hugely overestimated. Democrats held onto their majority in the Senate, and Republicans failed to achieve the overwhelming victory expected in the House of Representatives. This apparent lack of reliability seems to be confirmed by studies, with one 2020 research project from Berkeley, which analysed 1400 polls from 11 election cycles, suggesting that outcomes only match estimates approximately 60 % of the time. As a result, many have lost trust in polling altogether, with one Politico commentator stating that “the polling industry is a wreck, and should be blown up,” and another Washington Post journalist arguing that “polling is irrevocably broken". Most prominent among the problems with political polling are sample biases, or non-response biases. This describes issues related to the trends among people who complete political surveys, and their tendencies towards different ideations. To take just one example, because modern, digital polls, such as those completed via YouGov, require an engagement with technology, young people are far more likely to complete surveys than older people. This means that the public’s endorsement of progressive, left-wing causes, which younger people tend to support more than older people, is often overestimated in digital polls. Indeed, many polling scientists have speculated that such biases were principally to blame for the seismic overestimation of Clinton’s lead in 2016. Their contention is that less educated and more institutionally Oscar Panayi (Year 11) examines recent issues the polling industry has faced "Pollsters find themselves constantly stuck in a cycle of continual over and under correction" "Almost every OpenAl employee - 700 out of 770 - threatened to quit and the company cycled through two interim CEOs."

7 The News Issue 10 - December 2023 sceptical individuals (demographics undeniably critical to Trump’s base) were systematically difficult for pollsters to reach, leaving voter intention polls strikingly lacunose. In attempting to account for such errors, pollsters find themselves constantly stuck in a cycle of continual over and under correction, which seems to worsen as the years pass and our societies become increasingly multidimensional and complex. Corrections like these are believed to have resulted in the overestimation of the ‘Red Wave’ in the US’ recent midterms. Despite this, technology seems to be having a positive impact. As the power of computers rapidly increases, AI software is being increasingly used to model elections, using data from previous elections to more effectively tweak polling results. Considering the increasing promise of technologies such as quantum computing, capable of far outperforming conventional systems across a panoply of fields, it is difficult to imagine how accurate polls may very soon become, potentially altering the character of elections altogether. Another source of hope for the industry is its applications in issue polling. Unlike election polling, which, due to its close margins, has very little room for error, surveys which attempt to understand the general feelings of the public towards certain issues do not have to be perfect, still giving tangible insights into trends in the beliefs of certain demographics, and the population as a whole. Also, it has been suggested that these opinion polls, because they do not carry the risk that people will change their minds before Election Day, and due to their greater sample range, are not affected as powerfully by the errors which election surveys face. One study goes as far as to state that these errors of magnitude, seen in some polls leading up to the 2020 presidential election, could be reduced to as little as 1% in opinion surveys. Overall, generalisations that “polling is irrevocably broken,” or indeed that its accuracy is exponentially increasing are, if not painfully dichotomous, certainly unidimensional. As soon-to-be voters, it is our duty not to allow such an excision of nuance from what is, and will remain, a multifaceted conversation. So, is polling dying? No. Is it on the rise? Not exactly. Rather, as the manner in which we conceptualise our views, ideologies and elections inevitably transforms with our increasing technological world, so too must polling’s role. Pre-election polls may stutter, but polling, especially issue polling, will occupy an integral role in an increasingly polarised political landscape. A study from the Cambridge University Press on polls published over time (2018) Renowned exit pollster Sir John Curtice (2021) “I think a society is likely to operate more effectively if it understands itself better. Otherwise all you get is a bunch of politicians saying everybody thinks that, or everybody thinks this, we’re winning votes, no,we’rewinning votes. How the hell do we know who’s right?” - Sir John Curtice

