- Explosion on maiden voyage of cruise ship Norwegian Escape
- Conservative Cleverly and Labour’s Copley to contest London mayoral election
- Caroline Blakesley acclaimed as Labour Leader and new Prime Minister
- Macmillan tables a vote of no confidence in the Government
[Sticky] Snap Verdicts
Newsnight October 2013 (Ari Suchet and Alex Cardigan)
Snap verdict: Alex Cardigan victory
Energy prices were the topic of the week, although it often strayed into wider government policy on the economy.
Ari Suchet won the award for passion. But if you're going for the firebrand, you need to do it in a way that answers the question and clearly justifies what you're saying (whether as an intellectual appeal or an emotional one). Otherwise, it risk it coming off as a bit of a rant - and it was a bit on that side of it this time. Nationalising energy companies was dropped as a bombshell without little context or justification beyond "austerity". For something so radical, viewers needed more. With a bit of refinement - and it wouldn't need much - these arguments could have a lot more traction.
Alex Cardigan, on the other hand, deflected it with calm and considered answers. It wasn't a perfect performance - it wasn't entirely clear why getting borrowing down was brought up and it risked detracting from your central message that a cap doesn't work and investment is what is important. It was useful to use your coalition partners here, because they have more credibility than your own party on green issues and using that credibility supported your arguments.
Awards: +2 Media XP for Alex Cardigan
Tory Leadership Interviews Snap Verdict
Snap Verdict: Carpenter and Calhoun win.
Fairly limited in scope (apologies time constraints got to me), but informative in how each candidate performed and how they made their pitch to the membership of the Tories and the country at large. For a lot of the candidates these are first impressions and while first impressions matter, they can be changed (via a great or not so great campaign and some helpful endorsements.)
Mary Cambel had the dubious honour of going first, which is never easy and it showed in parts. Despite the initial promise, it looked like she somewhat wilted under the light and ran into some trouble that she didn't need to get into. Pitching herself as willing to listen on a referendum and using it as a stick to incentivise the EU into making concessions was by far the best moment. While members of the Tories all seem to vaguely like her, as the public got to know her something didn't sit right through the performance. Though approval ratings in the UK are notoriously flexible and should she make it to the run off and win, she'll have every chance to convince people that her performance was the exception and not the rule.
Then came Sir Jonathan Horncastle, who came in with a relatively healthy position and started out rather strong and direct. There wasn't much equivocating and the one word answer about the referendum made people pay attention. It seemed like he wasn't especially well prepared to go into a detailed discussion on which parts of the EU he wanted to see change in a hypothetical reforming period for it. Quoting Ronald Reagan was a bold move and despite going onto some shaky ground you recovered some composure towards the end of our segment on the EU. Being clear about respecting the vote on Syria certainly won some admirers, but unfortunately Laura didn't have time to keep going.
The third interviewee Deborah Carpenter was the first of our 'winners' (though they shouldn't let that get to their heads) to appear. You raised eyebrows when you answered the hypothetical on reopening the coalition agreement with the Lib Dems, but your desire to continue with the agreement as it was won some admirers. The issue of Syria was explored in more depth with Ms Carpenter, she made it very clear that she was in favour of intervention and disagreed with the house, but made it clear she wouldn't look to go back right away without at least attempting to persuade people. When confronted with some of the more unpalatable aspects of the coalition, you provided an answer that... while lacking in some regards was sweetened enough and presented well enough that people ate it up. You also had an ambitious program for the EU and didn't commit to a referendum, people certainly noticed that, whether you could achieve what you set out is the question on a lot of peoples minds. Overall a very solid performance.
Finally we had the surprise star Barclay Calhoun, honestly this was an impressive performance almost the whole way through. You were clear, detailed when you needed to be, combative at just the right time. My regret is that we got stuck in the EU quagmire (as we often do with the Tory party, am I right?), but you turned heads when you directly linked a cost to national sovereignty. When asked how you would pay for more police, you actually provided something resembling an answer, which was much appreciated and when confronted with the idea that leaving the EU would be as risky as raising taxes, you appealed to a particular current of British opinion that regards sovereignty as worth the risk, not a sentiment to be underestimated.
