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Press Cycle 1 - New Prime Minister
#31
I do not think William Croft could have had a worse start to his premiership. We're finding out a lot about who he is, what kind of attitude he has to dissent, and it is all very Trumpian. To recap, with the FTPA, he has forced through a significant constitutional change and increased his power without a full parliamentary debate or a mandate; he has broken a promise to treat all parts of the UK equally throughout the Brexit process; is trying to ram through his own extreme version of Brexit without proper democratic process; and has booted out several key and esteemed members of his own party, for the crime of voting against the party whip to delay Brexit. It was only earlier this year when he himself broke the party whip to delay Brexit. The hypocrisy is astounding. Now, William Croft keeps on saying, without evidence and without the guts to actually double check, that he is merely implementing the "will of the people". I'm sceptical - it seems that his interpretation of the "will of the people" just so happens to coincidentally match up exactly with what he wants. 
Grant Smith
Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West (2005-present)

Media Unknown, Constituency Appeal, Campaign Organiser, Fundraiser Extraordinaire 
Previously: Sir Lachlan Domnhall Coinneach Duncan MacMahon; Graham Adiputera; I think I played some dull Labour bloke at one point
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#32
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#33
If you want to see how crazy the World and round has been this year note that I created this cycle on the day the round fully opened for business, yes it's insane, thank you all so much for being a part of it - it would have been boring without you. - Mac and the A-Team

The cycle began with Harry Newhurn attacking the Tory record on, well, just about everything really. The attacks are strong and they leave marks rallying the left against the Tories, which is far easier than rallying them to be in favour of anything really. Edith Granger is next up decrying the new PM's Brexit strategy and rallying Remainers to her group's cause, it's another strong entry but strikes a resonance only with Remainers for obvious reasons. Summer and Wilson come into bat for the Government, Summer saying he means business on Brexit and Wilson saying about the same. They really help rally the Brexiteers to the cause so I hope Croft is thankful. Richland retorts that the Brexit plan sucks and his statements ring true to many before Wodehouse calls for a People's Government and argues that the PM has the nation's best interests at heart. Nyland finished off this little element of back and forth by wondering aloud what will happen when Brexit is done.

Grant Smith of the Lib Dems showed up next to condemn the PM and Government for endorsing views that say Remainers should be ashamed of themselves, it riles up the base nicely and outrages Remainers about as much as you'd expect. His line about the FTPA meanwhile falls a little flatter, nobody really cares if the Act stays or goes and making it into an issue will at best be an horrific uphill slog. Greenwood attacks the PM as not being a PM that can even unite all Brexiteers which was a much better line than "Wreck-It Brexit", it does sting the Government here and the Tories would do well to be aware of the power of the young MP from Barrow and Furness.

Edith Granger was next to try and make the FTPA repeal a thing, she did it somewhat better by bemoaning the way Croft is getting rid of it. It's still a niche issue but ramming the Bill through the Commons wasn't the smartest of moves I am not going to lie. Trenython touts the Government's ability to deliver on its promises and Drykov attacks the Lib Dems moderately effectively for the FTPA, even if that attack is immediately muted by Smith's reply. Again though, very few people care about the FTPA one way or the other (the irl zombie government hasn't happened yet IG). Allard, curiously, welcomes the PM to post and urges him to get on with Brexit. It's nice to see the Tories playing well with other player parties at least once in a round. Nerina's statement was a statement of two halves, firstly she spoke about the FTPA act again, then she much more effectively spoke about wasting the House's time with a pointless motion. Richland attacks the PM's tactics in the Commons before Allard wins the race to be the first player to call for an election and attacks Labour with a full broadside for daring to question mandates. Marshall welcomes the PM to his post and calls for the Tories to act in the best interests of the nation which Richalnd tries to turn on its head with some degree of success.

The third page began with Mr Pugh of Plaid coming out and attacking the Government for trying to force Brexit on the deadline day, twice. They were effective attacks i guess. Mr Anderson was next up and he said some things, some were good, some less so. Mr Un follows it up with something about subverting the will of Parliament, which Mr Croft allegedly did by winning a vote in Parliament, which is an interesting definition of ignoring Parliament I guess. Catherine Reese came out swinging for Brexit calling it a priority before Nerina criticises the tone of the PM's debate and Levy again talks about the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. sigh. The rest of his statement about ignoring the Commons was better and calling Croft an ideological crusader will turn him into a polarising figure real quick. Levy opens up a new front on Mr Croft's past which is moderately effective with many social liberals before Greenwood slammed the PM for having a press statement. Anderson rounds off the penultimate page with a good appeal for Croft saying that the man understands his obligation to the people and endeavours to brief them openly and honestly. Finally Mr Smith lamented Mr Croft for the FTPA and booting his MPs to the curb for voting against him. One was effective, one was not, hopefully everyone can guess which was which by now.

This was a really mixed press cycle, and as with everything this round was really hard to mark due to the elephant in the room that is Brexit. The Government's response to the cycle was excellent. It was disciplined, it was laser-focused, and it spoke to what people wanted to hear. The Tories didn't waste time wittering on about the Fixed Term Parliaments Act and other technocratic babble they made an emotional appeal for the hearts and minds of the nation on the issue they care about most, and for that they deserve a major commendation. Labour were mixed with some very good stuff and some not so good stuff, they didn't fall into the FTPA trap often and when they didn't they were effective at outlining problems with the Government. The Lib Dems, Change UK, BXP, and Plaid were all adept at raising issues that mattered to them, the LDs fell hardest into the Fixed Term Parliaments Act problem which for the most part the others avoided. Change UK looked good in their first outing but were perhaps a touch muted, maybe one or two more speaking engagements would have helped. The Brexit Party looked excellent, they looked good to their base and extended the arm of friendship to the PM to get goodwill from all on the Brexity right. Finally Plaid spoke well on an issue that affected Wales, their modus operandi. It's a shame the Greens and SNP didn't turn up but not too damaging.

I'm going to put this down as a narrow Labour win as their highs were generally the highest of anyone. Notable performances came from individual Tories and the minor parties generally did well. XP to Richland, Greenwood, Reese, and Anderson.
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