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John Drake

Member Since 10 Nov 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 03:22 PM

#3162416 Labour leadership contest

Posted by John Drake on 22 July 2015 - 10:38 AM

Yet he garners majority support amongst ordinary party members/supporters. Shows how out of touch the PLP is with the party's grassroots.


Or how out of touch the grassroots is with the mainstream British public, perhaps?


There are 250,000 Labour party members. That's a tiny fraction of the total electorate that Labour needs to impress in order to win a General Election.


I think it is delusional to imagine that where Ed Miliband failed, having shifted the party marginally leftward, Jeremy Corbyn will triumph by going the whole distance. But a Corbyn leadership may be an experience the Labour Party just has to put itself through, like the Foot leadership disaster in the 1980s, to have it rammed home to them how far distant they have become from the mass of people who have the power to put them back into government.

#3160708 19 Jul: The Kingstone Press Championship Match Thread

Posted by John Drake on 19 July 2015 - 04:50 PM

It was a great game, very entertaining to watch, best match I've seen this season since the last time the Bulls played Leigh tbh.

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#3160699 Labour leadership contest

Posted by John Drake on 19 July 2015 - 04:42 PM

Nope, don't buy it at all.  That focus group looks very well targeted with its inclusion criteria.  I wouldn't be surprised if it were fudged to exclude those with views troublesome to the report creators.  Even Pudsey is one of those constituencies that was never a realistic win opportunity this time around for Labour.  I can guarantee they'd get wildly different results if they ran it in areas like Labour heartlands in the North of England, Scotland or Wales.


Lies, damned lies and focus groups.  I'm fed up of focus groups, they're for weathercock MPs who change their views depending on the focus group rather than representing what they truly believe.  You'll never see the likes of Cameron, Osborne or IDS change their opinion on things unless there's a genuine chance of defeat in the Commons, fox hunting is a perfect example, all opinion polls were showing a huge public distaste for repeal so they fudged it yet opinion still was strongly against but they went ahead anyway with trying to force it through, only the threat of the SNP crashing the party and a near definite defeat (caused by Tory rebels, not the SNP) stopped them.  The report creators can take their focus groups and ram them up their narrowly focussed posteriors.


Isn't that a bit like sticking your fingers in your ears and going lalala because you don't want to hear someting that doesn't accord with your existing views?


This report consists of comments from people who voted Labour in 2010 but didn't in 2015. If their views aren't important, whose are?


Are you suggesting Labour shouldn't try and discover where it went wrong, and if that doesn't involve asking people who don't vote Labour anymore, what else does it involve?


Pudsey is just around the corner from me. It was definitely a key Labour target in 2015 and they poured A LOT of resources into trying to win it.

#3159652 10% pay rise for MPs

Posted by John Drake on 17 July 2015 - 02:42 PM

Believe it or not John I don't radically disagree with you, BUT, when the rest of us are having benefits etc capped or slashed, when many of us are being told wage rises are capped at 1% for 5 years, the "we're all in together" mob give themselves 10% .


I know there's a pay review body, but effectively they're giving themselves a decent hike on a pretty decent pay rate (I'm well paid but they get roughly twice what I get) and us rude mechanicals have to grin and bear it.


if you believe in any notion of "fairness" this isn't it.


This. A thousand times this.


MPs are not the same as ordinary - or even extraordinary - employees doing a day to day job, with their wages deserving comparison to those at the top of the scale.


As lawmakers and elected holders of public office, they have a duty to set an example.


In preaching austerity to others, at the very least that means accepting the need for it themselves. Any that don't understand that are in the wrong job anyway.

#3159133 £12bn in welfare cuts

Posted by John Drake on 16 July 2015 - 05:54 PM

Aaaaaaand locked.

#3159020 10% pay rise for MPs

Posted by John Drake on 16 July 2015 - 02:39 PM



IPSA chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said that MPs' pay had been a "toxic" issue "which had been ducked for decades".


He said the pay rise would not cost any money because it was being combined with cuts to expenses, pension and severance payments for MPs.


Empty justification. That's exactly the kind of stuff that happens to other workers WITHOUT getting a 10% pay rise to compensate.

#3158550 Labour leadership contest

Posted by John Drake on 15 July 2015 - 11:39 AM

Plans are not set in stone.  Only Ed Milliband thinks they are.  You have a plan but if something happens out of the blue or if things are not developing in the way you anticipated, it is wise to adapt your plan.  The principles upon which the 'long term economic plan' are based - smaller welfare, work pays, getting down the deficit - are all still there but the manner in which they are being addressed has altered slightly as the economic environment and other factors have altered.


What precisely 'happened out of the blue' that caused George Osborne's original 'long term economic plan' as espoused in 2010 to go off the rails?


The double-dip recession his policies were directly responsible for causing, that's what!


It's often conveniently forgotten by those on the right that the economy was growing before the May 2010 election, and if Labour had been allowed to implement their own alternative economic plan, it would likely have continued to do so. Alas, we will now never know.


