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John Drake

Member Since 10 Nov 2008
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 07:38 PM

#3153369 Today's League Express

Posted by John Drake on 06 July 2015 - 07:10 AM

League Express is in shops & online now. Includes full coverage from the Super League, Championship, League 1 and the NRL. Download the app from Apple Newsstand or Google Play. More info at www.totalrl.com/le

Also available by post from www.totalrl.com/shop or call 01484 401895 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm)



#3153258 Greece

Posted by John Drake on 05 July 2015 - 08:35 PM

Yes, I think you're missing quite a lot actually. You write as if Greece has not been enduring severe austerity for many years already.

The question is, how can Greece ever pay back its debts with an economy that would be doomed to permanent decline under the terms the so called Troika wish to impose.

And what burden of responsibility should those who made the irresponsible and unsustainable loans to Greece in the first place be forced to bear.

#3146371 Paul Wellens Retires

Posted by John Drake on 24 June 2015 - 09:59 AM

There's a six page feature with Paul Wellens in the new issue of Rugby League World on sale this Friday, 26th June. Well worth reading.

#3145560 Time to bring back Great Britain....yaaaaawwwwn!

Posted by John Drake on 22 June 2015 - 09:37 PM

Awful journalism pushing a non-progressive agenda? About par for the course in RL TBH.


Translation: "Someone appears to hold an opinion I may not share so I'll dismiss it out of hand without even bothering to read it first."

#3145558 Time to bring back Great Britain....yaaaaawwwwn!

Posted by John Drake on 22 June 2015 - 09:34 PM

So you're just having a go at me then?  After all, I wasn't the only one on this thread whose response was not ticking the enthusiastic box!


And I have no desire to 'shut down' any debate.  I expressed my own opinion, which I thought I was allowed to do.  Others can - and have - challenged it already John. 


And I didn't say that nobody was interested in the subject.  Clearly some people are, like Michael Shenton!  Unless he was used as a front for someone else's opinion.  Please don't put words into my mouth (or through my fingers, whichever) just to suit your agenda.  I am entitled to be exasperated by the frequent revisits to this tiresome subject just as others are entitled to be frustrated that we still play as England.


I'm having a go at no one. Just taking issue with those who have jumped to conclusions about an article in a magazine that they haven't actually read yet.


Michael Shenton is a front for no ones opinion but his own. What a ridiculous suggestion. He writes his own column for the mag. He is a very intelligent, articulate individual with a great deal of integrity.

#3145536 Time to bring back Great Britain....yaaaaawwwwn!

Posted by John Drake on 22 June 2015 - 09:13 PM

Was that kind of response really necessary?


The reason I can't think of anything new to say is because I am widely read and so have come across every shade of opinion on this matter over the years I've been a rugby league fan. 


I'm interested in reading the thoughts of lots of people: international players, non-international players and non-players included.  I just don't think Shenton's input will include anything new given the number of players and non-players who have provided their opinions on this subject over the years (namely, ever since GB was replaced with England!).


Yes, I think my response was necessary, quite frankly.


You want to shut down a debate just because someone may disagree with your world view. Tough!


The argument that no one is interested in this issue isn't borne out by the numbers of people currently reading this thread.

#3145521 Time to bring back Great Britain....yaaaaawwwwn!

Posted by John Drake on 22 June 2015 - 08:50 PM

If the impression that Shenton is pro-Great Britain was not the one the editor of RLW wanted to give then another headline should have been used.  I can't think of anything new that can be said on this subject which hasn't been said countless times before.


Just because you can't think of anything new to say doesn't mean no one else can. Honestly!


The thoughts of a current England international on the international game, eh? Who'd want to give that a hearing? Not the self-appointed gurus of TRL, it seems.

#3143481 Ryan Hall Column: Boosting international Rugby League

Posted by John Drake on 19 June 2015 - 11:00 AM

I've always rated Hall as a winger but, as a thinker, he's a major disappointment. Can I get a column where I just regurgitate the usual grab bag of RL forum cliches and prejudices? Gee Ryan, I hope you've got your taxi licence for when you retire.


Why not prove your superiority by saying something insightful about the issues raised by the column, rather than just falling back on the easy anonymous forum keyboard warrior option of slagging someone else off for their efforts?

#3142096 19 Jun: Wigan Warriors v Salford Red Devils KO 8pm

Posted by John Drake on 17 June 2015 - 10:52 AM

Discuss Wigan Warriors v Salford Red Devils here.

#3136444 The European Union Referendum

Posted by John Drake on 07 June 2015 - 11:14 AM

The European Union is essentially driven by German industry, with the deal being that the Germans prop up the weaker economies.


And yet, as this article shows, Germany is entering a period of steep population decline.


Will it be able to continue to support the rest of the EU?


And what if it can't?


There's a danger that if we vote to stay in the EU we'll be tying ourselves to a sinking ship.


There's also a danger in thinking that if we leave, the UK will somehow be shielded from anything affecting the EU, as if this massive trading bloc existing on our shores will cease to have any impact on our economy.


The EU won't disappear if the UK leaves. All that will disappear is the UK's ability to influence anything that happens within the EU.


I'd prefer to see the UK remain in the EU and working hard within it to improve our relations with the other nations and changing it from within (as Cameron is now somewhat belatedly claiming to do, if only to save his own political bacon rather than any greater aim), rather that endlessly carping on from the sidelines about how much influence other nations have over us and yearning to turn the clock back to the rose-tinted days of Empire.

#3136411 Labour leadership contest

Posted by John Drake on 07 June 2015 - 10:03 AM


That Telegraph article having a pop at Andy Burnham includes a tweet from Kay Burley. Kay Burley!! And they want to have an argument about credibility?