8 Features The RGS Gazette Features A View From the Field In the Grounds Department, this past year has been busy. The weather has been typically British, but my Assistant Groundskeeper and I got on with our work, no matter what Mother Nature and the P.E. department threw at us. We’ve experienced one of the best summer terms since I’ve been here, with no cancelled cricket matches, and wellused cricket squares. The P.E. department has also not had to think of alternative activities when it has rained - a testament to our great work. At certain times of the year, the department is especially busy. When the transition from winter sports to summer sports takes place (these are during the Easter break and the summer break), we make sure that the removal and erecting of the rugby posts do too. We are also busy at the start of the winter and summer sports periods, respectively. They involve the initial measurement and marking of the rugby pitches and the pre-season preparations on the cricket squares. Additionally, the Grounds Department takes on various oneoff projects, such as hard/soft landscaping and major field maintenance - when we top dress the three main field rugby pitches with 260³ tonnes of sand or top up the large Astro pitch with 30³ of kiln-dried sand. The really fun part of our jobs is when the grass starts to grow in the spring! We’re more noticeable, with myself hurtling up and down the fields, cutting it, and my colleague driving through the school on his mini tractor. However, much of the work that we do goes unnoticed, as it is done when the school is closed for half-terms. This is done because many of the jobs require the site to be free of students for health and safety reasons. In closing, I hope this article has given you some insight into what goes on in the department. Both my colleague and I have been working for the school for a very long time— 20 years myself and just over 30 for my colleague. This summer, we took on an apprentice groundskeeper too. He is working out very well, and he is keen to learn all aspects of grounds maintenance. Please feel free to stop one of us if you need advice on anything relating to grounds maintenance or any gardening problems you may have. View from the pavilion on a sunny July morning (2023) Mr Yendell (Head Groundskeeper) describes what goes on in the Grounds Department during the school year "Both my colleague and I have been working for the school for a very long time —20 years myself and just over 30 for my colleague." "My Assistant Groundskeeper and I got on with our work, no matter what Mother Nature and the P.E. department threw at us." "At certain times of the year, the department is especially busy."

9 Features Issue 10 - December 2023 In the vast realms of literature and digital culture, seemingly unrelated entities like the classic novel Jane Eyre and the popular video game Fortnite find themselves as part of the same conversation. A closer look reveals connections between these seemingly unrelated cultural successes. Jane Eyre, written by Bronte in 1847, stands as a cornerstone in classic literature. Fast forward to the 21st century, where it unexpectedly finds new life, including in the virtual landscapes of video games like Fortnite. In Fortnite, a battle royale game captivating millions, echoes of Jane's journey can be seen. In Bronte’s novel, Jane sets off on a quest for survival and independence. Likewise, Fortnite players enter a map to fight for survival and achieve victory, embodying a sense of self-reliance similar to Jane's quest. Both showcase resilience as Jane Eyre and Fortnite players adapt strategies in dynamically changing environments. Jane's search for identity parallels the customisable avatars in Fortnite. Players seek personalisation and expression, reflecting the ongoing quest for identity in a digital age. While these connections might seem stretched, they underscore the timeless themes found in literature, resonating across diverse forms of entertainment. The unexpected intersection of Jane Eyre and Fortnite serves as a bridge between classic literature and computers, inviting audiences to explore themes of independence. This unexpected link presents a unique opportunity. By using Fortnite's popularity, educators can introduce literary concepts through Jane Eyre, potentially bridging the gap between traditional literature and the interests of the modern generation. Fortnite and Jane Eyre - Unlikely Companions Bailey Selleck (Year 9) explores the parallels between two seemingly unrelated cultural entities The Dangers Of Populism He claims that he wants to be a prime minister “for all people”. However, newly-elected Prime Minister Geert Wilders' likening of the Qur'an to be "the Mein Kampf of a religion that aims to eliminate others" leaves critics of the Dutch's new leader highly sceptical of such a claim. The rise of such supposedly representative claims from people seeking to be elected sparks danger for populations of countries who are led to believe that these people are really looking out for them. Populism, traced back to its believed inception in the late 19th Century by a group of American farmers working against the dominance of financial elites, has always been divisive in nature. Although it has been defined as appealing to the interests of the ordinary person against the establishment, it has historically been an excuse to deploy incendiary rhetoric to marginalise minorities. For example, both Donald Trump and Geert Wilders ‘target the establishment’ by scapegoating foreign populations. The slogan “Make America Great Again”, adapted from Reagan by Trump, aims to scapegoat the foreign population for America’s shortcomings. Trump also notoriously labels anything that is antagonistic toward him as “fake news” or “un-American”. His infamous call in 2015 for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”, as well as Wilders calling Islam a “r*******, dangerous (ideology)”, illustrate the extent of egregious claims made by sensationalistic politicians who purport to represent all people. Clearly, they aim to rile up a division of the population so that a common enemy is established for them to scapegoat. However, populism is not only limited to racially discriminatory marginalisation. Javier Milei, in response to the economic collapse in Argentina, appealed to the Fortnite (left)(2017), Jane Eyre (right) (1847) Adam Yousuf (Year 12) explores the rising threat of populism in our democracies

