The Weekly News Update

To keep up to date with all things news worthy follow us on twitter, @InsanityNews. You can also listen to our fortnightly news show What A Week Thursdays 6pm! If you missed this week’s show you can listen back on our Mixcloud. For quick news updates on the go; tune in at 12pm and 7pm daily for our bulletins.

In National News

What Would ‘no Brexit deal’ Look Like?

  • Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced that British farmers would produce more food themselves in the event of a no trade deal post Brexit.
  • Grayling’s comments are a response to industry claims that a no-Brexit deal could result in an average 22% tariff on all EU food bought by British retailers.
  • However, Grayling argues that a no-Brexit deal would force the British market to rethink.
  • It would force self-sustainability as supermarkets would buy more from home, benefitting British farmers.
  • This poses the risk of internal competitiveness and domestic producers could increase prices of household items.
  • Elsewhere, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond called the EU’s Brexit negotiators ‘the enemy’ which he has since described as ‘a poor choice of words.’
  • Earlier this week, Hammond was also criticised by a former chancellor for trying to sabotage negotiation talks.

Government Criticised over Universal Credit System.

  • The Government continues to face criticism from both Labour and Conservative MP’s with regards to the Universal Credit system.
  • The system aims to replace a series of current in and out of work benefits with a single benefits payment.
  • Controversy surrounds the rollout due to a series of errors and flaws. This includes a delay of up to 6 weeks for people moved onto the new system, resulting inability to pay rent and afford food.
  • Pressure on the Government has increased as Labour announces it has secured a vote on Universal Credit. A sizeable group of Conservative MP’s have indicated they will defy the Party and vote alongside Labour.

There’s a Storm Ahead:

  • The Met Office has announced an amber wind warning as 90 mph winds head towards the UK and North Ireland as category 3 Hurricane Ophelia approaches.
  • The peak of the winds will be on Monday between 3pm and 10pm, particularly affecting western parts of the UK.
  • The high temperatures over the weekend and the beginning of the forthcoming week are a result of Hurricane Ophelia forcing the warm air towards the UK.
  • The Republic of Ireland’s Met Office has issued a red warning for Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford.
Hurricane Ophelia news
Hurricane Ophelia approaching the UK CREDIT: EPA/NASA

In International News:

Austria Set To Elect The World’s Youngest Leader.

  • Sebastian Kurz served as Europe’s youngest-ever foreign minister, aged just 27.
  • Now aged 31, Mr Kurz is the leader of Austria’s conservative People’s Party, who are set to win the country’s general election.
  • Projections suggest they are set to win more than 31% but it is unclear which party will finish second.
  • Mr Kurz has focused his campaign on immigrant issues. He pledges to: shut down migrant routes to Europe, cap benefit payments to refugees, and bar immigrant benefits until they have lived in Austria for 5 years.
  • If Mr Kurz succeeds in the election he will be the world’s youngest national leader.

Trump Denounces Iran Nuclear Deal.

  • President Trump has announced he will not certify the Iran nuclear deal, alongside a review into the effectiveness of such a deal.
  • This has drawn significant criticism globally, with other countries pointing to the fact that an independent committee has found no evidence that Iran is attempting to bypass the conditions of the agreement.
  • The EU has stated that the US is not the only signatory to the Iran deal, and that they will continue to uphold the agreement in full.
Donald Trump news
Donald Trump’s speech on Iran included misleading and false claims. CREDIT: REX/Shutterstock/Rex/Shutterstock

Most Fatal Wildfires In Californian History Continue To Blaze.

