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#3184481 Labour leadership contest

Posted by ckn on 30 August 2015 - 07:56 PM

He is a first class ****, Red Tory if ever there was one

You, and many, many others in the Labour party ranks, forget what Blair achieved.  He achieved a massive electoral victory in 1997, repeated it in 2001 and to a slightly lesser extent in 2005.  In the years of 1997-2003, the Blair led government brought in many achievements including:

- the minimum wage

- 82,000 more nurses and 32,000 more doctors

- cut NHS waiting lists by 90% and reduced average waiting times by over 80%.  In 1997, the guaranteed maximum wait was 18 months, by 2001 this was 18 weeks.

- banned fox hunting, fur farming and cosmetic testing on animals

- crime fell by 32% using international standard measures of counting, including hiring over 10,000 extra police officers.

- in 1997, 23.9% of children were in class sizes over 30, by 2003, that was down to 0.2%


I could go on for a very long time. 


After 2003, Blair turned rogue but he still delivered, it was only 2005 onwards that he really was weird.  A Tory though?  Never.

It's a very big habit of many in the Labour party that they look back and rubbish their own achievements.

#3183545 Our modern caring society

Posted by ckn on 28 August 2015 - 11:29 AM

I think the stats released could be iffy. 




"I repeat: the data that people want is not publicly available. Anyone making claims about death rates for people found "fit for work" is wrong, and displaying their ignorance. Those rates might be terrible, they might be fine. Nobody knows. But DWP could probably tell us, if someone asked them carefully and precisely for the death rates. Not the numbers. The rates. As I explain below."

The data is there, if it could be properly explained and shown to be reasonable compared to society's death rate then they'd release it.  For them not to release the data and to also go to such trouble to ensure it isn't released just fuels the fire that there's something being hidden.

#3182371 Labour leadership contest

Posted by ckn on 25 August 2015 - 01:24 PM

I do not buy the line that past Labour governments have stood for nothing, or sold their souls to anyone, simply because they managed to build a policy platform that had wide enough appeal to win General Elections.


They did some good stuff, they did some bad stuff. That's the nature of politics. No government will ever be perfect.


Ideological purity is for those prepared to twiddle their thumbs in endless opposition. That's what Corbyn is effectively offering here.


At least those past Labour governments got the opportunity to enact some of their better policies, y'know, like the minimum wage and all those tax credits, benefits and public services that the Tories are taking away. Yet people insist there's no difference between Labour and the Tories!


I'm already bored with the sanctimonious posturing of Corbyn's followers claiming the moral high ground over those in the Labour party who do not support him, lazily branding any non-believer as a closet Tory, and he hasn't even won the leadership yet.


My view is that it won't matter a toss what policies he puts forward because he will never be granted the opportunity to enact any of them.


Reality check: The Tories have a majority of 12 over ALL other parties. They have almost 100 - A HUNDRED - more seats than Labour! That represents an electoral mountain to overhaul in 2020, even for a Labour leader with widespread appeal.


Even if Labour won every seat in Scotland back from the SNP (which they won't, regardless of the new leader's identity) it wouldn't make the slightest dent in the Tory majority.


Labour need to win seats in England. Lots of them. From the Tories. I see absolutely no indication that Corbyn can achieve that. I think those who believe he can are going to be sorely disappointed when Corbynmania is revealed to extend no further than a sizeable proportion of the 600k currently signed up to vote in the Labour leadership election; an insignificant speck when compared to the total British electorate.


I may be wrong. At least I have the humility to admit that, unlike many of those who have wedded themselves to the idea that Corbyn is the answer to all Labour's and the country's ills.

No, I think you've bought the losing mentality mindset.  In 1997 and 2001, Labour stood for lots, they were very, very clear about what they stood for and gained massive majorities on what was a message of hope and prosperity.  And you know what, it wasn't a right wing message, it was left-centre.  It didn't say we have to penalise people on welfare, it didn't meekly surrender any right to poor people getting help to fund big company tax cuts, in fact it didn't surrender a bit.  I don't want ideological purity, I'm happy to compromise, that's why a coalition would be fine for me.


