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John Drake

Member Since 10 Nov 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 01:45 PM

#3267943 Jeremy Corbyn & the Labour Party

Posted by John Drake on 05 February 2016 - 10:05 AM

I had a face to face chat with the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell at an event in Leeds last night, as you do. A good ten minutes at least. He spent a lot of time talking to people one on one after he'd made a speech, with no airs or graces.


All I'd say is, I wasn't particularly an admirer of his beforehand, but in person, I found him to be far removed from the image I'd gained from reading about him in the media. Intelligent, articulate, amusing, candid and honest enough to admit the mistakes he's made in the job so far, including the 'little red book' joke.

  • ckn likes this

#3267936 Question Time (4th Feb 2016)

Posted by John Drake on 05 February 2016 - 09:54 AM

Do us a favour and ask any of :


 - "What exactly is going on in the Bradford West constituency. Why has the National Labour Party suspended the Bradford West branch from selecting its own candidates for the forthcoming local elections?"


 - "Anybody seen Amina Ali lately?"


 - "Which of her two marriage certificates did Naz Shah present when claiming Social Security?"


Stony faces all round, I reckon.




I've a suggestion. Instead of making bullets for other people to fire, why not grab yourself a (free) ticket for Politics in the Pub on 17 Feb, go along and ask Naz Shah those questions for yourself, given that she is one of the guests at this event? She is your local MP after all, not mine, and will know more about the shenanigans going on in Bradford West (and her marriage certificate) than I do. 


I'll even buy you a pint on the night if you do it! ;)

#3267450 2016 four nations venues

Posted by John Drake on 04 February 2016 - 02:54 PM

Several posts removed. Finger hovering ominously over the 'warn & suspend' button.


Cut out the personal abuse.


Thank you.

#3267365 Question Time (4th Feb 2016)

Posted by John Drake on 04 February 2016 - 12:45 PM

So, the panellists for tomorrow's show are:


Amber Rudd (Conservative)

Shabana Mahmoud (Labour)

Sal Brinton (Lib Dems)

Nigel Farage (Kippers)

Isabel Oakeshotte (Journalist)


Farage?  Again?  FFS...  He's like a rancid smell that you just can't get rid of regardless of how many times you try.



You'll have Rudd and Mahmoud waffling on not committing anything, Brinton trying to sound relevant and Farage spouting populist Trump-like rubbish.  It'd have been good if they'd had a SNP MP on there as they're probably the most solidly committed pro-EU party given the likely subjects raised.


I might give it a miss.


It's a shame they brought the show to Bradford and then didn't have anyone from Bradford on the panel. What's the point?


It's not like we don't already know what people like Farage will say, whether you agree with it or not, because we've all heard it a thousand times or more.


Bradford has some interesting, high profile political figures on all sides of the spectrum. Whether you like or agree with them or not, people like Naz Shah (Labour, Bradford West), Phillip Davies (Conservative, Shipley), David Ward (former Lib Dem MP for Bradford East) would have made up a more varied and relevant panel, and could comment with some degree of authority on issues of concern to an audience drawn from Bradford.


Apart from seeing if there is anyone in the audience I recognise, there is absolutely nothing about this show with that panel that draws me to watch it.

#3266677 Rugby League World: Season Launch Issue + Free 2016 Fixture Guide

Posted by John Drake on 03 February 2016 - 10:08 AM

been reading through it over the last couple of days - overall the club by club guide is great, although even just the tiniest bit more coverage of L1 would have been good. I appreciate that not everyone wants to read about it, so I'm not asking for parity with the Championship, but a little bit more than the bare fixtures would have been nice, even if just to propagandise to the northerners that don't hang out on here that it exists elsewhere in England! It might make us poor southerners feel a bit warmer and more loved too.


That's a small point though. I would like the SL predictions to be correct too (especially for Wakey).


Thanks for your feedback.


I'm pleased to advise there will be a full club-by-club League 1 preview in the next issue (plus similar for the NRL). We held this back from the current issue as the League 1 season starts later than the SL/CC seasons and we didn't want the previews to go out of date too quickly. There's a small footnote to this effect at the bottom of page 5. We probably should have made that bigger.


We included the League 1 fixtures in the free booklet so it would be a comprehensive guide for the all three domestic competitions.

#3266095 Kevin Sinfield on The Clare Balding Show

Posted by John Drake on 02 February 2016 - 10:27 AM

Kevin Sinfield will be a guest on The Clare Balding Show to be broadcast this Thursday (4th Feb) on BT Sport and the following Thursday (11th Feb) on BBC2.