  • Wildfires in California means the number of deceased continues to rise.
  • With 40 people dead and hundreds still missing, the six days of wildfires in the American state has been called ‘one of its greatest tragedies.’
  • Over 10,000 fire firefighters, 880 fire engines, 134 bulldozers and 14 helicopters continue to battle the 16 remaining blazes.
  • The fires spread so quickly and are so difficult to control because of the following reasons:
  • California had its hottest summer on record with less than 25% rainfall. This dried out vegetation, making it more  susceptible to wildfire.
  • The ‘Diablo Winds’ provided winds up to 70 mph which spread the flames faster than firefighters could tackle them.
  • California’s growing population meant that homes and other structures are increasingly built in ‘very high severity’ zones that are close to areas of woodland.

Terror Attack in Somalia

  • A bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday is now known to have killed at least 230 people.
  • It is the deadliest terror attack in the area since the Islamist al-Shabab group launched its insurgency in 2007.
  • It is not clear who staged the bombing, but Mogadishu is a target for al-Shabab militants battling against the government.
Civilians evacuating from Somalian explosion news
Civilians evacuate from the scene of the Somalian explosion CREDIT: REUTERS/FEISAL OMAR

In Entertainment News:

UK and New York Police Are Investigating a Number of Sexual Assault Allegations Involving Producer Harvey Weinstein.

  • The Metropolitan Police say he is accused of assaulting three women in separate incidents in London between the late 1980s and 2015. However, no arrests have been made.
  • The Hollywood film producer has ‘unequivocally denied’ any allegations of non-consensual sex.
  • More than twelve women – among them actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan and Cara Delevingne – have made accusations against him.
  • Weinstein has received more than 300 Oscar nominations and won 81.
  • Yet, on Saturday 14th October, the organisation behind the Oscars voted to expel Weinstein.
  • Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, has announced she has left the movie mogul following growing ‘unforgivable’ claims of sexual assault.
Harvey Weinstein and wife Georgina Chapman news
Harvey Weinstein and his fashion designer wife Georgina Chapman CREDIT: DANNY MOLOSHOK/REUTERS

General Election 8th June

On the 18th April 2017 Theresa May announced a snap election. On the 8th of June polls opened to the British public, allowing them to select a party to led us into the future of a nation away from the European Union.

May believed that the Conservative Party were in a position of strength that would win them a majority. Thus, she believed that she would have a better hand for negotiating a Brexit deal. However, the election resulted in a hung parliament, whereby no party received a majority. The Conservatives were the largest party but failed to achieve the 326 seats required for a majority government. The Conservatives lost 13 seats. Labour gained 30 seats. SNP lost 21 seats. The Liberal Democrats gained 4 seats. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) gained 2.


Notable Events of the Election Results:

  • Paul Nuttell stepped down as UKIP leader after the Party failed to win any seats.
  • Alex Salmond, who served as First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014 lost his seat to the Conservative candidate.
  • Former Liberal Democrat leader nick Clegg lost his seat in Sheffield Hallam to the Labour candidate.
  • After a third recount, it was announced that labour had taken the Kensington seat from the Tories for the first time since the creation of the constituency in 1974.


What Happened After the Results were Announced?

Theresa May visited Buckingham Palace at 12:30 BST on the 9th of June to request permission to form a minority government. After prominent parties stayed true to their pre-election statements of not forming coalitions with the Conservatives, Theresa May turned to the DUP.


Any Questions:

More than 1600 people requested tickets to the BBC’s Any Questions scheduled on the 9th of June. However, only 300 were able to get tickets. The panel consisted of Jon Ashworth (Labour MP for Leicester South), Brandon Lewis (MP for Great Yarmouth), Tim Montgomerie (writer for The Times and creator of the ConservativeHome website) and Polly Toynbee (columnist for The Guardian and supporter of the labour Party).


