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League Express


Honor James

Member Since 14 Apr 2004
Offline Last Active Sep 11 2014 10:39 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Is Zak Hardaker set for another lengthy ban? (Merged threads)

10 September 2014 - 11:55 AM

Honor, I do not find a collection of irrelevant ramblings, that have been loosely packaged together help the debate.  At times I find myself questioning whether you are a real person, or some bizarre bot that uses an algorithm to pull together insanely irrelevant text and post it.


The case for me on Hardaker is simple:


1. He should be investigated

2. He should be treated respectfully whilst said investigation is in progress

3. Homophobic language is not acceptable, even if anyone whom it was directed at was or wasn't offended by it.

4. If guilty, he should have the book thrown at him.

5. If innocent, then we move on.  That's the nature of the disciplinary process, you are investigated and if innocent you are not and should not be issued with an apology.


Which is pretty much the same as mine, Larry the Leit, and that means we are actually in agreement on all fronts except, perhaps, for me at least:


1)  It has not yet been proved that Zak Hardaker used homophobic language.  It has been assumed on the basis of past events.  But for some writing on this thread it has been a fact since moment one, before any investigation or right of explanation of what he did say, and why, can be offered in defence.  That is what I have been writing about.


2)  I cannot be responsible for your inability to make sense of what I write here.


For you it seems, what I write is no more than "insanely irrelevant text".  For others it may not be that.


For me it is my thoughts on a matter of considerable importance, which is that a great deal of seemingly rushed off, and to me intemperate, bile-spilling condemnation `without due process' may - without any malice aforethought whatever on the part of those who write it - end up eroding one of the most vital principles of British law.


Innocent until proven guilty.


So if anyone here doesn't think that what I write is just "insanely irrelevant text", perhaps they will think back a few years with me, to a case they may remember being reported at length on Television.  A young woman had gone missing.  A man who was a neighbour was `under investigation' by the police.  He was shown on television.  Others in the area, interrogated by the media, seemed to think that he was somehow odd - a potential killer perhaps?


A man who later, after weeks of ghastly `trial by national media' was proved to have been entirely innocent all along.

Just different.

Which made many people think he seemed odd - and possiibly dangerous.


So I shall continue to hope that not only Zak Hardaker's case, but all cases of possible or presumed offence, will no longer be prejudged on `social' media sites, in the papers and on television.  Let them be judged with proper respect, which has to include public silence until they have been heard, considered, and decided upon by the appropriate court.


And I hope, heard with a little more kindness than is extended here, at times, to many sorts of things and people by a few (no way by all) members of this forum.  Kindness costs nothing and it certainly need not forgive where wrong is proved to have been done.


It is not the same thing as weakness.


And that now is the very last bit of `insanely irelevant text' that will written here by me on this subject.




That was a kiss I blew there Larry the Leit, for you, to show there are no hard feelings here.


"Insanely irrelevant" or not, words may be important or futile but life is far too short to bear grudges.



In Topic: Is Zak Hardaker set for another lengthy ban? (Merged threads)

10 September 2014 - 08:55 AM

Yes Larry the Leit, I do.
There are children read this site are there?  There are children reading every site, aren't there? So look for a moment to the little missfit in year seven, if you can.

In the past; in my day for example, the little misfit at any school might run the gauntlet of a few scornful looks ..... a jeer or two in the playground, a voice in the ear whispering `fatty' while teacher's back was turned, or `short ass' (sorry, had to remove a rude word), `pig face', `thicko', `you dumb assole!' (sorry, had to remove the rude word) . . . . .

a spit aimed at a face in the playground perhaps, a regular pulling of hated plaits insisted on by fond but insensitive parents, a push, a shove, a foot stuck out to trip, a gob of chewed paper down the back of a shirt . . . . .

even a clout, or a taunting jeer each night after school to "put your fists up and fight, you ninny!" . . . . .
for what?  Because something about you didn't fit the local concesus of what a `right' kid was.
But now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ?
It has become very clear to me that I need to bear in mind now, whenever I am tempted let rip; let the lid of my pressure cooker of annoyance and condemn someone without trial, to be very careful how i do that.

