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In the week in which we have marked International Women's Day and celebrated the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world, it is particularly pleasing to be able to congratulate South College Ladies Football Club. In a hard-fought match against an impressive St Cuthbert's side, the Owlesses secured a place in the final of the Floodlit Cup. Their 4-2 victory was an outstanding achievement. Onwards to the final!

At the College Formal this (Friday) evening, we will celebrate the achievements of the Owlesses counterparts in South College Men's Football Club. The Owls have had a very successful season winning the league and securing promotion to the Premiership. We will mark the Owlesses achievements with a similar celebration soon.

As a Chelsea supporter, I am particularly pleased to take pride in our college footballers' prowess. I shall not stop supporting my team, but my ticket membership is now useless. I had planned to return to Stamford Bridge for a final home match before the end of the season. Such trips give me an excuse to see my children, two of whom are Chelsea supporters and regularly join me in the Family Stand. It cannot happen now. So, I'll be additionally glad and proud to cheer our fantastic South College teams.

As far as the reasons for Chelsea's travails are concerned, all my sympathy is with the people and government of Ukraine. Sanctions are an essential part of the international response to President Putin's aggression. They must be applied without fear or favour. Indeed, I fear sanctions alone will not be enough to restore the international order and secure peace, stability, and freedom.

In common with many in my generation, I was thrilled when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. I worked for the BBC then and I was on duty at the Today Programme when the news that East Germans were flooding across the wall to the West reached Broadcasting House. That night, I was more than a little jealous of the colleagues who were sent to report from Germany. In the following weeks and months, I joined the team of BBC news journalists covering the collapse of Communism and travelled to Serbia, Romania, and Hungary.

For a while, I shared in the hope that the international order had changed permanently for the better. I was wrong. Now it is looking more fragile and perilous than at any time since 1945. This feels worse than the Cold War with which my generation grew up. Mutually Assured Destruction was a terrifying doctrine that delivered stability. Our world has changed utterly, and awareness of strategic and international challenges has rarely been more important.

As we approach the end of Epiphany Term, I wish every Southie a restful and rewarding break. There is much to look forward to in Easter Term. Last, but emphatically not least, my warm congratulations to Haf Serajee who has been elected JCR President for 2022/2023. Sean has done a tremendous job in 2021/2022 and it is more than pleasing to know that our College will remain in truly excellent stewardship.