Also, overturning the Tory majority is not an electoral mountain unless you really insist on Labour purity (although how can you insist on purity when you've already given away the family jewels), it's 7 blue seats turning to a different party then they're in minority government.  7 seats.  Statistically, far more Tory MPs will die or resign due to ill health in the next few years than that.  Then it's anyone's game.  That's not even counting the upcoming EU referendum that will fracture the Tories and require Cameron to compromise everywhere to get full turnouts, that's what did for Major and what will do for Cameron.  That's why he's happy to be gone before 2020.


Penultimately, why on earth would a Tory vote Labour if Labour are nothing but weaker versions of the Tories?  That's just a nonsense view that works in two party states where the disenfranchised left and centre-left have a choice of abysmally unrepresentative or not quite as abysmally unrepresentative such as in the US.  We're no longer a two party state, we had the Lib Dems, now we have the SNP.


Finally, what's in it for the disenfranchised and non-voting people of Britain to want to vote Labour?  By and large, these are people in the old C2DE categories.  There's absolutely nothing in Burnham, Cooper or Kendall's views that would make them go "you know what, that's something I'll support".  The overwhelming message is that "the Tories are right, we need more austerity, more punitive action against those earning less, fewer opportunities for small businesses and god help you if you get sick or disabled as we promise to invest even less than the Tories in the NHS"

#3182340 Labour leadership contest

Posted by ckn on 25 August 2015 - 12:14 PM

Trying to win the next General Election, probably.


No one seems to think that's important anymore.

A serious question though, winning the election at what cost?  The cost of the Labour Party's soul?  Is the ultimate goal to get some people elected just because you like their nice red rosette?  What about what those people who wear the red rosette actually stand for? 


I want my MP to:

- vote against the Welfare Bill

- oppose the vilification of poor people

- oppose the abuse of disabled people by the state in the cause of reducing the welfare budget

- oppose the open and blatant dismantling of the state just to give very rich people and very big companies tax cuts

- champion the cause of small businesses who've seen their support degraded from the state just so that the bigger companies can get more tax cuts

- challenge the government to live up to its promises to the NHS in its manifesto

- challenge the government to live up to its northern powerhouse promises

- show me hope that if they were elected as part of a government that they would give me hope rather than yet more austerity

- challenge the view that we need more austerity while cutting the tax the biggest companies have to pay by 1/3.  Put Corporation Tax back to 2010 levels and austerity all bar goes away.


I could go on... I want to vote for what my candidate stands for, not what colour their rosette is.  I voted for Labour a few months ago with a seriously bad taste in my mouth over doing it.  The candidate was Labour in name only with some of her views being far further right than Thatcher's.


The current Labour party is beating itself up over losing and giving the Tories one of the smallest majority governments in history and is all bar handing over any right to oppose because they lost and the "public doesn't trust them".  Have they ever actually considered that the public doesn't trust them because they're sleazy weasels who will sway at every focus group finding?  Corbyn's already done more than the last 12 years of Labour leaders by simply asking Labour members what they want and then turning it into a proposal document, e.g. Northern Future.


If that means Labour can NEVER get a majority again then so be it.  That's what a coalition government is for. 

#3181302 Labour leadership contest

Posted by ckn on 23 August 2015 - 04:10 PM

A very good synopsis of the risk Labour are taking if they elect Corbyn....


That article annoyed me.  It's full of self-hating tripe that deserves to be laughed at rather than treated seriously.  For example, "The Conservatives are strong versus Labour on welfare".  Erm, no.  In what world does someone writing on Labourlist say that the Tories are stronger on welfare than Labour.  If it's true then every shadow minister for the last five years needs to hand in their membership badges and retire in shame.


There's even a bit that essentially says that it's pointless opposing the welfare bill because the Tories have a majority.  Again, erm, no.  Look back at the Tories 1992-97, the Labour leadership under Kinnock, Smith and Blair relentlessly pushed them again and again at every vote meaning Major had to keep going to his troublemakers and pleading for them to turn up at every vote.  That persistent pressure as a minority helped break the Tories by forcing the ministers to treat the troublemakers seriously which gave them all the incentive they needed to be even more public in their frothy-mouthed rantings.


