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Press Cycle 5 - New Government
The fact that Caroline Flint a former opponent of Loser's Vote who has called itĀ "A sad coalition of extremes is coalescing to stop any deal" and "ardent remainers who warned of the dangers of a cliff-edge Brexit, now hoping to defeat a deal and force a crisis to secure a second referendum", now joining the government as their Brexit minister is a joke and frankly shows that Labour Party and most of its MPs have no problem with reneging on their promises and principles for power. Caroline Flint chose to abandon her position for a minister's salary and a car. Emily Greenwood who has said that she can not support a Loser's Vote is in a government that is set on pushing a Loser's vote as is Sarah Nyland who has voted against the Loser's Vote in the parliament just a couple of weeks ago. The Surrender act ensures that Labour's most scared scenerio of a Clean Brexit is avoided so what are these people are afraid of happening so much so that they are abandoning their principles, well nothing, they just want power and if their principles are in the way, they are more than ready to discard it along the way.
Brigitte Allard MP
Member for Stoke on Trent North
Leader of the Brexit Party

Media Darling/Fundraising Extraordinaire/Maverick/Constituency Darling(awarded by admins)
First post-election press cycle and boy was it a doozy weighing in at 6 pages of writing. Kennedy kicks us off by telling people what they voted against and assaults the Tories for things like their Northern Ireland policy and their backstop while Milne comes in with the follow-up and Axon follows up the follow-up. These were effective lines that tended to do the Tories more damage than they did Labour, a trend which continues with the Tory counter-attack as Goldman swept in by pointing out that at this point we had no idea what had been agreed with the SNP saying that Labour had simply created a, say it with me, coalition of chaos. Grey followed that up with some cold hard logic. The people voted for the Tories in the EU election, they voted for Brexit-backing parties in the General Election, they did not vote for a Frankenstein's Government of anti-Brexit parties and nationalists holding the PM by her unmentionables. It really was quite an effective line which I hope the Tories continue. Milne retorts with some good lines about how the Tories couldn't con the British people into voting for them and the percussionary habits of cephalopods. Then we settle down into the "SNP are evil" portion of our show with Black and Summer decrying the fact that a unionist could ever work with parties like the SNP and checks notes Labour's sister party in the SDLP. Black's attack was less effective and frankly a bit needlessly brutal decrying the motives of a PM the British people quite respect, maybe even like. Summer hits the mark much more closely in all three of his comments pointing out a different Labour weakness with each and then ruthlessly crushing them. Goldman returns for round two with a devastatingly simple line about Blakesley not being a leader, more a committee member to round out the first page.

Page two kicked off with more withering Tory assaults on Labour attempting to expose them as closeted nationalists or something. Grey tries this tack with his first comment to muted effect but is much more effective with his second one when he re-orientates the issue to focus on what such a hodge podge collection of parties could ever hope to accomplish. Milne returns to offer a positive vision for what this Government could achieve before Grey snaps back and we get a nice little back and forth between the two which I think essentially boils down to a draw and divides the country pretty neatly down the middle. Andrews does a terrific job of outlining the peril Labour are in making the public believe that maybe they should really be responsible and just throw in the towel, the thwarting Brexit follow-up is nice considering most of the parties in the agreement are explicitly anti-Brexit. Axon decides that attack is the best form of defence and savages the Tory record on the union which does somewhat dampen their arguments it must be said before Smith turns up to defend the Coalition (and attack the Tories) from the LD point of view. Kennedy kindly rocks up to attempt to re-write history claiming that the GFA was all Labour's idea, he is much more successful when it comes to his attacks on the Tories and his desire to see power sharing restored at Stormont. Saxon ends the second page with some vague scaremongering about the SNP which, frankly very few people are buying. The Tory argument against the SNP is really beginning to lose traction everywhere south of Hadrian's Wall just through repetition.

