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John Drake

Member Since 10 Nov 2008
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:12 PM

#3104893 General Election 2015 - Poll & Discussion Thread

Posted by John Drake on 12 April 2015 - 12:02 PM

Without going over old ground again, the new labour government didn't run the economy successfully. It was built on over inflated public services and capital spending via PFI. Now the pinch is being felt.
I won't claim to agree with every policy from this government but labours apparent good reputation with the NHS is built on shiny new buildings that future generations will still be paying for

The myth of Tory economic competence doesn't stand up to scrutiny. It's just a line that gets repeated so often and is rarely challenged that a lot of people actually believe it to be true.

You'd think recessions never happened under Tory governments. Yet I've lived through several!

As recently as the last election they promised to rebalance the economy and eliminate the deficit in a single Parliament. They pushed us into a double-dip recession in the attempt yet have ultimately achieved neither, resorting to fuelling another unsustainable housing boom - this time with taxpayers money - to give the impression of a recovery they hope will dupe enough people into voting them back in for another term. They hammer the working poor with increases in VAT which disproportionally punishes those on low incomes while rewarding the well off with income tax reductions. And they claim the credit for increasing the tax threshold when that was actually a Lib Dem policy, not their own.

In opposition, they supported the very spending plans by Labour they now decry as reckless. They called for lighter regulation on a banking system they now blame Labour for crashing through lack of regulation.

Ultimately they're just a bunch of incompetent economic charlatans who benefit from a compliant media.

#3099136 2/3 Apr: The Super League Match Thread (Easter Part One)

Posted by John Drake on 02 April 2015 - 03:46 PM

Webmaster in "Can't be bothered to post individual match threads shock"  :nono:


Hull to get stuffed by Hull KR on Thursday.


That is all.  :(


I thought 12 pinned SL match threads plus the Championship and League 1 threads as well might be a bit too much all at once.


It's a one-off. We'll be back to normal next week! ;)

#3090863 Budget 2015

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

There's an election coming. That's all anyone needs to know about this year's budget.


Trust any figures or promises it contains at your peril.

#3087010 Moving on - Leigh style

Posted by John Drake on 11 March 2015 - 12:41 PM

AAaaaand locked.

#3083927 Superleague Backchat

Posted by John Drake on 06 March 2015 - 04:24 PM

Backchat will be available to watch free of charge on TotalRL.com from 8pm tonight, for anyone who missed it or who doesn't have access to the TV broadcast.

#3083778 General Election 2015

Posted by John Drake on 06 March 2015 - 11:26 AM

Millions of voters watched the debates during the last GE campaign in 2010. People who would never normally engage with politics in any way, shape or form watched them. They were talked about for a long time afterwards.


Millions watched? Why? Out of curiosity? Hmmm... did it affect the turn out? Had it not have taken place would there have been millions of views demanding a debate next time.  


A politician churning out self-serving rubbish? Wow, that's a first! Not that Miliband wants a TV debate because he wants the British public to have the opportunity to weigh up the various policies so they are better informed and  more engaged in the political process.  The equally self-serving Miliband wants it because he thinks it'll win him more votes and because he sees it as an opportunity to  get one over on Cameron and since he desperately want those votes, especially in Scotland, he desperately want the debate. However since its the SNP he is up against in Scotland, then  he'll be wanting the SNP in on the act, though he's hardly a match for Nicola, now, is he.


Anyway, its easy for Miliband to advance even the most ridiculous of his policies. However as you know just as Cameron found out, if he were to win,  meeting promises made in opposition is much harder to do when you are in government.




 He might have to think on his feet. He might be challenged by, god forbid, a member of the public, the great unwashed, the plebs, mere voters. He might have to answer a question he hasn't been rigorously prepared for with a rehearsed soundbite.


Now you are just being silly. Really silly. Remember "That bigoted woman, eh?"


So John, let me get this right, you're actually arguing that the public should be denied the opportunity of watching their current and prospective leaders debate each other on televsion during an election campaign purely at the whim of whichever of them deems it not to be to their party political advantage to do so?




My argument is that these debates are a key means of engaging millions of people in the campaign, in an era when millions are disengaged from 'traditional' ways of doing things, and ought to be 'locked in', by statute if necessary, to this and all future GE campaigns, thus removing the opportunity for ANY PM or Leader of the Opposition to duck out when they don't fancy it.


That means, in 5 years time, if Miliband were PM at that point, he would be required to take part in the TV debates to defend his record in front of the public and quite rightly be able to be challenged on any empty guff he might have promised in the previous ones while Leader of the Opposition.


All this ducking and weaving for party political advantage while pretending it's some sort of principled stand quite honestly makes me puke, whichever side is indulging in it.

#3083758 General Election 2015

Posted by John Drake on 06 March 2015 - 10:34 AM

It irrelevant, a bit like the odious A. Campbell himself. The only people who will miss the debates if they don't take place are the media types who are hooked on this sort of stuff.


Millions of voters watched the debates during the last GE campaign in 2010. People who would never normally engage with politics in any way, shape or form watched them. They were talked about for a long time afterwards.


Cameron himself was incredibly gung-ho about them in 2010.


Now he claims they would suck the life out of the campaign. That's just self serving rubbish. He knows that. You know that. Everyone else knows that. What he really means is he would be taking part in a campaign activity that neither he nor his party had full control over. He might have to think on his feet. He might be challenged by, god forbid, a member of the public, the great unwashed, the plebs, mere voters. He might have to answer a question he hasn't been rigorously prepared for with a rehearsed soundbite.