10 Features The RGS Gazette How Gothic Is Our World Today? Josh Saha (Year 9) explores the nature of the Gothic and how it applies to our modern world ordinary person by claiming he will “defend against the looters (political elite) of this system”. A vocal advocate of anti-abortion law, he can hardly call himself someone who aims to defend the people when he aims to legally control the bodies of women. Boris Johnson, (former Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party) and Nigel Farage are notable figures who also used populist rhetoric to appeal to voters who participated in the Brexit referendum by claiming that the European Union controlled British policy. Apart from EU immigration, it is a myth that this was the case. Moreover, former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn coined the slogan “for the many, not the few”, despite ignoring the democratic majority in the result of the Brexit referendum. Even if he disagreed with the results of the Brexit referendum, it was not representative of him to ignore it when campaigning to become the Prime Minister in 2019. In this regard, Corbyn regarded the “few” above the “many”. It can be seen through these hypocritical claims that populists lead voters to believe that they are representing them, when in reality, they often look out for their own interests. Any type of marginalisation or lack of democratic representation should ostensibly be perceived as iniquitous. Populists often pejoratively refer to themselves as representatives for the majority, when leaders of a country should be winning elections on good policies, not dividing communities. The minorities, despite being less in number, should still be heard and valued. For populists, it is not about representing all people, but rather rewarding supporters and casting out everyone else - especially the minorities and those who do not agree with them. This is why it is important, especially so in the next year with the upcoming general election, to look beyond slogans and catchy advertisements, so that the policies and actions of a party can be properly studied. Jeremy Corbyn (left), Boris Johnson (right) (2018) Donald Trump(2016) Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom (2023) In the 21st century the term Gothic has been widely forgotten in the dark recesses of our history. Currently, we live in a technologically advanced and interconnected world and as we reach a new horizon, we have to analyse how far we have come. We must explore whether our world is scarier than what it used to be and what dark mysteries are lurking on our planet. Firstly, we need to figure out what Gothic means. The term 'Gothic' takes on a new meaning it symbolises the dark and unheimlich and sometimes even frightening aspects of our existence. In the modern world, we are introduced to a vast number of new and uncanny fears. Things that our predecessors never would have given a second glance. Issues like climate change, political unrest and pandemics contribute to this factor. Climate change has led to significant protests, leading to public tension. This ultimately develops a sense of unease and uncertainty of what will occur in the near future. Political unrest has tainted our sense of morality and we are split between two sides of the global frontier. Wars have broken out leading to loss of life

11 Features Issue 10 - December 2023 and grief. This has transformed the modern era to being more daunting than ever. Before this, while war was ever present, its potential for world destruction was limited by technology. But now, the war-torn cities and wastelands have caused a surge of Gothic atmospheres in this modern era. Now, it's nothing but an apocalyptic plain of solitude. Secondly, we have social media and the internet. Social media has led to the feeling of isolation and withdrawal of some individuals from society. People have been marked with a sense of insecurity. Back in the Victorian era, it was a tight-knit community and you had to walk or travel by horse everywhere. Whilst now, you can get food which is killing you delivered to your doorstep. This has sparked immense social awkwardness and people just scrolling aimlessly through their phones. A study showed that people who use apps such as TikTok and Instagram have a damaged prefrontal cortex and damaged dopamine receptors. These damaged parts of the brain have led to people having social problems and causing them to develop psychological conditions which detrimentally impact a person’s day-to-day life. A life of phones, online shopping and UberEats has caused the once bustling streets of cities to become less busy, only filled with blocks of metal that humans drive around in. Lastly, there is a sense of inequality that has driven people to become divided. Protests and the absence of elections have split public opinion in various ways. This has led to