I do it all day, in the normal way.  "He's an idiot!" I'll say.  I can hear myself saying it.  "They should be hung, drawn and quarterd!"  For what?  For fly-tipping their rubbish into someone else's skip so it can blow around and filthy up someone else's yard, not theirs?  Hardly a capital offence.
But that's just talking - one to another.
Or at most one to another few hundred. . . few thousand . . .

Here I am writing.  We are all writing here . . . `out loud', in `indellible ink' for all the world to read on the `walls' of a hundred million digital classrooms, or in the well-trodden digital sand of a hundred million playgrounds called `My Facebook Page', `My Twitter Stream', my `social' meeting places, while children nowadays, everywhere you can imagine and probably beyond that, are potentially learning their ways and means of life by reading our written personal example.

As a proverbial `twittering grandmother' I am just worried that we may all, too late, find out that we have been offering them too little or nothing at all of value.
Phew!  It's a long hard job being serious on the internet.  I rest my case and me.

In Topic: Is Zak Hardaker set for another lengthy ban? (Merged threads)

10 September 2014 - 12:55 AM

There is a lot in what you say in your last three paragraphs, Dave T, and I am happy to concede that.


However, I do not know the facts behind the media `frontage' of this matter so all I can rightly say is that Zak Hardaker has been perceived to be offensive while on camera, on two occasions.


Also that he admitted, after the first perceived offence, to having offended (though not intentionally) against any or all in our society whose sexual preference and ability to love, finds the object of its best fulfilment in a person or persons of the same sex.


That having offended Zak apologised, was punished, and of his own free will made further reparation by actively engaging in an opportunity to meet, learn about, understand and befriend a group of such people.


Homosexual people, they are called.  That's the formal word we use to describe them in English if they are male - all of them- homosexual.  Or if they are female - lesbian.


And yet, though I am not one of them and cannot know their personal truth, my own humanity suggests to me, that just one word to serve for all of each of two whole categories of humanity is surely a pitiful few.  One word to cover the entire gamut of types, styles, personalities and preferences that word is assigned to encompass? The myriad modifications of traits and self-images that lie dormant, a potential in all human lives, until a moment may arise to trigger one change or a hundred others.


Pitifully inadequate!  We are all of us potentially a great many shades of grey.  And not only in our sexual preferences, in every facet of our wonderfully individual, growing, changing, flowering or sometimes sadly shrinking, withering human nature.


I therefore assume that Zak Hardaker too, is a growing, changing, flowering and yes, potentially a withering human nature.  One who appears to be working on ways to contain and control, without entirely killing, the wild passion of youth that burns within him, unsuitably raw now that he is a man.  More so, in a man with a talent for playing so rugged a game as Rugby League, in which one man may, on occasion, hurt another more than was required or intended.  Until thud, it dumps him head first into trouble, this passion.


And no doubt it will again before he learns to channel it to his own best purpose.


But is he an evil young man?  A bad one?  A foolish one perhaps ..... but one deserving nothing but condemnation?  I don't think so.


I don't believe that Zak Hardaker, or any of a hundred other young men just like him are any of those things.  They are just young men born with a fierce nature and a fervent desire to win at their chosen game. There are lots of young men in the world like that. Some win through to become good, some good and dependable, and some go on to become very great men indeed.  And sad though it is, some do fall by the wayside.


You are what you make of yourself.  And although there are people to advise and guide along the way, the outcome is entirely in the hands of each young man.


So here we have Zak Hardaker - a semi-unbroken colt who is trying to make himself, unfortunate enough to be doing so with a camera pointing at him every time he trots into the ring.  I bet Prince Harry could find a few words of advice to help guide Zak through that particular minefield.  And a good few words of consolation too, I don't doubt.


Zak Hardaker is under the microscope over a perceived use of words, but there are shades of grey from black to white in everything that resides in the capability of man.  Was man of the west right in 1945 to drop two atom bombs on man of Japan, killing millions of men, women and children, in order to shorten the duration and loss of life inhered in further years of global war?


