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Martyn Sadler

Member Since 23 Aug 2004
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#3046707 An EU court removes Hamas from a list of proscribed terrorist organisations

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 18 December 2014 - 02:26 PM

Interesting point, but surely as monarch he'd be the one to decide who was welcome or not as head of the CoE by birth right. We all know that you love a none elected head of state.

But not one with absolute power.


I support a monarchy because the power of the monarch is largely symbolic.


I'm not sure Henry the Eighth would have been very happy with that.

#3046295 Pakistan Taliban slaughter over 135

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 17 December 2014 - 10:27 AM

Only this has NOTHING to do with religion.

That isn't what the Taliban think.


They believe they are particularly pious Muslims, whose interpretation of the Koran is the correct one.


And ultimately they, and the other extreme Islamic groups, can only be defeated by someone showing that theirs is a false interpretation of their religion.


If it is the correct interpretation, then we really do all have problems.

#3044965 UKIPpery

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 14 December 2014 - 02:18 PM

It tells me he's vain. He doesn't need a stylist: he wants one and he can afford one.
Being vain doesn't invalidate what he has to say. It doesn't mean he cares more about his appearance than what he has to say. It just means he's vain and can afford to do something about it. If the end product is to his liking, then it's his call.
I'm not keen on brand at all, but he does touch upon things that are worth touching upon amongst all his self aggrandising verbosity. I don't think there's a lot wrong with that

It tells you that Brand is a narcissist, and it hints at his world view - that everything he does is to promote himself.


For example, check out his Facebook page and he is writing about visiting a food bank in Canterbury prior to the Question Time programme.


He seems to be one of those people who has to broadcast it to the world when he does something like that, again promoting his own image of himself.


He is clearly a quite intelligent individual, but totally selfish, from what I can see.

#3043938 UKIPpery

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 11 December 2014 - 11:55 PM

That's it..had enough. Not watching anymore. Why is that hypocritical talentless oaf Brand on the panel?

I'm constantly amazed that the self-publicist Russell Brand seems to have a permanent right of access to the BBC.


He must have a hell of an agent.


As far as I'm aware, even Jimmy Savile didn't telephone the grandparents of his sexual conquests to leave boastful and bullying messages on their answerphones.


Yet Brand did, and he's made himself a multi-millionaire on the back of it, with an apparently eternal right to spout incredible nonsense on a variety of BBC programmes, rousing some of the more impressionable members of the audience to make complete idiots of themselves, while no doubt boosting ticket prices for his next stand-up tour to make himself even richer.


And yes, you're right, I'm not his biggest fan.

#3032402 Ed Miliband

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 14 November 2014 - 10:59 AM

we don't live in 'many other countries' we live here. If something is bad, the fact that it is so much worse elsewhere is no defence of it.

But we should be able to learn from other countries, particularly our nearest neighbours.


In France it is virtually impossible to terminate an employment contract, and Hollande raised the top rate of tax to 75%.


The result is massive youth unemployment and the flight of the wealthy out of France, with a lack of investment and economic stagnation as a result.


All too often politicians' efforts to equalise the wealth end up equalising poverty.


The problem with Miliband's latest speech is that it doesn't seem to recognise aspiration, while characterising British society as being pretty bloody awful. I don't see that as a strong card to play.

#3032388 Ched Evans

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 14 November 2014 - 10:31 AM

One of the problems with the criminal legal system is that guilt or innocence, when pronounced, tend to be seen as definitive and black and white, not reflecting the complexity of the case.


As a result we tend either to be censorious or forgiving, when neither response may be entirely appropriate.


There's a fairly thoughtful article here by Alison Pearson about this case.



#3028768 Ed Miliband

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 07 November 2014 - 06:54 PM

Just a pity that everything he believes in and stands for varies from totally abhorrent to absolutely barking.

If only he had your judgement!


#3023579 Best cover versions

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 31 October 2014 - 05:38 PM

Check out this version of California Dreamin' by the first lady of British jazz, Clare Teal.


#3018928 "Rugby league's international failure is spectacular"

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 24 October 2014 - 07:41 AM

We are on a slow but inexorable downward spiral.

That's what many people seem to think, and yet if you examine the facts they don't support that argument.


In 1971 the First Test between Great Britain and New Zealand was played at Salford and drew a crowd of only 3,764.


Just over 40 years later we played the Kiwis in a World Cup semi-final at Wembley and drew 67,545 spectators.


In Brisbane last Saturday the biggest game in the international rugby union calendar - the Bledisloe Cup - was played between Australia and New Zealand. It drew just over 45,000 people.


This Saturday Australia will play New Zealand, and England will play Samoa at the same venue. This week the NRL revealed that 44,000 tickets had been pre-sold, so the event will probably draw a bigger crowd than the Bledisloe Cup, despite so many people death-riding international Rugby League.


So the "downward spiral" seems to be heading in an upwards direction, particularly when you take last year's World Cup into account.


Of course it could be better, and no one would dispute that we want to see international Rugby League having a wider base and greater support.


Unfortunately the Guardian, like many other British newspapers, is happy to publish stories about international Rugby League being supposedly on its last legs.


But the evidence doesn't stack up.

#3018609 Harry Roberts

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 23 October 2014 - 01:28 PM

The police federation should shut up.  The man was found guilty and has served his sentence. 


