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Rugby League World Issue 400 - Out Now!

RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 400 - OUT NOW!
84 pages, 38 years of history from Open Rugby to the present day.
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Steve May

Member Since 20 Apr 2004
Offline Last Active Apr 08 2014 09:53 AM
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#2912215 Brett Ferres incident

Posted by Steve May on 06 April 2014 - 07:34 PM

I thought it was unlucky but pretty innocent. I'm prepared to concede a red card but I think that's harsh. Given the card, he's clearly facing a ban but eight matches would be utterly ridiculous.

There's a lot of Saints fans shrieking about this on Twitter and other places for no other reason but deflecting the other events at the Galpharm.


#2912142 Brett Ferres incident

Posted by Steve May on 06 April 2014 - 06:55 PM

Seen it just now on the TV. Not elegant, but no malicious intent. Doesn't lift him up, pulls him to horizontal and then the momentum of Lomax's legs pulls him over and into the ground. Contrary to the hysterical shrieking of Saints fans on twitter, he doesn't drive him into the ground and he doesn't land on his head.

A clear penalty, but not a red card. Still, a long way from the biggest injustice of the day.


#2908360 Clegg v Farage

Posted by Steve May on 30 March 2014 - 06:50 PM

Could you imagine the headlines if the UK system allowed, say, BUPA to "donate" six figure sums to the Health Secretary just before a new law on private healthcare was released?


There probably wouldn't be any headlines at all. We know that, because there have been hardly any headlines at all.

For example, Care UK donated £250k to the Tory Party. The Tory Party then pulled NHS Direct and replaced it with 111, which is owned by Care UK.

The NHS is being handed over at a frightening rate to companies who donate tidy sums to the Tories. It's in the public domain, but never in the headlines.


#2908257 "Pom" watch

Posted by Steve May on 30 March 2014 - 04:27 PM

I've been watching Tomkins closely in the NRL. He's started quite quietly, which might be expected given the upheaval of moving to the other end of the world, but he's getting into his stride and looking more comfortable.

I think he's going to end up as a huge star in the NRL.


#2908182 Never forget that England is, at heart, a progressive nation

Posted by Steve May on 30 March 2014 - 03:01 PM

It's hardly a trendy lefty issue these days. The law allowing same-sex marriage was introduced to Parliament by a government led by a Conservative Prime Minister, and credit to them for that. It had cross-party support too.


Let's not get carried away with this. The third reading of the Bill was passed by 316 to 161

136 Tories voted against it, 117 in favour. Cameron, to his credit, supported this. The Tories did not. It was passed by Cameron alongside Labour, the Lib Dems and less than half the Tories.

Cameron's unflinching support of this really should be commended. He pushed it through without the support of his party. It is thought that his support for this is a major contributor in the collapse of Tory membership. In the long run, gay marriage could cost him his job.


#2907981 Never forget that England is, at heart, a progressive nation

Posted by Steve May on 30 March 2014 - 12:40 AM

Personally I don't think churches, mosques, synagogues or whatever should be licensed to carry out weddings.

People should get legally married in a civil ceremony at a registry office. If they want to have a religious service as well that's fine by me, but it should have no legal standing.


#2907146 overrated films

Posted by Steve May on 28 March 2014 - 10:43 AM

 the one where Amanda Donohoe spends most of the film naked?

 

Ah, I remember that film.   Absolutely garbage film.  I must have watched it 20 times or so when I was 15!




#2906438 Inheritance

Posted by Steve May on 26 March 2014 - 09:22 PM

Guardian commentary

 

I know I come across as a bit of a lefty but this is just 1983 style Labour leftie nonsense.  It reads as "None of my family were wealthy enough to leave me money so why should anyone else get that advantage?"

 

We're not talking the low thousands figures of wealthy landowners of the Victorian era as the article suggests, we're talking about hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of families now that will have substantial properties to hand over to the next generation.  Many of them will fall into the current inheritance tax brackets simply because they live in modest houses in the south of England.  Does the author think that all that property that's been bought should be handed over to the government on death?

 

 

Inequality, in wealth and in income, is too big a problem to be dismissed as "1983 Labour style nonsense". 

 

You ask "Does the author think that all that property that's been bought should be handed over to the government on death?", which is about as dim a question as you could imagine.  It's barely one step above "Why don't you ###### off to North Korea then".  

 

Step up a bit, you're an intelligent man.




#2906124 Marwan's latest

Posted by Steve May on 26 March 2014 - 11:41 AM

 

Even then the fans aren't daft. The salary cap stops the rich man changing anything much. Ken Davey's been pumping all the money he can into Fartown for 12 years now? and they've won nothing.

 

More than 12 years.  Closer to 20 now.  I think he first got involved in 1996 and bought the club in 1997.

 

I'm afraid the big lesson of Huddersfield is that pumping money in doesn't build you a team.  That takes a lot more than simple money.  It takes stability and it takes long term thinking behind the scenes.  That wasn't available to Huddersfield until 2003, and since then the club has actually done pretty well.   Back in the early 90s, stood on the terrace at Fartown, I'd have bitten your hand off for two Cup finals and topping the league (which isn't "nothing")




#2906113 Budget 2014 (Merged threads)

Posted by Steve May on 26 March 2014 - 11:31 AM

Gidion showing us he's down with the people:

 

 

 

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At least he makes an effort to at least pretend to like the beer, unlike this chap: :rolleyes:

 

He's drinking that like he's never seen a pint of beer before in his life.  The bloke on the right is clearly thinking "You might want to let that settle for a few minutes.  And stop holding the glass like a freak."




#2906103 Public sector suppliers

Posted by Steve May on 26 March 2014 - 11:20 AM

It's all about 'streamlining and accountability ' in that you make the individual trusts independent of each other responsible for thier own budgets. This helps the government to divide and rule ready to outsource work from failing trusts.