Noteworthy Moments:

  • Brandon Lewis supported Theresa May’s decision to call for a snap election and even deemed it ‘necessary.’ He showed full support for May’s administration but also displayed hesitancy towards a DUP coalition.
  • Conservative Tim Montgomerie denounced Theresa May and her ‘failed vision’ of a new Conservative Party. Montgomerie stated that the Prime Minister and her advisers had made a mistake in calling the snap election without a manifesto. The political activist even went as far as to call for her to step down. Most memorable of the event was Montgomerie’s prediction for another election in the near future.
  • Jon Ashworth called the post-election Conservatives ‘weak and unstable’. Ashworth also stressed his concerns about the potential of a Conservative-DUP coalition. Ashworth stated that the uncertainty of this coalition was worrying but more importantly that the DUP did not represent the people of his constituency in Leicester South. Ashworth announced that at least with the 2010 Cameron-Clegg coalition the British public knew ‘what they were getting’ as the Liberal Democrat candidates had campaigned in his constituency and across the UK with a manifesto. However, Ashworth emphasised that DUP did not.
  • Polly Toynee commended Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for his success in gaining seats and in the party’s appeal to youths, despite the demonization in the press.


To hear the opinions of the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party candidates listen on the Insanity Radio News Mixcloud.
Disclaimer: All candidates from the Runnymede and Weybridge Constituency were invited to the Big Debate on Friday 26th May and to an interview with Insanity Radio afterwards. However, the Conservative candidate was unable to stay for the interview and the UKIP candidate could not attend either.

This is Insanity Radio, Its Saturday the 26th November

  • Parish considers selling ageing churches to build new ones to better serve the local community
  • The Catholic parish of Egham has calculated that it would need 1.3 million pounds to bring its two churches, Our Lady of the Assumption and St. John of Rochester, up to snuff
  • Several locals have commented on this decision in protest
  • One stated that it would be opposed because ‘it’s a centre of the community’
  • Furthermore some of the buildings within the precinct of the church in Englefield Green had recently been renovated in 2013

Elsewhere in Surrey

  • Surrey County Council have postponed plans for the Runneymede Roundabout
  • The project, that will cost 7 million pounds, was put on hold after the council stated it could not continue to write checks for money it doesn’t have
  • The project, originally announced in Sept. 2014, was originally meant to cost 4 million pounds but after a redesign now will cost a total of 7.224 million
  • The decision on how to proceed has been pushed off until December

In national news

  • Serial rape-drug murderer Stephen Port given life sentence
  • Port, 41, was charged with 29 various crimes, and convicted for the murder of 4 men
  • He would lure them to his apartment before giving them lethal doses of the date rape drug GHB
  • The judge at the trial at the Old Bailey said that he should ‘die in prison’
  • Port attempted to hide his murders through fake suicide notes, even attempting to pin the blame of one of his victims in the suicide note of another

In Royal Holloway news

  • PhD in Media Arts student Iris Zaki has been awarded the Grierson Award marking her as one of the brightest up and coming documentary makers in the UK
  • Her film Women in Sink uses as filming technique she has developed called ‘the abandoned camera’ to film open conversations in closed communities
  • Installing a camera above a sink at a hair salon in Haifa Israel she was able to openly discuss various topics with customers while washing their hair
  • The film won the Sky Atlantic Best Student Documentary Grierson Award this year

In Royal Holloway Sports News

  • Swimming club running a special charity event
  • During the last week of January members of the club will swim the ‘Diamond Duke of Edinburgh’
  • This event will have each swimmer, who raises charity support beforehand, to swim the distance it would take to cover the 3 peaks, a total of 137 laps of their pool
  • Support the club and charity by donating
  • See the Swim Club Facebook group for more

Finally, tonight’s weather will see

  • Cloudy with a low of 6, raising to 8 by noon

This is Insanity Radio, its Thursday the 24th November

  • Surrey County Council are facing the High Court in a recycling battle.
  • The council imposed charges for the dumping of non-household waste at recycling centres.
  • Facing these charges Surrey residents could take the council to the High Court as they may be illegal.

Elsewhere in Surrey

  • In Frimley, a man has been found guilty of eight counts of child rape and seven counts of child cruelty.
  • After a four week trial at Guilford Crown Court Dean Stuart Talbot-Bailey, 45, has been jailed for 32 years following a multitude of crimes.