It even keep up with flawed thinking around the need for 4/5 new Labour voters having to come from those who voted Tory this year.  Again, that's just tripe.  It just is, I could spend ages taking that apart but the wife's calling me for dinner and I just can't be bothered.


(Yes, my comments go bottom to top of that article but, well, I was in a hurry)

#3181148 Labour leadership contest

Posted by ckn on 23 August 2015 - 10:48 AM

Economists back Corbyn's anti-austerity plans.


The letter itself is telling, especially the not subtle at all dig at those who abstained from the Welfare Bill.


Beyond a couple of points about Corbyn's past acquaintances and some of his older views, I've yet to see any proof that Corbyn's plans (and he actually has some, including a public generated Northern England one) are wrong.  For a bunch of economists, including one of the old-guard of the MPC, to come out with this just reinforces the little voice in my head that the anti-Corbyn hysteria is being generated from very narrow interests who really don't want to see someone like him in power because it'll upset their little power games, not because they actually care about Britain.

#3180761 21 Aug: Super 8s - Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors KO 8pm (TV)

Posted by ckn on 22 August 2015 - 12:07 PM

i'll await a 2nd opinion if thats ok...

Well, I watched it.  Watch it if you fit the following:

- Are a Wigan fan and enjoy a good quality solid team effort; or

- Want to watch the game look a bit silly due to some really absurd decisions that were perfectly correct but absurd.


That's it really.  Not what you'd call one for the album for a neutral, not bad but nothing special.

#3180103 RFL Chief to meet clubs over kids format row

Posted by ckn on 21 August 2015 - 10:31 AM

Kids want to tackle as a rule , PTB is a key component of the game.


Kids do enjoy the game thats why we have so many playing in the North West .


Educate the coach educate the child .


With the Aussies if you ignore the world leaders you get left behind , when did we last beat the Aussies in a test series ?


I note you choose to ignore several pertinent points in the post you quote from and ignore other posts you seem not able to answer CKN ?


The RFL should practise what they preach and observe best practice .


The small sided format is great for going into schools and spreading the gospel , the community clubs have specialist child centred coaches who do teach to the correct ethos as a general rule of thumb .


Also if you take time to read and digest the north west proposal it does state up to a max of 7 players which gives the coaches more flexibilty on game days.


I  have spoken to several people in the pro game who think the Nw format ticks all the boxes but they are unwilling to say so publicly because they must tow the party line,so sad in a sport where people can not say what they truly think .

A few points there:


"Kids want to tackle as a rule".  It's irrelevant what kids want at that age on matters of safety.  The tackle is just too important and critical on safety aspects to be anything other than safety driven.


"PTB is a key component of the game."  It's a minor restart point that falls around learning 40/20 rules in terms of importance for under 10s.  Teach the kids how to do it properly when you get to teaching them whole game structures.


"Kids do enjoy the game thats why we have so many playing in the North West"  Kids will enjoy it just as much under the new rules, unless you've got specific proof otherwise.


"Educate the coach educate the child"  I hope you mean that the coach is fully accredited and trained before he or she is allowed anywhere near teaching children.  If not and you're still proposing that you allow unqualified people to teach kids tackling then every single thing you've said on this subject is discredited.  It's far, far more important to have properly trained people coaching kids than it is for them to be coaching adults.  If you can't get enough qualified coaches then you just don't teach dangerous skills, simple really.


"With the Aussies if you ignore the world leaders you get left behind , when did we last beat the Aussies in a test series ?"  The Aussies win for far different reasons than their kids are allowed different training than ours.  For example, they have over 1,000,000 children playing some sort of rugby league each year.  Good luck in getting to 1/5th of that in the UK.


"I note you choose to ignore several pertinent points in the post you quote from and ignore other posts you seem not able to answer CKN ?"  No, I ignore nothing, just because I don't comment on things doesn't mean I'm ignoring it.  For example, I "ignored" the RFL spin doctor point because the RFL barely have enough money to afford a comms admin assistant never mind spin doctors.


"The RFL should practise what they preach and observe best practice."  They do in most part but then they also have to govern for the good of the entire game rather than fracture it again for the needs of a single region.


"The small sided format is great for going into schools and spreading the gospel , the community clubs have specialist child centred coaches who do teach to the correct ethos as a general rule of thumb .