Police officers are human beings, and they deserve to be safe and not murdered, just like the rest of us.  The murder of a police officer for me carries the same amount of disgust as for any other person.


I've yet to hear the police federation say anything significant about Hillsborough, The West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, Institutional racism, the ignoring of organised sexual abuse of children in South Yorkshire etc etc but maybe I've missed that.  The vast majority of police officers are good people earning an honest living.


The police are there to help catch crooks so that justice can be done, and it doesn't help for the Police Federation to comment on the legal system.  

If a prison sentence means anything, it has to mean that, when completed, the prisoner qualifies for release, no matter what his crime was.


The parole board has presumably considered Roberts' case and has decided he is no longer a threat to the rest of us. That's their job, and we should respect their opinion.


Like you, I don't think the Police Federation is doing itself any favours in this instance, horrific though the crime was.

#2998878 Scottish Independence Referendum

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 19 September 2014 - 01:51 PM

The English Parliament should be outside of London - perhaps Birmingham. There is already far too much power, money and influence centred around London, it needs to be spread out. 300 MPs, plus support staff, etc would be a huge boon to the economy in the midlands. Costs would be negligible given that Westminster needs urgent refurbishment estimated at £1billion. London would also benefit from reduction in pressure on housing, transport, and services.

London could continue to have the, much smaller, UK parliament. The Lords would then be abolished.

I would say Birmingham or Manchester.


Given that the BBC has partly decentralised to the northwest it wouldn't be a bad choice.


But I do think there will be a growing call for a genuine English Parliament, and the idea of just expecting Scottish MPs not to vote on English issues will be seen as a copout.

#2998761 Scottish Independence Referendum

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 19 September 2014 - 10:59 AM

Interesting to hear some political reactions today to the Scottish vote, and in particular what will now happen to England.


David Cameron has said that Scottish MPs will not be able to vote on English matters, and he is setting up a Cabinet sub-committee chaired by William Haigh to sort it out. He wants to introduce legislation by January.


That seems to me to be absolutely crazy. He should have learned from the Scottish experience that any further changes need to be planned and thought through after a wide consultation process.


On the Radio 4 Today programme Nigel Farage suggested that we should have a constitutional convention to determine the future structure of government within the four nations of the United Kingdom, with everybody having the right to make representations. He is writing to Scottish MPs to ask them not to vote at Westminster on English matters.


On the same programme Labour's Douglas Alexander criticised the idea that Scottish MPs should be so restricted.


I agree with Farage that there should be a convention, but I also agree with Alexander that we shouldn't have separate categories of MP at Westminster.


I would prefer to see a separate English Parliament on the Scottish model with an English First Minister, and with a UK parliament with vastly reduced numbers dealing with UK issues.


My fear is that Haigh will recommend regional councils that no one will actually want, as the Geordies proved a few years ago.

#2998574 Scottish Independence Referendum

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 19 September 2014 - 06:20 AM

I'm very glad to see the result. The idea that Scots would be foreigners in England, and vice versa, was a very depressing thought. But i think the English will now demand that the West Lothian question is finally addressed.


Posted by Martyn Sadler on 18 September 2014 - 03:46 PM

The Queen's other grandson, Peter Phillips, presented the Challenge Cup in 2012.


When he was a student he used to play Rugby League for Exeter University.


He's also apparently a Brisbane Broncos fan.

#2998067 Scottish Independence Referendum

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 18 September 2014 - 03:00 PM

If I still lived in Warrington, I'd have voted No, although I'd have had to know the details obviously.


Plenty of people on here and elsewhere have stated quite clearly that they would take independence for their own country/city/area etc. so I don't think Scotland should feel guilty if decides to go independent.

I don't think anyone should feel guilty about voting for independence. But if Scotland does break away from the United Kingdom, I dare say the rest of us won't feel too guilty when you have to cope with the ramifications of your decision in a whole variety of ways. For example, if you lose your wallet while on holiday, I trust you won't be asking the British Embassy to help you out.


The thing it, though, that if Alex Salmond has his way, you will only enjoy a short period of independence before you join the EU, if the other EU countries will agree to have you.


No country that is a member of the EU is independent in any meaningful sense of the word, and of course that includes the UK.


And it's fairly debatable whether the word 'independent' has any real meaning for countries like Switzerland that sit outside the EU.


And I'm sure that neither you nor we will feel too guilty when the financial facts of life come home to roost.


But the real thing you will lose is not so much your wallet, but an open chequebook.



Last November the Treasury published figures that showed the gap between public spending in Scotland and England had widened to 20 per cent in Scotland’s favour. The average Scot now receives £1,623 more in state spending than their English neighbours - £10,152 was spent per head on public services in Scotland in the 2012/13 financial year, compared to £8,529 in England.
Meanwhile the national debt of £1.4 trillion (and rising) means that each of us in the UK effectively has a personal debt of £22,853 hanging around each of our necks.
Scotland’s share, with a population of 5.29 million, amounts to virtually £111 billion. Will any new Scottish government renege on that figure?
Last year Scotland ran an estimated deficit of £17 billion, spending £65.2 billion on revenue of £47.6 billion.
Guess who filled in the gap, while he was supposedly trying to cut the deficit for the UK as a whole!
The Yes campaign was based on the premise that the UK government was effectively not fit for purpose for Scotland.
I would suggest that the truth is that is precisely the reverse of that, and that England has far more justification for that view.