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Press Cycle 7 - Northern Ireland
I do love to see my scenarios generate so much buzz and attention. The cycle began with William Grey talking about how Fianna Fail could exert pressure on the Government and the public turn right round and say "don't you have a deal with the DUP, UUP, and TUV? The anti-Brexit line later on is at least a tiny bit effective but you're not making too much ground here. The same can be said for your second comment as well. Knight finds a better attack avenue by pointing out that the Government are now relying on the populist right to try and form a Government, how can they pass anything? This is a better line to take. Blakesley reacts to Grey with indignation which, whilst it goes down well in Northern Ireland (bonus points to Irish Labour whom some people think is actually our Labour, the muppets), is less effective in the UK because unfortunately British people don't much care about Northern Ireland except when it is in their interests to. Kennedy makes a good comment about restoring Stormont and how the Tories are undermining it and then a follow-up about how they are arguing which was less effective. Grey returns to moderately effective effect pointing out that nobody is above criticism, not even Labour, and they should stop politicising the peace that he himself politicised at the beginning of this very page, this dented the effectiveness of this comment a bit. The second comment about the UQ was much more effective and completely destroyed the Kennedy criticism about how the Tories are dealing with this, it doesn't do much more though because, frankly, who cares about this stuff? Smith makes the most effective comment of the cycle so far on the issue of Brexit and Northern Ireland before Knight follows up with a very effective attack on the Government on stability and the hysteria they are trying to whip up about  questions asked on this topic. Mead makes a good, punchy, point followed by Lascelles to finish the page.

Goldman begins the page by questioning the Government being held up by one vote at the hands of nationalists, the old SNP thing but in Northern Ireland... which doesn't vote for the main parties... The second comment is much better talking about accountability and transparency, things people actually care about. Smith follows up with some good comments about peace before Kennedy announces the success of talks to restore Stormont! Huzzah! Tea and cake for everyone! Andrews makes a very salient point, especially considering what Arlene Foster put out on Twitter (explicit link would have meant bonus points) and then follows that up with a "nothing has changed at Westminster" line which whilst less effective still resonates with folks a bit. Grey shoves his foot in it by suggesting the Government are not neutral, a point lost on the country who are celebrating the return of power sharing (well, celebrating may be a little much, vaguely aware of it might be better phrasing) and Smith gives his coalition partner a pat on the back which was nice. Arnold and Blakesley commend Kennedy for a job well done before Kennedy himself rounds off the cycle attacking the Tory record and pointing out his achievements, conveniently ignoring the Twitter bombs (not literally) that Arlene Foster dropped which could destroy the whole sorry thing in five minutes flat if she were so inclined.

I mean, this cycle was always going to be a Labour win when the power-sharing arrangement was agreed, the question became how far would the Tories push them and I think they pushed them very hard towards the end. Andrews made some good points that the media picked up on, Grey was scatter gunning around and occasionally some mud stuck to the proverbial wall and Knight caused them headaches. This is a Labour win, but not a comfortable one, equally not too narrow of one either. XP to Kennedy (x2), Andrews, and Knight.

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