What constitutes a political campaign that TV debates would 'suck the life out of' anyway? What does Cameron actually mean by that? The whole process of traditional political campaigning appears utterly moribund. TV debates at least have the ability to engage people, get them thinking and talking, arguing about political issues, where a leaflet through the door probably just goes straight in the recycle bin. For the vast majority of people these days, untouched or unmoved by traditional campaigning methods, election campaigns are wholly fought out on TV.


These people want to lead our country. We ought to be demanding they appear in these debates. It ought not to be their choice, but their duty.

#3080854 The TV Thread

Posted by John Drake on 01 March 2015 - 01:59 PM

It's on every week (sex pest DJs permitting) on BBC4 on a Thursday and is 1980 (week by week). It wasn't on tonight as it happens...see what I did there?


It's watching the BBC4 TOTP repeats that makes me want it back on telly now. Love or loathe the bands/singers appearing on it (and the less said about the presenters the better), TOTP was always a great little snapshot of what was in the charts at the time. Watching the old shows brings back some great memories, and also some 'wtf' moments when acts who never made it beyond a single appearance pop up. Plus, one of the recent repeated episodes featured the last performance of Bon Scott with AC/DC, recorded just days before he died, so they captured some remarkable pieces of history too.

#3080848 General Election 2015

Posted by John Drake on 01 March 2015 - 01:42 PM

And there is the rub.  The number of people I know who, just weeks away from a general election are still saying "I just don't know who I will be voting for" is amazing. 

On the BBC news this morning, latest poll said Tories and Labour were both on 34%.  Pundits have now started talking about another election in June/July if this one is hung.


If the outcome of the next election is a hung parliament, my guess is that some form of minority government or coalition will emerge from it eventually, as none of the parties will have either the stomach or the resources to go through the whole process again to achieve probably exactly the same outcome a few months later.


If they have fought an inconclusive election after five years of preparation, planning and policy formulation, it would be nigh on impossible to present anything remotely different to the electorate with only weeks of planning in order to break the deadlock in a second election the same year.


The Fixed Term Parliament Act complicates the matter of dissolving parliament and calling an early General Election too. A lot of people seem to have forgotten this little nugget being passed by the current coalition in 2011.


I think we've moved beyond the age of majority one-party governments in the UK. The question is, when will our electoral system change to finally acknowledge that and give us the opportunity to elect a Parliament that more accurately represents the way people have voted.

#3079780 Promotion and relegation or something completely different ?

Posted by John Drake on 27 February 2015 - 04:12 PM

Era We Go Again
Dave Hadfield on Rugby League's history of league restructuring, from Rugby League World issue 406


#3078753 New Forum Colour Scheme

Posted by John Drake on 25 February 2015 - 10:21 PM

Blimey, we changed it at lunchtime at it took over 8 hours for anyone to complain about it. Thought we'd gotten clean away with it this time!! ;)

The 'new' look is actually a return to the original (should we call it 'classic'?) out of the box forum template that we used on TRL for years prior to that dramatic and not universally popular switch to red 18 months ago (not to mention some of the clunkier alternatives we've also tried out since! ).

This time all we've changed on the basic template is a very minor colour tweak to match the new Total Rugby League homepage and logo.

Despite these new calming pastel shades, I bet JohnM will still claim it is full of reds! ;)

#3078344 26 Feb: Leeds Rhinos v Huddersfield Giants KO 8pm (TV)

Posted by John Drake on 25 February 2015 - 11:17 AM

Discuss Leeds Rhinos v Huddersfield Giants here.

#3074012 Can you believe what you read in the papers?

Posted by John Drake on 17 February 2015 - 11:21 PM

Why I have resigned from the Telegraph
Peter Oborne 17 February 2015

The coverage of HSBC in Britain's Daily Telegraph is a fraud on its readers. If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.



'You needed a microscope to find the Telegraph coverage: nothing on Monday, six slim paragraphs at the bottom left of page two on Tuesday, seven paragraphs deep in the business pages on Wednesday. The Telegraph’s reporting only looked up when the story turned into claims that there might be questions about the tax affairs of people connected to the Labour party.'

#3073623 General Election 2015

Posted by John Drake on 17 February 2015 - 12:39 PM

You might not like certain organs, but having Miliband in no 10 as an act of spite is surely too high a price to pay even for you.


I think Miliband would make a good PM, given the opportunity.


I think those who spend so much of their time attacking him personally, rather than debating policy, probably think that too - which is why they spend so much of their time attacking him personally. If he was as useless as they claim, they wouldn't need to bother. He is seen as a threat to the comfy consensus of the powerful.


That he is labelled 'Red' Ed shows just how inherently right wing this country has become. If you judge a man by his enemies, then yes, I'm with 'Red' Ed all the way to election day.


In my view, regardless of the way he eats a bacon sandwich (I couldn't give a toss how any politician eats a bacon sandwich), he is certainly the least worst option we are being presented with on 7th May. The prospect of five more years of the current coalition, or worse, an actual Tory majority, fills me with utter dread.

#3071319 Crowd watch - 1st week

Posted by John Drake on 13 February 2015 - 03:19 PM

This is a thread for crowd watch.


Stick to that please, never mind hijacking it and creating continental thread drift.


The TRL Irony-o-meter just exploded, but yes, a number of off topic posts have now been removed from this thread.


Back to crowds...