#3265753 Wayne Bennett to coach England?

Posted by John Drake on 01 February 2016 - 03:53 PM

Corrected for you.


Editing other people's posts to make them say something different to what the original poster intended is not allowed on here.

#3262544 Jeremy Corbyn & the Labour Party

Posted by John Drake on 26 January 2016 - 04:04 PM

Of course it's not fine and dandy, it's going to take years to get the party back from the destruction meted upon it by the Blairites, but you don't do it by letting the media set the agenda. Nor do you get votes by trying to tailor your policies to the electorate, because you won't. You have to stand for something, you debate, you develop policies and then you argue for them and try and convince people. It's your job to change what you see and hear on the doorstep.


Thanks for telling me what my 'job' is, even though I'm a volunteer, but I'm not going to take a lecture on how to win elections from the Left Unity handbook. 


I was involved in two successful election campaigns for Labour last May, in my local council ward and parliamentary constituency, where we increased the Labour majority in both against the national trend, so I've a pretty good idea what works and what doesn't.


Before you can change anyone's mind about anything on the doorstep, you have to stop them slamming the door in your face. If they are prepared to give you a hearing, you also have to be willing to listen in return. 


And you can't ignore the media. It isn't going to go away.

#3262060 Jeremy Corbyn & the Labour Party

Posted by John Drake on 25 January 2016 - 04:59 PM

It's not a debate, he was asked a question and answered it. Should he refuse to answer questions? Would that make it easier on the doorstep for you? The right wing MSM are trying to destroy the democratically elected leader of our party, overwhelmingly supported by the membership new and old, and you're worried about how it looks. They destroyed Brown and Miliband and now they're are going for Corbyn. It doesn't matter who leads the Labour Party. Grow some John and start fighting back. The party has gained more members in the last 6 months than anyone thought possible and you think we are on the back foot? Fight back man.


Yes he should've refused to answer it. He could have said 'The issue of the sovereignty of the Falklands was resolved over thirty years ago through the loss of life on both sides of that conflict, I see no reason to re-open the subject again now when there are very many other issues of more pressing importance to the lives of those we seeks to represent, such as....' and change the subject onto a topic Labour might actually win votes on, rather than lose them.


It's what successful, effective leaders do. He's not obliged to answer every question that's ever put to him. 


I'm sick of the parade of own goals the leadership is conceding. 


I'm sick of hearing about new members, too. I've worked my butt off trying to engage and involve those who have joined in my area. New members are not going to win elections for us. It's new votes we need. Millions of them that show no signs of emerging from anywhere anytime soon.


I'm out every weekend and more giving up my free time to help this party, and I'm not going to delude myself that everything is fine and dandy when I can see and hear that it isn't.

#3261950 Jeremy Corbyn & the Labour Party

Posted by John Drake on 25 January 2016 - 01:13 PM

The Falklands. Really? We're having a heated debate about the Falklands. In 2016.


Thanks Jeremy. Thanks a lot.


(Bangs head against nearest wall in utter despair).

#3260861 Jeremy Corbyn & the Labour Party

Posted by John Drake on 22 January 2016 - 05:32 PM

The Labour Party continually comes out with this nonsense. It blames the Lib Dems for not being assertive enough in government whilst conveniently ignoring the fact that the coalition was only made possible because the Labour Party  failed to get the confidence of the electorate. It still hadn't learnt that lesson five years later and its still up its own backside now.


I'm not the Labour Party. I'm just me, a member of it, with an individual, personal opinion.


I'm a believer in electoral reform. Always have been, even in the days when Labour were winning landslide victories under FPTP. The Lib Dems had a chance to change the system. They blew it, big time.


The Lib Dems are where they are now because of their own actions. As is the Labour Party.

#3260017 Jeremy Corbyn & the Labour Party

Posted by John Drake on 20 January 2016 - 01:18 PM

Unfortunately, I live in Bradford West.


Move to Wibsey, it's ace! ;)

#3260010 Jeremy Corbyn & the Labour Party

Posted by John Drake on 20 January 2016 - 01:05 PM

I wonder if John Drake, prominent apologist for the Bradford Labour Party, would like to make any comment on this.



THE Labour Party has taken control of the selection process in six Bradford Council wards over allegations about how candidates were being chosen ...