fights, violence and even murder. Recently, some protestors have damaged high price artwork, destroying historical artefacts without any remorse. In conclusion, our world is more Gothic than before, due to a multitude of varying reasons. People are disengaged from society and reality, and streets are filled with blocks of metal destroying the atmosphere. How Are Women's Rights During The 19th Century Different From Today? Ethan Acott (Year 9), inspired by his study of 'Jane Eyre', considers how women's rights have improved and issues left unresolved. Women’s rights have come a long way since the 19th century, and some say that Jane Eyre sparked this change. Jane Eyre, a book advocating for women’s rights, is a 19th century Gothic novel based during the Victorian era, written by female author, Charlotte Brontë. It was set during a time where women were considered to be less important than men on many fronts, including power as well as position within the social hierarchy. Over 100 years, many things have changed, and one of the more notable changes is that of women's rights, a movement that began during the Victorian era in 1848 (the year after Jane Eyre was published), and still continues today. How are women's rights portrayed in Jane Eyre? During the novel, Jane Eyre, the young female protagonist, is abused and traumatised by the actions of many female characters, who are said to be of a higher class than Jane, even if they are only 2-3 years older than her. Jane is considered to be a member of the middle class during the Victorian era. Most women are either working or middle class; she was only in this class due to her rich Aunt Reed, who traumatised her with her son, John Reed, who physically and mentally abused her during her stay at their residence of Gateshead hall before she left on her Aunt's demand to stay full time at Lowood School. This idea of female abuse was a common gothic trope of the Victorian era and was so common that Jane herself is said to have become 'accustomed' to the abuse. This presents the importance of women's rights during that time to be minimal, although there were already signs of a movement forming from 1848. It had gotten to a point during that time where the importance of women's rights had become so concerningly poor, that once the novel had been published, Brontë initially went by the male name of Currer Bell. This was to avoid being mistreated, due to the only female jobs being legible during that time were to be a teacher or a governess, which was what Jane Eyre became in the book – to a little French girl called Adele. Yunus Gogce, 'Cologne Cathedral', (2019)

12 Features The RGS Gazette How are women's rights currently? After more than a century of fighting and protesting for their rights, women now hold an almost equal social status to men, with some of the obvious differences from the Victorian era being the fact that they are now eligible for any job that they want to apply for. whether that's a construction worker, or a member of the Army or the Royal Navy, and that they aren't just restricted to only two jobs: teacher and governess. Another key change in the movement of women's rights is the fact that they are also now not to be considered as 'child sitters' who must stay at home all day, as well as looking after their children if they have any, but instead they are able to do anything that they want with their lives and are, excluding remaining social pressures, equally as able as men to stay at home instead of work. On top of this, they have the same right as men to go out and work, doing anything that they please. Big debates about gender equality currently: One theory currently about women's rights and gender equality that I wanted to address is the idea of equal pay in sports as well as jobs in general. For equal pay in standard occupations, l am a believer in the idea that whoever does the better job in a certain area, deserves to be the person making the higher salary, regardless of gender. This is also being introduced in some sports, such as tennis and golf. Although for some, such as football, it is yet to be introduced, which is causing major controversy throughout the sporting world. Differences in the Victorian vs Modern eras: The predominant differences from the century of fighting for women's rights include many things, such as: - The variety of jobs a woman can now apply for. - The equal pay a woman can now get for many jobs. - General gender equality in the social hierarchy. - The prevention of abuse from men to women through many apps and the police. - The introduction of professional women's sport on the television. - A rise in the number of female athletes competing at professional levels in their respective sports. - The introduction of female athletes at the Olympics. FIFA Women's World Cup Final (2023) "After more than a century of fighting and protesting for their rights, women now hold an almost equal social status to men." The gender pay gap over time (2023) "The importance of women's rights had become so concerningly poor, that once the novel had been published, Brontë initially went by the male name of Currer Bell." "Women are also now not to be considered as 'child sitters' who must stay at home all day." "This idea of female abuse was a common gothic trope of the Victorian era and was so common that Jane herself is said to have become 'accustomed' to the abuse."