Overall (despite some difficulties, but it's worth remembering these are never easy) all of the candidates made at least some positive impression on the electorate and their own parties, whether that's reflected accurately in the polling is perhaps a matter for the pollsters, but opinion can change and we have a campaign to go.
Mary Cambel +1 media, Sir Jonathon Horncastle +1 Media, Deborah Carpenter +2 Media, Barclay Calhoun +2 Media
“Stalin: Stop sending people to kill me! We’ve already captured five of them, one with a bomb and another with a rifle… If you don’t stop sending killers, I’ll send one to Moscow, and I won’t have to send another” - Tito
Snap verdict: Narrow Manning win over Suchet; loss for entire Labour movement
My oh my. That was something wasn’t it? Let’s take it turn by turn.
Opening statements: A clear Manning win. Your opening statement was specific and conveyed a vision. Clever to start with “I am a socialist” given you are the least socialist of the three.
Q1, economy: Manning win purely by looking reasonably… reasonable, but what a disaster. Most people don’t know what capital is or why it’s sometimes spelled with a K. This is not a debate that spoke to anyone in the Labour Party, let alone the country.
Q2, public services: this was better for the party and our collective sanity. Manning made a solid try at justifying an open mind in grammar schools (and the personalisation – speaking directly to Sophie – was really good), but most Labour members do not have an open mind about them. Suchet’s answer was decent as were the points on grammars. Manning tried valiantly, but what you were saying really turned off a lot of people in the party. So, this is a victory for Suchet, despite Manning’s efforts.
Q3, Syria: A bit of a damp squib in the end. Manning repeated form by saying things a lot of people in the party didn’t want to hear but saying them well. Suchet could have pushed harder on a strong message with a sympathetic audience. As it is, I’ll call this a level draw.
Overall: Manning was the stronger performer, but was making difficult cases (especially on grammars). Suchet performed much more strongly than previous performances, but was not quite as polished – but emphasised the more moderate elements of her platform and principles rather than the bits that might scare more people off. Thornberry… I’m afraid that did not go well. Shouting “capital” does not win elections, even in the Labour party.
Rewards: +2 Media XP for Manning and Suchet.
Snap Verdict: MHC victory over Tim Farron (duh) - and a general good performance all around.
For people who didn't know, I offered MHC a variety of interviews he could take to big up his leadership campaign, and she coincidentally took the hardest one and is officially the first (though hopefully not last) player of the round to be Paxed.
So kudos there - Paxman is not the caricature a lot of people make him out to be, he probes and queries and communicates as much as he grills and provokes. But it doesn't remove the fact Morgan has had the most difficult interviewer of the round so far (though considering there was less to throw at you, not necessarily the most difficult interview).
And you handled it largely well. Throughout the interview you were calm and consistent. We're remembering that this interview exists to pitch you against an NPC other, but your message will be resonating amongst members more than Tim Farron's similar 'change is needed' pitch - and you champion those integral Liberal values your membership loves much more passionately.
You balanced the fine line of championing the coalition and looking sensible and statesmanlike while promising change and looking true to your values effectively, and I think you kept an interesting ability to half answer questions, or to convey messages you wanted to without appearing to scary to LD members or to the general public (e.g on the renegotiations, the 'change of pace' from Nick Clegg).
Some of the dancing around the questions were a little obvious, and through the 'are the Liberal Democrats really helping vulnerable people?' your discomfort showed a bit - but even then you responded with, what looks in the eyes of British people, decent policy.
This performance alone isn't going to turn around British public opinion on the Liberal Democrats - no single performance could. But it's a good start, and people are keeping a (tentative) eye on you, especially considering the interesting position the other two parties are in. More importantly is how it makes members view you, though, which is in a word great - this interview hit all the right notes, and you can rest assured even Farron voters will be more than happy to accept you as leader.