A spokesperson for the Yorkshire and the Humber Labour Party said: "After receiving allegations surrounding the process of selecting candidates in wards of the Bradford West constituency to contest the May 2016 local authority elections, The NEC (National Executive Committee) of the Labour Party has today ruled that the selection of candidates in the six wards that make up the Bradford West constituency will be made by a panel of the NEC. Party members continue to select candidates in all other parts of Bradford."




I'm a member of the Labour Party in Bradford, yes, but not an apologist for it by any stretch. I'm not, never have been and never will be. I can see the Labour Party has many faults and have been honest (and often despairing) enough to comment on many of them on here and elsewhere. I know, from my own personal experience, there are many good, decent, genuine people in the Bradford Labour Party working hard for principled causes they believe in. I like to think of myself as one of those people. But there are also a few self-serving idiots too, as there will be in any political party. Don't tar us all with the same brush, that's all I'd say.


Bradford West is a basket case. Has been for a long time. I'm honestly and sincerely glad not to be a part of it. It's good that efforts are being made to sort it out. I wish them luck with that. I'm not as 'shocked; as the T&A appears to be that the candidate selection process has been taken over by the regional party, because as far as I was aware, the Bradford West CLP which would normally oversee the process has been suspended for quite some time anyway for historical reason I can only guess at.


I consider myself lucky to live in Wibsey Ward in the Bradford South constituency, where things are much calmer. I've been secretary of my local branch in Wibsey for the past year, a branch which didn't exist until 12 months ago, when myself and one other person stepped forward to try and rebuild it from scratch. We've now got a thriving little operation with about a dozen regulars helping out and I've made some good friends in the process. It has been an interesting and illuminating 12 months for me; lots of hard work, making phone calls, organising meetings, leafleting, fundraising and door-knocking, all mostly new experiences for me, even though I first joined the Labour Party in 1992 I'd never done more than a bit of leafleting before this. I've got to know our three local councillors, and our new MP Judith Cummins, and I see good people, working hard, doing their best in often extremely difficult circumstances to represent their constituents. Are they right about everything all the time? No. Do I agree with them all the time about everything? No. Are they better than any other political alternatives on offer? Yes. 


On that basis, even though nationally I think the party is currently heading in the wrong direction, under the wrong leader (not for the first time in its history, and probably not for the last), I am happy to work with the people I know on causes I care about in a party whose values I still share. Even if it goes a bit wonky from time to time, for me, it is still preferable to any of the alternatives, which doesn't mean I have to agree with every policy it adopts or every utterance made by its leaders, or be tarred with the same brush when idiots elsewhere screw things up.


Hope that clears things up. ;)

#3259405 Jeremy Corbyn & the Labour Party

Posted by John Drake on 18 January 2016 - 05:10 PM

So Andrew Marr interviews Jeremy Corbyn as the cold bites, pensioners freeze and the poor and sick go to food banks.What does he ask him about? Trident. Which is totally irrelevant. 


No point blaming Marr. That's a cop out. Jeremy Corbyn has made Trident an issue for the Labour Party, because he wants to change existing party policy on it, and has recently reshuffled his shadow defence team to try and achieve that aim. It's his personal obsession. No wonder he is being asked about it. He clearly doesn't think it is irrelevant. He loves talking about it. More's the pity, considering it is such a toxic issue for Labour. 

#3256444 Jeremy Corbyn & the Labour Party

Posted by John Drake on 10 January 2016 - 04:02 PM

This attack on the BBC is all part and parcel of the Tories' attempt to make this country into a one party state.  Other aspects are the Trades Union Bill, the rejigging of constituency boundaries, the cutting back of the Short money for opposition parties, the packing of the Lords with Tory placemen, and the attempt to make registering to vote more difficult.

John may be right about champagne bottles at the Beeb in 1997, but if he is I reckon it was  of a celebration of the end of 18 years of a one party state.  I think the majority of the population of these islands were glad in 1997, not because they wanted a Labour government, but because they'd had the Tories up to their back teeth.    


The most effective way to stop the Tories enacting any laws they want is to defeat them in elections.


Defeating the Tories in elections ought to be the primary focus of everyone in the Labour Party.


That means talking to the general public about issues they care about in language they can relate to and offering them credible solutions they may be prepared to vote for in sufficient numbers at the next General Election and others inbetween.


At the moment, the Labour Party is way too obsessed with its own internal machinations and what its own members want, when there are barely enough of them in any particular area to elect a single local councillor, let alone an MP.