However it removes any chance of a structured procurement system. Add to the fact that the wages for this type of work in the public sector are roughly half that in the private sector, you done get people with the same montivation.

 

Let's imagine you're buying sutures.   How many organisations in the UK buy sutures?    It's pretty much one, the NHS.

 

Wrong!  It's hundreds of organisations.  Because the NHS doesn't really exist.   Each individual Trust buys sutures completely separately.  They each contact the suture manufacturer and ask them for a price.  The manufacturer tells them the price.  If the NHS Trust is any good, they query the price and ask for a discount.  The manufacturer will offer perhaps 5%.  If the NHS Trust is really good, they'll work on it a bit and perhaps threaten to go to a different supplier.   The manufacturer will literally shrug, and point out that they simply don't need to sell to this hospital because they have hundreds of others they can go to.  Take it or leave it.

 

A really good Trust at this point might then bring in a different supplier.  But the story will be the same - the suppliers hold all the cards.   It's Porter's Five Forces (look it up) and there ain't nothing can be done about it in the current NHS.   In fact, the current government appears to be actively making the situation worse.

 

 

An analogy would be Tesco.   Tesco have a bloke who just buys bananas.  That's all he does.   He organises delivery of bananas into big distribution centres so they can be sent to every Tesco in the land on Tesco trucks carrying hundreds of other items.  That's why you can always buy a banana, and bananas are so cheap even though they've come halfway across the World.   I think right now a banana costs about 50p.

 

If Tesco was run like the NHS, then each store would employ four or five people who would buy everything that goes into that store.   One of those people would, every couple of years, set up a banana contract.  When it looked like the store might run out of bananas, they'd drop an order into the banana supplier who would send out a truck to the store and drop off some bananas.  Each banana would then cost £15.

 

 

Now, there are real problems with the way Tesco run their supply chain but there's still plenty of things that could be learned from them.

 

Someone is now about to pipe up with how complex the NHS is.   Well, there are a lot more Tesco stores than there are hospitals, and the number of SKUs held in a Tesco store is an order of magnitude more than in an NHS hospital.




#2905656 Public sector suppliers

Posted by Steve May on 25 March 2014 - 04:36 PM

Sounds like a job for some good procurement professionals.   But of course you don't need procurement people in the public sector.  They are time-wasting bureaucrats who just take the focus away from front line staff while lining their own pockets with fat pensions.  So you should sack them ASAP.

 

I believe that's the way it works?




#2904758 overrated films

Posted by Steve May on 24 March 2014 - 12:21 AM

Shawshank Redemption, The Big Lebowski, The Dark Knight


If you don't like The Big Lebowski you have no soul.


#2903106 Budget 2014 (Merged threads)

Posted by Steve May on 21 March 2014 - 12:44 PM

Really, I don't know any non-taxpayers personally or for that matter "adherents of ultra-left politics". I have noticed that those in favour of low levels of taxation tend to be ' I'm alright Jacks' until their world crashes down around them or their nearest and dearest and then they expect more from the system they've decried than is available.

 

 

Tax is the fee rich people pay to stop poor people coming and slitting their throats in the night.  After a while the rich people forget this and decide not to pay any more.  It never ends well.




#2902346 Is rugby league a minority sport?

Posted by Steve May on 20 March 2014 - 09:18 AM

Not for me Steve. As Dave T says his dad took him to Wire and he played RL.

 

My dad took me to Hunslet and I ended up playing (very badly) so did my two mates one of whom is still playing 40 years on in masters.

 

I can sit in a big crowd at Headingley and watch local kids playing at half time with parents looking on approvingly, I can sit and watch games at Rochdale, Keighley and Doncaster where there's few kids and hardly any quality junior RL players coming through.

 

If quality players just start appearing in places where the local club is playing at a low level before poor crowds then I haven't seen that in all my years. There are of course some big amateur clubs of long standing who can still run a successful club even though the pro side has long since collapsed.

 

Oldham and Hunslet have a couple of big Junior clubs that can still turn a professional, but even at Hunslet the south Leeds community is more wired to Headingley and the players naturally gravitate there, and have done for many years now.

 

It's just my opinion based on a bit of logic and a few facts that (for instance) a successful side in the Calder area could see junior RL make something of a return round there (after Steve Gill at Cas saying player numbers are declining). Imagine a club there getting big crowds attracting families to a super stadium and kids wanting to have a go.  

 

It's a numbers game and if getting kids to the pro game then inspires them to have a go in the junior game then we want what Wigan and leeds seem to have that rolls their success on year after year, and that is big numbers taking an interest in the pro side, and the pro side using that to develop quality local talent.

 

Some time ago I had one of the old John Player yearbooks that showed where players were born, and in lancashire the vast majority of players literally came from Wigan, Widnes and St.Helens. I think (just my opinion again) that there is far more mileage trying to build quality junior player numbers via quality superleage academies in big SL clubs, rather than the idea of paying for development officers all over the country.

 

To me the evidence is there that the vast majority of players come from Superleague areas, and that if somehow Wigan were to take the sort of 20 year nosedive Widnes did after their 70's and 80's success almost spawned a Great Britain team (Is that right VW?)   then Wigan would equally see quality junior player numbers decline.

 

If you think about it, everything you're arguing here could also be used to argue that the best SL clubs are in areas where good SL level players come from.

 

My actual point is that there's some kind of magic that needs to happen involving the local community and a local SL club for it to happen.  It's a virtuous circle.  I think you're probably right that the future is high quality academies attached to SL clubs, but the real work of coaching SL stars happens when they are younger and that requires community clubs where kids can just play for fun in the right environment.