13 Features Issue 10 - December 2023 Mr Scourfield: Are You My Teacher? Krish Siddhartha (Year 8)interviews Mr. Scourfield, former professional rugby player and now Head of Boarding 1. What made you choose a career in Rugby and Teaching? “If I am completely honest, I fell into the career a little bit. I went to university so I could play the highest level of sport and so I could continue to play from the age of about 18. I did a 4-year sports degree, not even sure if I was even going to go into teaching, and I got offered a job and realised I enjoyed it. I have done it ever since, there were a few years that I balanced playing sport and teaching in my earlier career.” 2. Why did you choose to teach at the RGS? “Every day, living in boarding and being surrounded by over seventy 11– 18-year-olds means that at some point every day somebody will make me laugh and smile. Today I smiled and laughed with a year 13, who was about to leave to do an interview about veterinary medicine. We were laughing about how he can prepare for the interview and use post-it notes to stick onto his computer, because he was being Zoom interviewed.” 3. If someone asked you to describe RGS to them, what would you say? “That is incredibly difficult because RGS for me has been more than just a workplace. I have been here, along with some of my fellow colleagues for 25 years, and my daughters have grown up living in boarding. If I was looking specifically at the school, I think that it offers students of a massively diverse background and an incredible opportunity both academically and in co-curricular activities. I think then it is up to the student to buy into something and that makes RGS a pretty special place, for a state school.” 4. What is something students may be surprised to learn about you? “I am not sure how many students would know that a few years ago I was exceptionally ill, I had cancer, and I had about a 50% chance of living for the next 5 years. That meant that for the type of cancer I had, I had to take a graft from my arm to my tongue, which meant I had to have speech therapy to learn how to talk properly after I had recovered from it.” 5. If you won the lottery and gave up teaching, what would you do instead? “I certainly would spend a great deal of time travelling, as I love seeing the world. I would spend at least 6 months of the year on some tropical paradise, enjoying life. I would want to stay fit and active as well” Mr Scourfield, Head of Boarding (2023) "At some point every day somebody will make me laugh and smile." "RGS for me has been more than just a workplace. I have been here, along with some of my colleagues for 25 years." "RGS offers students of a massive diverse background and an incredible opportunity both academically and in co-curricular activities. I think then it is up to the student to buy into something."

14 Features The RGS Gazette Throughout the last 20-30 years there have been many so-called supernatural events and phenomena. Some of these have been explained, however, others have remained a mystery. After so many unexplainable events have happened, people have brought up the question, are ghosts real? The definition of a ghost is “an old apparition of a dead person which is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image”, a lot of people would answer this question with a definite no. However, paranormal events such as telekinesis or psychic powers being unexplainable to science, make some say otherwise. For example, a film called 'The Conjuring' came out on the 13th of July in 2013. It's been named one of the most profitable horror films in history and it was based on a true story. In the film the family moves into a house, haunted by ghosts of demons. The film ends with a priest having to perform an exorcism on the mother of the family as she has been taken over by a ghost. The film was inspired by one of Ed and Lorraine Warren's most famous paranormal investigations. In the 1970's, the Perron family was subject to a terrifying haunting by multiple sprits at a Rhode Island farmhouse. The eldest of the Perron children, Andrea, claimed to have seen her mother become possessed, speaking in an unknown language and even said to have been seen floating above the ground in her chair. In the 1900s this could not have been done with machines or technology because we had not yet improved on the technological discoveries of the Industrial Revolution. However, there have been other 'supernatural events' that have been clearly explained by the use of physics and other science methods. For example, you can make things float with no support with method called magnetic levitation or suspension where an object is suspended with nothing other than magnetic fields. Now when Andrea was stating her mother was floating, it could have been the result of magnetic levitation, but on a larger scale, compared to smaller objects and possibly events such as that of the Perron family, it could also have been