Also if you take time to read and digest the north west proposal it does state up to a max of 7 players which gives the coaches more flexibilty on game days."

I'll address both at once.  Unless the coaches and teams involved in the U7 level of the game are pedantic fools then they'd allow split sides, reduced numbers or even player swaps to ensure that all the kids get a game on the understanding that that's the age where kids should be having fun for inclusion.  To get primary schools interested, you have to show a good number of things these days including governing body accreditation, safety, insurance cover, child safeguarding and so on.  Both proposals do that so the NW proposal doesn't win over the RFL one for me.


"I  have spoken to several people in the pro game who think the Nw format ticks all the boxes but they are unwilling to say so publicly because they must tow the party line,so sad in a sport where people can not say what they truly think ."

That'd be 100% different from the rugby I know then if people don't open their mouths about something.  Are you sure they just don't want to publicly say so because it's really an area where there's far too much pedantry around an area of the game that should be primarily about fun and enjoyment.

#3180008 RFL Chief to meet clubs over kids format row

Posted by ckn on 21 August 2015 - 08:53 AM

No mate that's just the RFL spin doctors painting false pictures of a normal game day .
In our proposed plan we cater for up to 14 kids per team giving all equal game time . Min 20 mins per child which is ample for kids 6/7 Yrs old .
Would 4v4 suit the Aussies with no tackling and no play the ball that's what we were told was the academic way to produce RL players ?
According to the RFL mini footy is not fit for purpose and outdated ????????

At age 6/7, the concentration should be on getting kids to enjoy the game.  You can teach PTB any time at all and given the level of compliance I've seen in adult rugby that would take a 2 minute conversation before kick-off.  Seriously though, there's absolutely no need to do anything beyond the utmost basics for simulating PTB for under 10s.  On tackling, what's the ego thing around having kids tackle at that young age?  It's not that important at 6/7 year old level, really it isn't and I couldn't care less what the Aussies do.  Build up the game components slowly, bit by bit, year after year, the first year or so should be all about ball handling, scoring tries and running around with your mates having fun.  You can then add the harder components such as tackling, setting attacking lines and then onto defensive lines.


Tackling is one of those things that you either learn right or it takes years to get out of the bad habits, I'll never be convinced that a 6/7 year old will have the comprehension skills to learn how to make a textbook tackle but I would accept that the closer to 10 they get the better their comprehension will be.  Maybe could be appeased slightly if I had assurance that EVERYONE involved in teaching the kids is properly trained and certified in coaching plus has proven experience of the difference between teaching a child and an adult.

#3179854 RFL Chief to meet clubs over kids format row

Posted by ckn on 20 August 2015 - 08:47 PM

I'll take a contrary view... why should one region go their way when the rest are going t'other?  Surely, 95% right everywhere is better than yet another fragmentation in our sport.


Happy to be convinced otherwise but I've seen nothing anywhere that this is anything other than one region trying to force an issue over an age group that should be all about fun rather than bureaucracy.

#3179275 Keep blood data private, why?

Posted by ckn on 19 August 2015 - 09:42 PM

A simple example: my core body temperature averages 36.4C, if I have a temperature of 37.6C that means I'm significantly overheating compared to my average but if a clinician with no access to my history looked at it then I'd be in the normal range.


For an athlete, they may have a genetically abnormal adrenaline release rate that could be tracked throughout their career but if you released a single blood result then your armchair expert could point to it and go "there's evidence of a cheat!"


The blood results should only ever be seen by independent approved experts who can review over history against anomalies.

#3179180 Random internet link of the day

Posted by ckn on 19 August 2015 - 05:28 PM

#3178644 First Professional RL Player Comes Out

Posted by ckn on 18 August 2015 - 02:56 PM

There's something about this story that just doesn't feel right to me.  In essence the moral of the story is that everything worked out in the end because the gay men didn't act gay at all and 'were just like me and you'.  Just how did you try and catch the gay team out?


An inclusive society is not about people acting the same despite of their sexuality/ethnicity etc, it is that differences are recognised and celebrated.


While I accept that sometimes a story like keegan Hirst is a timely reminder that we are all different and gay stereotypes are simply that, ultimately it is the responsibility of society to adapt and become more inclusive, not the responsibility of gay men to act straight.