Seems to me we should try to maintain a reasonable level of rationality in determining the potential world impact of one use or perceived use of just one word.


It was mouthed, some say.  Some say it wasn't that word at all.  And there is no proof either way that it was or wasn't.  And anyway, although it is now deemed by majority consensus to be offensive, the matter of the  word `poof' being mouthed by one young player to another, in one match of one minority sport (one that only exists in any sizeable form in a few east-coast cities of Australia, the North island of New Zealand, various parts of Oceania and the north of England), whilst absolutely (as you say, Dave T) our business here on the Totalrl.com forum, cannot in world terms be any more than just a ripple on the surface of a tea-cupful of water.



Meanwhile, right now there are some pretty big waves blowing up in the world outside.

In Topic: Is Zak Hardaker set for another lengthy ban? (Merged threads)

09 September 2014 - 10:15 AM

Depending on the social context, you can call someone a poof without meaning that they are gay, e.g. one of your mates who puts gloves on to do the washing up or who actually owns a hairdryer. By the same token, there are plenty of gay blokes who are not poofs.


That's true.



I have been reading this thread and much of it has disturbed me enormously because of the intolerance expressed, at times, on what appears to be each of two sides of a self-defeating divide.



I'll try to explain by starting again with, “That’s true’ (as above), although I think that using the now generally less acceptable word `poof’ as a largely playful `condemnation’ may belong to an earlier generation.  People of my age, and to offer a specific example my brother and his friends.



I have often heard my brother call one of his mates (to his face) a `big poof'.  Or a mate pay him the same bluffly delivered `compliment’.  Let's say when a friend of his accompanied us on one of our childhood's (almost exclusively fishing) family holidays.


Woe betide anyone, mate or no mate in those days, who showed a tendency to gag at gutting a slippery, wet, fishy smelling fish, after happily helping to catch it.  That, for sure would have earned the offending, though unconcerned young ruffian a comradely biff on the shoulder and, "Poofter, come on!"  It was the way of talking.


Good grief, even in later years my elder daughter earned herself the fondly meant, and fondly spoken, nick-name `Powder Puff' from Uncle John, for determinedly defending her right to protect a weaker stomach than he (and Grandpa and several later teenage boyfriends) thought normal, in matters of fishing and fish.


It was a different time.  People were, on the whole, less self-consciously aware of themselves and therefore of any imaginable deleterious effect their own private behaviour might have on a less robust stomach than their own.


And I guess that even now, in civilised modern Britain, are places where kids still grow up less aware of a need to watch out for what they say, in case somebody, somewhere (say in England, for example), has decided at some stage (unbeknown to the wider world of ordinary mortals ), that because a certain way of speaking, or a certain word, has been declared offensive by somebody, somewhere, at some time, that word or way of speaking (no matter what, when or by whom) must thenceforth be condemned, hunted down and exterminated.


Potentially logical, I suppose, if a little Utopian and certainly dictatorial.  But defensible in principle on the same basis as the accepted norm that, in a court of law, ignorance of the law is no defence.



Poor young fellas then, out fishing by lakes, dams and rivers, in the wider world of nowadays less metro-sexually improved enlightenment.  I fear there may always be some in danger of offending one way or another.



Say we take another way off offending, for example.



There was a logical reason why girls were taken along on those bygone fishing trips.  Simple really - after a long hard day of waiting for fish to bite and occasionally reeling one in, there had to be someone to cook the fish.  Sushi hadn’t been invented then, not in those kinds of places, any more than superior sensibility in good-natured young ruffians had been.  And what's more, if you didn’t have a boat with a motor then two normal, healthy, happy, and unenlightened sisters to take turns rowing (while the `men' trawl for bass) made a perfectly serviceable substitute motor.