Remember, Labour aimed far more sensibly to halve the deficit in a single Parliament, but George Osborne aimed to eliminate it, and failed spectacularly by sucking far too much demand out of the economy far too quickly. If a Labour Chancellor had done that, their reputation would have been torn to shreds as a result.


Labour's biggest failure in opposition has been to surrender its economic record in government to the Tory lie machine.


This link below illustrates the extent of the lie that Labour were somehow carelessly profligate with the nation's finances and that the Tories would have done things differently and spent less:




The deficit subsequently ballooned due to the international banking crisis, which would have happened regardless of whichever party was in government at the time, but it suits the Tories and their supporters to pin the blame for a financial crash that had its roots in the US sub prime lending market, not the domestic policy of the British government, on the Labour Party.


And before anyone yells 'banking regulation', remember too that however lax Labour were on this matter (and they were), the Tories still criticised them for being over zealous and called for even less regulation, suggesting that things may have been even worse at the time if they had been at the helm.


The problem for Labour is that the lie that they 'crashed the economy' and cannot be trusted with the nations finances has been repeated so often it is now accepted as the truth, and that is in no small part their own fault for not challenging it each and every time it is repeated.


The notion that the Tories are somehow 'safe' with the nation's finances has no firm evidence to back it up if you examine their actual record in government over the years. It was, after all, on Osborne's watch that the nation lost its triple A credit rating.


To bring this back on topic to the subject of who Labour should pick as its new leader, it needs to be someone who is not afraid to articulate the above argument, not afraid to go on the attack against the Tories and able to present an appealing alternative vision of what this country can be than the mean spirited, spiteful, nationalistic, neighbour against neighbour, rich get richer, poor get poorer, foodbank dependent, I'm alright Jack society that is being created around us.


Tall order, given the available field, but I live in hope.

#3158175 Looking for volunteers at your club?

Posted by John Drake on 14 July 2015 - 03:12 PM

Eddie Izzard and Tanni Grey-Thompson launch #BigHelpOut

Sports volunteering charity, Join In and BBC Get Inspired have announced their partnership for the launch of the Big Help Out, an initiative to inspire 10,000 new volunteers to help out at local sports clubs, groups and events. Signing up is easy, simply log onto joininuk.org/bighelpout

Eddie Izzard, who is patron of Join In and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, DBE, Trustee of Join In and Britain’s most successful Paralympic athlete, will launch the campaign in July, ahead of BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015, which takes place 20 December in Belfast.
The Big Help Out builds on the success of the inaugural #BigThankYou at BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014, which saw thousands of sports stars, clubs, players and organisations from across the UK say thanks to volunteers who dedicate their time to grass roots sport across the UK and helped to build their career in sport.

Eddie Izzard says, “Real heroes don’t wear capes or masks, they’re in the community around us, helping out at local sports clubs and using their super skills to help with fundraising, coaching, social media and everything else it takes. But it’s not just the players that benefit, these local heroes also feel happier and healthier for helping out.”

Join In’s research shows that every volunteer allows 8.5 additional participants to get active and enjoy community sport. With a target of generating interest from 10,000 new volunteers, Join In and BBC Get Inspired hope to see up to a significant uptake in new participants involved in sport at their local clubs.

Tanni Grey-Thompson added, “Volunteers have played a vital role in my career, their motivation, dedication and commitment has helped me progress in sport and they continue to help athletes, at every level, to take part in and enjoy sport.”

Barbara Slater, BBC Director of Sport commented, “I’m delighted that once again the BBC is partnering with Join In on such a worthwhile initiative. The Get Inspired website now attracts on average 1.2 million views a month with over 350,000 people referred onto partner activities last year alone. We want to use that success to build on 2014’s #BigThankYou campaign and inspire more people to get involved with their local sports communities.”

There are already 3.2 million people who are giving their time for free to enable sport to happen across the UK. Despite this huge effort, still 55% of the population don’t know that sports clubs are run by volunteers and 7 out of 10 clubs still need more help.

Every year BBC Get Inspired presents the Unsung Hero Award at BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which recognises one individual who has made an outstanding volunteer contribution to sport. Denis Neenan, last year’s BBC Midland Sport’s Unsung Hero agrees “I have been a volunteer for over 40 years and I'm still going strong. When I first started I could never have imagined the people I would meet and the places I would go through volunteering, it’s been incredible, if I had the chance to do it all again I would.”

Visit joininuk.org/bighelpout for further information and find local sports clubs that need your help.

#3157363 Stupid Questions League - The Closing Down Party

Posted by John Drake on 12 July 2015 - 10:02 PM

Has this been banned yet?


#3157087 Stupid Questions League - The Closing Down Party

Posted by John Drake on 12 July 2015 - 06:38 PM

(Sorry for shouting, I can't hear myself over t'jukebox)

The floodgates are now open!
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#3157073 Stupid Questions League - The Closing Down Party

Posted by John Drake on 12 July 2015 - 06:30 PM

I meant my post not the tune you prawn
(all rules off....aren't they sir?)

DJ Webby will let that one pass ;)
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#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."