exacerbated by mass hysteria and superstitions of the late 20th century in America. Are Ghosts Real? James Peasley (Year 9) investigates this perennial question, and the reasons for our obession with it Lights, Camera, Distraction The main goal of a movie is to tell a story, whether a story of love, loss, laughter or all of the above. However, you may be surprised to learn that these stories, their scripts and plots, are often altered by the most powerful governments and militaries in the world. But why? Governments seem eternally preoccupied with the economy, interest rates and inflation and militaries look like they’re busy preparing for the Third World War, so why do these organisations spend precious time and money on movies and are there any insidious intentions behind their actions? Let us first look at the most wellknown contender for edited movies by a government: China. It is relatively common-knowledge that movies have a different final cut in China and the rest of the world, yet many don’t truly understand the reasons behind it. China operates a strict media censorship program known as The Great Firewall, a reference to The Great Wall of China, which blocks websites that you may visit everyday, YouTube, Google, Instagram and more, in order to prevent what the CCP calls “spiritual pollution”, information that damages the Chinese government’s reputation. This censorship extends to the cinema as well, with movies forced to be edited lest they be barred from screening within China. Such was the case with Skyfall, where scenes of James Bond fighting Chinese characters were cut, possibly due to the potential offence to Chinese audiences. Similarly, originally World War Z had the zombie virus it featured to be China related, yet in the Chinese cut, it was changed to be North Korean. Some movies are outright banned from being viewed in cinema, such as Deadpool, Suicide Squad and The 10 Conditions of Love, which were banned due to the movies allegedly Fazaan ShahDias (Year 12) examines the ulterior role occupied by cinema, as a force of propaganda Deadpool was banned by the CCP (2016)

15 Features Issue 10 - December 2023 going against the Chinese government’s principles. This censorship is potentially much less sinister than the next country examined, the USA. The United States Department of Defence published an article openly stating “Production agreements require the DoD to be able to review a rough cut of a film, so officials can decide if there are areas that need to be addressed before a film is released.”. This means that the DoD has the power to edit or scrap movie scripts as they please, a tool they have used to rewrite history. Marvel Studios, worth $53 billion, enlisted the aid of the US Military to design Captain America, the military was even quoted as saying they did this as the character “possessed the values of today’s modern soldier”. Thus, the US used Hollywood to present an image of the American military that is not necessarily true to life. For example, the movie features non-segregated battalions, not only historically inaccurate, but also a way to improve the image of the military. Continuing with the theme of Marvel Studios, the original script for 'The Incredible Hulk' included references to a real experiment conducted by the military during the Vietnam War and failures by military personnel, resulting in deaths of innocents. The DoD changed details like these in exchange for Marine Corps support, such as changing the codename of the operation to capture the Hulk from “Ranch Hand” (a real chemical warfare program) to “Angry Man”, and the changing of a US military vehicle that has a break failure and kills innocents to an NGO aid vehicle. Maybe these edits aren’t propaganda, maybe they’re intended to protect national interests, however, it is concerning that the military is able to promote its image, hide its actions and plainly rewrite history in such a veiled way. Especially in the modern era, the era of instant communication and information, the era where liars will be believed, honest people disbelieved, and faithful people called traitors, it is more important than ever to be aware of propaganda. We need to be aware of the ways people will try and sway our opinions and actions in order to achieve their goals. Perhaps, in essence, in trying to raise awareness about this issue, this article is propaganda. Captain America: The First Avenger features nonsegregated battalions (2011) "China operates a strict media censorship program known as The Great Firewall, a reference to The Great Wall of China." The 10 Conditions of Love was banned by the CCP for portraying the struggle of a leader of the Uyghurs (2009) "It is concerning that the military is able to promote its image, hide its actions and plainly rewrite history in such a veiled way." "Governments seem eternally preoccupied with the economy, interest rates and inflation and militaries look like they’re busy preparing for the Third World War"