Primitive, perhaps, by modern standards but it was an equitable enough distribution of labour.  In fact I remember enjoying it no end.  Made you feel tough when you were finally deemed old enough to row a boat single-handedly up and down a lake.  Not just a lake but beautiful early morning stretch of water with the joy of a slight nip still piercing the brisk, early morning air, a new-risen sun glinting on the breeze-ruffled surface and the last strains of an African dawn chorus drifting slowly away, as birds went about their morning business.


I have wondered, at times, if those childhood sisters might have preferred the local equivalent of a bikini on the beach at Scarborough, Miami or Skegness (if they had ever sampled that kind of holiday), but in retrospect  “Yes possibly, but only once” is my conclusion.


It was men gut, women cook.  Men fish - women row.


Just a case of autre temps, autre gens, autre moeures really because I cannot remember it bothering me at all.


So perhaps we do all need to remember, in our zeal to create a world that conforms to our own image of perfection, that not everyone has been fortunate enough to grow up in a comfortably situated, liberal minded, middle-class family in urban Middle Britain.  The world is large and varied.  My truth may not be yours and my right may be someone else’s wrong.


Whereas,  in modern-day Britain I sometimes fear, there is a growing majority consensus so determined to enforce right (as we see it) and so strongly supported by the national media in its determination to do so, that perhaps unwittingly we have created a new perceived class-enemy: our own new-made `deviants’.  And we have forgotten that we forfeit all merit in our tolerance of those who were once (and are still by some) deemed deviant, and therefore anathema, if we do not extend the same level of understanding, tolerance and acceptance to those who we (rightly or wrongly) decide are offenders against our new articles of faith.


That’s the universal usage of the word `mankind’ up there, by the way.  I prefer it, just as I prefer the word `Chairman’ to the now more commonly used `Chair’ or `Chair Person’ (for example), both of which seem unnecessary to me, as well as clumsy. “People looked grave as the Chair walked in and sat down, grim faced, to open the extraordinary general meeting.”  Yea well – whatever!


I have chaired, and been Chairman of several committees in my lifetime, and I have never once felt in the least bit slighted because my language did not offer two sex-defining names for the person elected to ensure fair distribution of opportunity to all shades of opinion at a meeting.


Other women than me have found it offensive though, in great enough numbers to sway the balance away from the old to the new, which is a perfectly correct outcome and entirely acceptable to me.  But I suppose that in contrast, there will be those who, while reading this, will have positioned me (if only for preferring Chairman to Chair) if not quite so low as a new class-enemy, then certainly as old-fashioned, possibly dogmatic, and (at the extreme) “Probably a fascist anyway”.


The two questions that I find myself searching for an answer to these days are:

Can tolerance ever be tolerance that tolerates only what I/we believe is right? and

Can tolerance ever logically be reciprocal?


This is a long posting so I apologise for taking up a lot of space.  But I hope that members who have taken the trouble to read to the end will tolerate my demand on their reading time, even if they do not agree with my thesis, on the basis that I don't often write here but when I do, it is usually because something I have read seems important and I ought to have a point of view.


Like the Scottish referendum, for instance.

That's important too.

In Topic: Spanish (domestic) Rugby League

03 September 2014 - 08:50 AM

The inaugural president of the Asociacion Espanol Rugby League has reflected positively on the organisation’s first year.


Salomé Sansano Zapata, who oversaw the creation of the AERL last August and its affiliation as an Observer of the RLEF in December, said: “The origin of rugby league in Spain arose from the love for this sport from a small group of passionate people who have, step by step, earned a lot of respect. 


“In this short and intense season we have had some emotional moments, such as recognition as Observer by the RLEF, the impressive debut of our national team and the fight to conquer our first championships. Our dream has become reality thanks to the hard work of all.”


On the international stage, Spain beat Belgium twice under the stewardship of coach Darren Fisher while domestically, the AERL conducted a six-team national championship and cup competition, totalling 16 full games.


New clubs in Madrid and Catalonia are expected to join the AERL before the start of the 2015 season as they move towards two four-team conferences in the first division.


Their longer term objective is to cultivate regional leagues in Valencia - which is the centre of Spanish rugby league at the moment, with six clubs - Madrid, Alicante and Catalonia.