In national news

  • Thomas Mair has been jailed for life for murdering MP Jo Cox.
  • Described as an act of terror, Mair shot and stabbed the Labour MP in a violent attack in June before the EU referendum vote.
  • The 53 year old shouted ‘Britain First’ during the attack and Nazi material was found in his home. He has been jailed for life.

In Royal Holloway news

  • The university is currently in talks with The Monkey’s Forehead following the announcement that the pub will be closing in December.
  • The lease for the establishment is becoming available in January 2017 – RHUL is currently discussing purchasing the lease.

In Royal Holloway Sports News

  • The women’s 1st football beat Kingston’s 1st team yesterday 8-0 and are now through to the quarter finals

Finally, today’s weather will see it

  • Cloudy with spots of rain clearing this afternoon with highs of 11 degrees and lows of 6.

This is Insanity Radio, Its Thursday the 17th November

  • Surrey County Council’s plans to permanently switch off street lights in residential areas throughout Surrey has caused concern amongst locals.
  • The decision was made by the Council to save an estimated £210,000 a year however the ‘Shine A Light’ campaign have raised concerns about safety and a potential rise of anti-social behaviour

Elsewhere in Surrey

  • A Godalming wildlife sanctuary has called for the people of Surrey to look after tiny Hedgehogs this winter.
  • These young hedgehogs must be kept warm through the difficult winter and the RSPCA has released advice about caring for juvenile hedgehogs. 

In national news

  • UK unemployment has plummeted to an 11 year low.
  • Figures released by the ONS show that unemployment has fallen by 37,000 to 1.6 million over the past three months.

In Royal Holloway news

  • Media Arts PHD student from Royal Holloway has won a major documentary prize.
  • PHD student Iris Zaki has been recognised as one of the best up and coming documentary makers in the UK at the Grieson Awards in London.
  • Her film ‘Women in Silk’ uses the ‘Abandoned Camera’ technique that she has devised to allow her to film open conversations within closed communities.
  • Find out more on the Royal Holloway Website. 

In Royal Holloway Sports News

  • There was a win for the Royal Holloway Mens Lacrosse team yesterday, as they won their match 7-4 against the University of Kent 1st team

Finally, today’s weather:

  • This evening is cold with cloud coverage across the London area with highs of 8 degrees and winds of 12 mph

That’s the latest this is Insanity Radio

Student Radio Association Training Day hosted by Insanity Radio and Smoke Radio
Student Radio Association Training Day hosted by Insanity Radio and Smoke Radio

Insanity and Smoke Radio host the SRA Training Day – 12th October

The summer may be nearly over but we are very excited to share an exciting event that we’ve been organising over the long holiday! On 12th October, Insanity Radio have teamed up with Smoke Radio to bring you the Student Radio Association Training Day for London and East Anglia. Hosted at the Cavendish Campus of the University of Westminster, the day includes workshops from guest speakers who work in radio today and a chance to meet members of other student radio stations from the region. After the training day, there will also be the nominations party for the Student Radio Awards 2016 supported by BBC Radio 1 and Global.

The day runs from 9:30am until 5pm, with the nominations party later in the evening, and it’s completely free! All you need to attend is to be a paid member of Insanity Radio (or the Student Radio Association) and click ‘going’ on the Facebook event below. Please only select ‘going’ on the Facebook event if you are positive you can make it as there are limited places! If you have any questions contact Beth, Head of Training, on [email protected] and we look forward to seeing you at the training day!

Applications for Autumn 2016 are now open!

In order to be a member of Insanity Radio, you have to fill out our application form. This applies to both on-air presenters and off-air team members.

To open the application form, click here!

The deadline for applications is 23:59 on the 24th September 2016, so be sure to complete the form plenty of time before then!

Good luck!