Grey finds a nice avenue to attack down comparing the Second Referendum to Remain vs Remain Lite, scaring the pants off of everyone north of Birmingham and west of Offa's Dyke. Milne says exactly what Labour needed to say when he rules out a second independence referendum (effectively negating and closing the argument down now) before Smith attacks the Tory record in Government. Saxon starts to whistle at the Moon, which is just as effective as his lines have now become on Scottish Independence (seriously, boy who cried wolf much?) and Milne makes mincemeat of him for it followed up by Smith. At this point this argument is pretty settled into the two camps and I will not really be moving people around based on the argument going forward, people either believe that Labour are trying to sell the Scots off to the highest bidder or don't and nothing short of a miracle will change that. Grey is the first to test this hypothesis by slamming his head into that particular brick wall to no avail but the press gallery enjoyed Smith's witty retort. Goldman finds an excellent new angle to take which really causes Labour some serious headaches. They themselves called the Greens extremists and they've handed the keys of the Ministry of Health to an ex-Tory, it makes everyone from the flakey to the Labour core really rather uncomfortable. Lascelles lambastes the Tories for not negotiating much, if at all to round out the page.

The guy Calhoun was before he put on his Calhoun skin made a good counter-point to the Tories before Mr Wilson became the second Tory to try his head out for wall-busting battering ram, with no success beforeĀ Milne has an equally fruitless time trying to shift the needle back the other way. Grey steps up to make it a hat trick of politicians trying to annoy the journalists with who can waste their time the most effectively. Calhoun steps up to make a salient point about the People's Vote before Milne takes another crack at busting down the SNP brick wall himself. Saxon makes a niche but interesting point about Labour breaking their own promise to release the C&S agreements before the QS happens and Mr Marshall joins the SNP fandom with a lifetime membership package. Axon strays dangerously close to the wall which apparently cannot be escaped but veers just far enough away to talk about how he's happy to be in a Government with lots of voices and how the Tories tried to destroy the union themselves not five minutes before the election was called to end the fourth paragraph.

Mr Pugh kicks off page 5 with a nice little comment saying he's won some goodies for Wales, a nice little bit of spin that will win him plaudits back home. Ms Boxhall follows up Mr Saxon's "what do they have to hide?" line of questioning as it starts to become less of a salient issue and more of a "point well made, move on" scenario. I'm going to say that Brown does enough to move the needle on the SNP debate with his first comment because he brings up explicit Labour campaigning (and a picture of a billboard) to the party which attacks the Tories and the Lib Dems (Labour's new coalition partners). It doesn't move the needle much at all, but at least he avoids the Concussion Club (Honorary Life Chairs: Milne and Grey). His second comment on transparency plays on existing Tory attack lines well to begin to suggest that maybe things aren't all that they seem over in the new Number 10 crew. Because Brown was able to briefly breathe new life into the debate around the SNP I will allow Milne to re-kill it with his new statement to push the needle back to its old resting place and declare the SNP discussion back to not being that interesting and highly unlikely to move the needle anymore. Blakesley defends the People's Vote policy before Brown points out that the choices are between the PM's deal and No Brexit, we'll have to wait and see what that means for the British people until we get a deal from the Government for everyone to wail about. McCrimmon pointed out that any Labour deal would involve leaving the EU before Calhoun cleverly twists prominent Labour figures' words back on the party. Lockhart brings a new discussion to the table as we begin to wind down with devolution, something that can be popular, and will definitely be worth looking at in future. Allard shows up to attack the Government for being propped up by a party highly likely to be a member of the Irish Government soon, it's a neat attack but the people don't really want an election yet so the final sentence does you no favours. Then she attacks Labour VERY effectively for relying on the ONP which is made up 100% of former Conservative MPs and Ministers at this point, who all voted for measures Labour railed against all election long.

That was a marathon to mark but I found it very enjoyable (even if I now need a bit of a lie down). The Tories were able to gain the upper hand a lot but never really turned this into a rout and with the SNP managed to settle a really divisive issue into a holding pattern where nobody could really make the needle move. It's never easy being the centre-point of a press battle Labour so given the circumstances you did very well, there was good defensive action and some good shots fired at the Tories. The minor parties were mostly supporting roles but Smith and Allard in particular provided great attacking points whereas Lascelles, by virtue of his history, became something of an unintentional liability for the Government which he will have to work out how to resolve going forwards. I'm going to chalk this up as a Tory win, but what I will say is that I wouldn't necessarily expect this to translate into a major polling shift due in large part to the effectiveness of Labour's counter attacks. XP for Andrews, Milne, Goldman, and Calhoun

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