I mean, yes, the sign off in the letter to HRH fromBurnham was vomit inducing, but even the Torygraph adds this disclaimer at the foot of the article:


In Mr Burnham’s defence, he was not the only Labour minister to use the formal sign-off. Labour hard-man John Reid used exactly the same form of words when he wrote to the Prince when he was health secretary, suggesting civil servants in the department were the ones who suggested using the highly formal and traditional form of address.


Of course, the bigger issue here, and one worthy of its own thread, is why this correspondence was taking place at all.

#3134934 Politics in the Pub @BradfordBrewery

Posted by John Drake on 04 June 2015 - 01:10 PM

Got a couple of tickets, should be a good do. I do love a bit of pub debating, especially when it gets to the finger on the table stage.


See you there! :)

#3134814 Politics in the Pub @BradfordBrewery

Posted by John Drake on 04 June 2015 - 10:17 AM

Here's a great initiative from the local independent Bradford business that gave the world the classic twitter hashtag #isgeorgegallowaystillathing


What's the Point in Voting?
Politics in the Pub's inaugural event at Bradford Brewery in the heart of Bradford's burgeoning Independent Quarter.

Thursday, 25 June 2015 from 19:00 to 21:30 (BST)
Bradford Brewery, 11 Rawson Road, Bradford, BD1 3SH

David Ward (LibDem) - former MP for Bradford East.
Baroness Glenys Thornton of Manningham (Labour) - Shadow Spokesperson for Equalities and Women's Issues in the House of Lords.
Debbie Davies (Conservative) - Bradford MDC Councillor for Baildon.
Will Robinson (no party) - co-founder of Politics in the Pub and will argue that voting is pointless.

John Atkinson - Why are London's kids worth more than ours?


Book a free ticket:



Politics in the Pub website


Follow em on Twitter




I'm going! :)

#3134779 Stupid Questions League: Demise & End of Forum Party

Posted by John Drake on 04 June 2015 - 09:08 AM

Wow - a sad day for the forum – to be fair, it’s had a good innings. Think it started way back in 2001, unless some more knowledgeable forumites can correct me there – that’s 15 seasons of stupidness which is very impressive. I know I dropped out a few seasons back as I just kept forgetting to post – maybe a few other people did too.




I know there was joke of a trophy, but when I won one year Daza did actually send me a plaque type thing in a frame – I’ve still got it somewhere, I’ll see if I can dig it out.




Well done to the guys who has kept it going over the years and to anyone who has ever done the scoring and marking. A particularly thankless task at some times if I remember correctly!


I echo all of the above sentiments.


However, all good things must come to an end, I suppose, but we do need to send SQL off in style by resurrecting another old TRL tradition, the end of forum party!


I'll liaise with Native New Yorker and High Peak Rhino to set a date when everyone will be invited to come along to the SQL forum and partake in virtual wine, beer and nibbles, share memories of past stupidness, compare imaginary trophies and argue heatedly about refereeing decisions before trashing the joint.


Watch this space for further developments on all that...

#3134634 Privilege

Posted by John Drake on 03 June 2015 - 09:18 PM

Surely it isn't inequality that blights people's lives, but a lack of opportunity allied in some parts of the world to an oppressive political system and environmental degradation - in particular the lack of clean water, which I think is the biggest problem facing many poor parts of the world.


Most people who I know have vastly less income than Bill Gates, for example, but their lives aren't blighted by that fact as long as they have the opportunity to achieve something themselves.


When you cite inequality, what exactly are you referring to?


Is it purely financial inequality? Is it income inequality or capital inequality?


Or does it extend to more than merely financial inequality?


Or are you talking about equality of opportunity?


And that in itself is quite a difficult concept.


And given that you'll never have absolute equality, either in income or assets, how much inequality is acceptable before it stops being a problem?


How much social engineering are we prepared to do in order to try to ensure that we are all equal?


How can we ensure that we don't trap people in poverty when we take measures we think might help them?


And would we be happy if we made everyone poorer in order to create equality?


To her credit, Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party, was explicit prior to the election about being willing to impoverish us in order to make us equal.


But how much sacrifice would you be prepared to make?


For example, a relative of a relative of mine is now in his sixties and has never worked a day in his life. He decided early in his life that work wasn't for him.


Given the chance, I'm sure he would like to share your income, but I suspect you wouldn't like to share your income with him.


Unfortunately we are all born with different talents that give us different earning capacities. Some of us are industrious, while some of us are lazy.


And some people are just better than others at making money.


Inequality takes many different forms in many different places.


Some will ignore it, others will challenge it.


Just because it will never be possible to achieve absolute equality,whether that is even desirable or not, does not mean that specific aspects of inequality cannot be challenged or changed for the better.


Our own society today is far more equal than it was in many respects, in others it still leaves a lot to be desired.


Think of the basic right to vote. It isn't too far in the past that only those born into money and of the appropriate sex had that right. I'm grateful to those who challenged and changed that situation.


Think of the creation of the NHS. Before that, only those who had the money could afford medical attention. I'm grateful to those who challenged and changed that situation.


Think of gender and race equality. As a white male, I benefit from neither because I was already benefitting by an accident of birth by being white and male, but nevertheless I'm grateful to those who challenged and changed that situation for the benefit of those who were being affected.


Imagine what our society would look like if all our predecessors had just shrugged their shoulders and accepted inequality as a fact of life.


We now live in a society where the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer, and all the while we have politicians wittering on about about 'hardworking people' when those who work the hardest are often the least rewarded. Where the minimum wage rises by pennies as the boardroom bonuses rise by millions.


I think that situation ought to be challenged and changed and I do not believe the earth would tilt off its axis if it were.