Armstrong Gun cancels Pub Quiz as England faces Slovakia in the Euros 

Trivia fans are set to miss out tonight as popular pub chooses the football over their weekly quiz night. The Armstrong Gun in Englefield Green announced this morning that their regular Monday quiz night would be cancelled due to England’s final match in the EURO 2016 competition. Currently leading their group by only one point it is set to be a tense affair for football fans, having already seen the national team win against Wales and draw with Russia.

Welsh fans will also see their team face Russia tonight at 8pm, clashing with the England match, meaning that the fate of all of the teams in Group B will be sealed this evening. The Armstrong Gun are confident that their other regular evening events will go on as usual but could not confirm whether the quiz will return next Monday due to the pending draw for the Round of 16. With the new tournament format, there is potential that the first, second and third place teams from four of the groups could go through to the next round, meaning that events across the area could be rescheduled in favour of the football.

For those who are not fans of football, the tournament will end on 10th July 2016, at which point normal service should resume. Pubs across the area are likely to be showing many of the matches if you want to enjoy the contest amongst friends and matches are also being televised on BBC and ITV channels, although to watch these you need a TV license.

Insanity at E3 2016


EU Referendum – Royal Holloway Students’ Union Big Debate


It goes without saying that the European question is one of the most important we will face in our lifetimes, so joining in with the blanket media coverage, Insanity Radio is getting involved! The Students’ Union here at Royal Holloway held a debate on Tuesday the 24th of May to give the opportunity for students to hear the arguments from both sides in a sparring match that grew increasingly heated as it wore on. Held in the SU Main Hall, there was a fantastic turnout with the majority of seats filled both by campaigners from either side or those of us who are undecided. It is a testament to the versatility of students that despite the relatively serious tone of the debate that was about to start, many of the audience including myself and even members of the panel and campaign groups had taken the opportunity to nip to the bar beforehand.

Opening remarks were given by the College Principle, Paul Layzell and the debate was chaired by Chloe Costa of the Debating Society. Speaking for the Remain side were Robert King, President of the RHUL Labour and Cooperative Society, and Richard Brooks, Vice-President of Union Development at the NUS. Alex Balkan, Vote Leave coordinator for Runnymede and Weybridge spoke for the Leave camp, aided by Christian Egglishaw of the RHUL Conservative Society who filled in at the very last minute for Alex Nieora (GLA Candidate for Ealing) who was delayed due to traffic.

Principle Layzell opened the debate with an impassioned speech that drew on his experience of being just a month too young to vote in the previous European referendum in 1975, and our college’s founding purpose of educating women to advance the suffragette movement and implored students to register to vote, arguing that it would be an insult to those that had quite literally ‘given their blood’ to secure voting rights for us.
After a brief introduction by Chloe Costa, the debate began in earnest with speeches from both sides. Robert King of Remain spoke first, drawing on his family’s example of having benefitted from European trade and claiming that we as students would lose out on a number of benefits such as the ERASMUS programme should we leave. In what was probably his strongest performance in a debate that was gradually to become more uncomfortable for Alex Balkan of Leave, he argued it possible to be both Pro-European but anti-EU, pointing out his Bosnian and Tunisian heritage whilst attacking the EU’s effect on national sovereignty. Further statements were made by the more relaxed Brooks (Remain) that pointed out that 15% of research funding in UK universities comes from the EU and that it protected civil rights, with Egglishaw (Leave) countering that 7 countries in the EU constitutionally ban same-sex marriage.

Being an audience of students, it is natural that the audience was as a collective going to be more left-leaning than one made of the general population, and as such the debate was always going to require more work from the ‘Leave’ campaign. It is far easier to debate for sticking with the status-quo in almost any argument than it is to argue for change and – for want of a better phrase – for a step into what some call the ‘unknown’. Even so it must be said that the Remain camp appeared to put up a better argument. Although aided by said easier argument, this was as much down to a more laid-back delivery style from Richard Brooks as it was Robert King’s more confrontational one. One thing that struck me as absent from the debate were arguments that reflected the impact on those from less well-off backgrounds, be them through low income or through living in poorer areas of the UK. Both sides, perhaps more so Remain, predominantly discussed what I would label the middle-class consequences of the referendum. The debate closed with pleas from both sides for students to make sure they have registered to vote.

