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John Drake

Member Since 10 Nov 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 03:19 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: House of Lords to get stuffed

Today, 12:20 PM

They all do it, Blair brought in loads of new Labour peers when he got in.


Personally I think the whole Lords system is out of date and the politics completely detracts from what they should be there to do which is to scrutinise legislation from the commons. 


Personally i'd be in favour of scrapping the whole lot of them and having a fully elected 2nd chamber, but for it to be completely politically neutral, with every member banned from being a member of any political party.

Legislation could then be properly scrutinised and debated so that what the country gets is right for the country and not whats right for whichever political party is in power.


To be fair to Tony Blair (not words you see often anywhere these days) his government did get rid of the hereditary peers in the Lords. One tiny step forward, but then, as you say, several steps further backwards because he appointed a load of so called 'working' life peers himself.


I'm not sure you could ever achieve a completely politically neutral and elected second chamber, however desirable that may sound, because standing for election without the support of a political party behind you is not easy and also quite expensive. Just getting a fairly basic candidate leaflet printed and distributed in a council ward is hard work. Dealing with bigger constituency areas is even harder. Plus, with no party allegiances at all, the second chamber would probably end up resembling a cat-herding conference.


The issue for me isn't that politicians sit in the Lords, it is that whoever sits in the Lords, they owe their positions to patronage, and though many of them work hard and with integrity, many of them also do not, but regardless of their performance, we cannot get rid of any of them, they are completely unaccountable.


Their numbers grow but never diminish.


That just ain't right.

In Topic: Labour leadership contest

Yesterday, 12:26 PM

Did he consult a crib sheet to see what the Party policy on rugby league was this week?


No, though he did give a politician's answer of saying both teams had 'an excellent chance' of promotion. ;)


He asked me if I'd been to Leigh Sports Village and what I thought of it, and also talked about Leigh's 'aggressive' reputation this season so he didn't come across to me as someone who was feigning interest.

In Topic: Labour leadership contest

Yesterday, 09:49 AM

Went to hear Andy Burnham speak in Leeds last night. Very impressive, IMO. He's got my vote.


Afterwards, he took the time to chat to everyone who wanted a word with him (and that was a lot of people, including me). In person, he communicates like a human being, a quality which cannot be underestimated in a politician.


Going for the most pressing issue of the moment, I asked him about the promotion chances of Leigh Centurions and Bradford Bulls! ;)



In Topic: Labour leadership contest

Yesterday, 09:38 AM

It's true that the landslide evaporated. What's not true is the desire for a continuation of Labour rule evaporated. In 1951 Labour polled 48.8% of the votes cast, an increase of .8% over 1945, but because of the re-drawing of constituency boundaries lost the election to the Tories, who only polled 48%.  Churchill is always hailed as the great leader, but in terms of votes cast he never won an election as PM.


Unfortunately, under our electoral system, the actual number of votes cast doesn't determine the outcome of an election. The history books will forever show that in 1951, Attlee lost and Churchill won.


Labour - until such time as it wins an election and takes the opportunity to change the electoral system to a fairer one - will have to win under the system we have.

In Topic: Labour leadership contest

28 July 2015 - 11:53 AM

The art of delusion in full flow.


It Is Time to Dispel the Myth That Labour's '83 Manifesto Was Too Left Wing