There's no point preaching to the already converted.  Those who know they shouldn't discriminate don't, it's those who subconsciously do so because of their inner hidden fears that need to be targeted and shown that there really is nothing to fear.


The Kings Cross Steelers are openly gay although they're happy to have straight people play for them as well.  They in no way hide their sexuality but it just doesn't need to come up in a rugby match.  Do you when you're playing sport go up and declare "I'm a straight man"?  If not, why should they parade their sexuality when it's all about sport?  They acted normally because they are normal and were doing a perfectly normal thing, sport can be played regardless of your sexuality, that's the whole point.


We now know that Keegan is gay, that's now irrelevant for what he does on the pitch.  The thing he has done is parade his normality, not that he's a gay man.  What that does is reinforce the message that rugby has no sexuality barriers.  He's not a gay man who plays rugby, he's a rugby player who happens to be gay.  As mentioned, if that message helps one troubled kid realise that he or she really is normal then that's worth every bit of column space it's had in the media.

#3178612 First Professional RL Player Comes Out

Posted by ckn on 18 August 2015 - 02:14 PM

I'd find it hard to disagree with much of that, but I’d argue that Fry and Carr are like that because they genuinely are like that and so are tons of other people (and as we are seeing with this story, tons of people aren’t as well!). I just found it a little odd, even though I can sort of see where John was coming from, because people like Fry especially have undoubtedly helped changed the perception of homosexuality in this country for the better – now he’s elevated to almost national treasure status. Now Keegan Hurst is changing perceptions but in a totally different sphere, but it isn’t either/or.

I see what you're saying but then think about how you look at, say, Boris Johnson.  Nothing like me and easy for people to add labels to.  Same with how scousers look down on mancunians, West Londoners look down on Essex boys and so on while each of those categories sees nothing wrong with themselves.  It's easy for humans to find something to label things that frighten them subconsciously, especially if there are notable differences, e.g. Fry's background or Carr's voice.


I'll give an example I remember well from union.  I refereed over a decade ago now Kings Cross Steelers (an openly gay union club) playing the same side twice home and away in the same season.  This was the first time they'd played each other as the Steelers had just moved into the Essex leagues.  The first game, I was there early and could overhear the home team's comments about "I'm not sharing the showers with them", "they'd better not tackle my tackle" and so on, some quite inappropriate stuff.  The first 5 minutes were awkward but then it settled into a normal game, nothing out of the ordinary.  Post match, the home team made a point of "being brave" and sharing the showers, the Steelers were obviously used to this and didn't react at all.  The reverse fixture a few months later was just another game of union, the non-gay side just didn't care and you'd never know that one side was full of gay men, even if you paid close attention and tried to catch them out (or the non-gay side for any stray comments).


The point of that is that all it took was one bit of worried straight men interacting normally in their sport with gay men for them to realise there's nothing to fear, they really are just like us.  The more that rugby league fans see that being gay has nothing at all to do with how someone plays rugby the faster that in-grained prejudices get wiped away.  The likes of Fry have done wonders for integrating gay people but until we see gay people "just like me" then there will always be the subconscious line.  All it takes is one bit of accidental prejudice to wreck someone's life if they think that it's in any way shameful to be gay.

#3178593 First Professional RL Player Comes Out

Posted by ckn on 18 August 2015 - 01:24 PM

Be fair to John, he does have a point.  Carr and Fry are very easy for people looking for excuses for their homophobia to point at and go "they're nothing like us!" but if one of our sporting role models comes out as gay then that's an entirely different story.  There are plenty of homophobes who have changed their attitudes when a close family member came out and they realised that they'd always been gay and it hadn't mattered a bit.


It's a human trait built into our genetic code to be suspicious of those who aren't like us but to gravitate to those who either are close family or who we can closely associate with.  For a rugby league player to come out as gay puts a gay man right at the heart of many people's passion in rugby league, and you know what, he doesn't mince, he doesn't talk like Alan Carr and I bet he would be right at the bottom of a list of random people you'd think were gay if shown a photograph.  He's one of us as a rugby player, and he happens to be gay as well, a massive boost for the inclusion of gay people in our sport and in culture as a whole.