Throughout the debate the audience had the opportunity to vote for themselves on an SU poll. The results at the end showed a 78%-22% win for Remain that only increased in margin as more people switched on to the fact the poll existed. Interestingly, it gave a far stronger victory for Remain than a poll taken in a similar debate I attended last term put on by the PIR department. The Remain team (very smugly) congratulated themselves in the aftermath, and I can only presume the Leavers consoled themselves with (only just) not having suffered a complete washout in the poll. Both sides stuck around to answer further questions from the audience and each other. For me, my dinner and a beer was calling me home, but Insanity’s very own future Station Manager Charlotte Mason on her show Lunchtime with Lottie at 12:00 on Thursday will be playing excerpts from the interviews she conducted after the debate with panel members. Should you miss it, they will be available on her podcast on the Insanity Mixcloud.
As stated by Principle Layzell and both sides of the panel, the most important thing to take from this debate was a sense of the importance of the upcoming referendum. It would be incredibly easy for me to bore readers with the ins and outs of the arguments, but no. I encourage you all to investigate this for yourselves. Just remember, there are very few truly unbiased sources – especially on the internet. Read the arguments from both sides, find the facts yourself (if they exist), and make your decision as such.
Oh yeah, and then don’t forget to vote!

The Insanity Radio 103.2FM coverage of the EU Referendum Debate held by Royal Holloway’s Student’s Union can be found on the Insanity Radio Mixcloud account here.

The Propaganda
Advice on voter registration and the vote itself

–Words by Calum McGrath

BBC Radio 1 – The Student Radio Playlist 2016

At this year’s Student Radio Conference, BBC Radio 1 announced that they’ll be introducing a new show – called The Student Radio Playlist – and told us that it would be touring the SRA member stations around the country.

We submitted three playlists for consideration and we are proud to announce that Insanity Radio will be hosting The Student Radio Playlist on BBC Radio 1 and Insanity Radio 103.2FM! Our show titled ‪#‎YesAllWomen‬ was curated and compiled by Insanity Radio members and will be presented by one of our very own presenters!

Assistant Station Manager, Conor Ryan said:

‘this is a great opportunity to showcase not just Insanity Radio’s passion for music but also our rich history here at Royal Holloway’.

The Insanity Radio Production Board will be working with BBC Radio 1 producers in the coming weeks and the date of the broadcast of our show will be confirmed shortly!

Yellow Weather Warning Issued as Storm Imogen Batters Egham

The Met Office have issued a yellow weather warning for wind for Monday 8th February as Storm Imogen hits the UK. The warning is currently described as ‘be aware’, which could mean fallen trees, localised travel disruption and the possibility of debris on roads. There is potential for the warning to be raised to amber level, at which point damage would be expected to be more widespread with structural damage and the potential for loss of power.

Currently gusts are expected to peak at 52mph at around midday, when residents will also experience more heavy rain lasting into the evening. Areas to the south are expected to be hit harder and it has been recommended that people should not make unnecessary journeys and allow extra time for their commute, especially if routes involve cross winds or exposed roads. Because of the potential for tree fall, train users in particular should check before they travel.

This storm comes almost exactly two years after the last severe floods in Egham, but there is currently no flood warning for the River Thames at Staines and Egham. If rains continue as they did on Sunday evening there is likely to be surface water across the area, especially during heavy rain, so pedestrians should wear suitable footwear and cars take great care in driving close to pavements.

Weather updates are provided at the end of Insanity News broadcasts at midday and 7pm on weekdays, and weather warnings will be updated on the Met Office website if required.