+2 media xp for MHC.
Snap verdict: A win for Graham Adiputera, and a good night for Dylan Macmillan
First of all - thanks to everyone who participated. Question time is hard and I appreciate the time your took. You all did a good job at various points, and there were no car crashes for the most part.
I'll take this question by question, but the overall message is that Graham Adiputera gave the most consistently positive performance. Dylan Macmillan was good, especially on the question that mattered for him, but was occasionally was a bit too wonkish. Croft... you were served up a right dog's dinner and if you didn't manage to completely flip the narrative, you did remain cool and collected under pressure. And Calvin Ward - your performance was largely good and you hit a couple of great soundbites, but it felt like you had an open goal on the firefighter question and didn't quite take it.
Q1 - LeakGate? MaryGate? MacGate? Whatever you know: Oh poor Croft. You got really ganged up on here, even from your coalition partner. You tried to hold your own but there's no shame in saying that this was a hard question for you. Graham A gave the most solid response to the question, which was devastating. Calvin Ward had a good line in his response - probably his best line of the night - with "calling for transparency isn’t treason. It’s getting through the muck of the matter and holding this government accountable, something they said they wanted on day one". Dylan M had a strong enough showing that he came out of it well. A decent Graham win.
Q2 - Firefighters: Croft held his own a lot better here, but I'm afraid undermined himself by taking the digs at his former Tory colleague a little too far. Dylan M then managed to score the best one liner of the night from someone other than Dimbleby - "I mean in fairness, you didn't really give me a chance to stick around." To be honest, no one was a stunner on this question. Ward - saying the "timing wasn't ideal" pleases no one. Croft you went in a bit too hard against the Unions - you're lucky you weren't called out for compromising negotiations you're leading with it. And Graham you were okay but it was a hard one for you given your coalition partners were leading it. Dylan Macmillan is probably the narrow winner, because he gave a surprisingly strong defence of the right to strike and the need for a compromise.
Q3 - Scotland: You were all painfully English about it. Especially Dylan. You all gave decent enough answers to it, but I doubt anyone north of the border was really convinced. A narrow win for Graham, whose answer did at least try to reach out.
- Graham +4 Media XP
- Mac +3 Media XP
- Croft +1 Media XP and +1 Policy XP; and another point on media for being a good sport about the jokes
- Calvin +2 Media XP
Saxon Newsnight interview
Verdict: Started off bad, but gradually improved and ended on an ok note.
The biggest fault in here for the Tories was that Paxman was specifically requested. I kind of get it: when you come in with a tough interviewer, and you come out on top or don't lose your cool, you look all the better for it. It's a risk. But risks must always be calculated when you're coming in with a tough interviewer: how much ammo do they have against you (in this case, a lot)? Is the aim of your interview something that can be conveyed much more effectively with a softer interviewer (if this was to announce the inquiry and more NHS funding, certainly). Is it really necessary? (There's no election period with your Shadow doing the same Pax interview to put pressure on you to follow suite).
As said before, the purpose of this interview, to me, looked like it was to announce some things that would go down well with voters, but you forget you're doing this through the medium of a tough interviewer with a bone to pick. And he picked that bone hard - and I think you knew it and didn't keep your cool in the right way. The threat to walk out didn't play well in the public - you weren't being scrutinised on a matter of principle and defending those, you were being held accountable over a controversial scandal.
After a gruelling first half of the interview, Pax decided he got what he wanted from you and moved onto territory you were more comfortable with. The health stuff looked a bit better. You didn't really answer Paxman's questions, which he picked you up on and that continued to show, but you got the message you wanted to across to the public with the announcements. The European stuff was even better - though never make the mistake of trying to step ahead of your interviewer and following with their flow (even if you have, which you didn't in this case, they won't like it), but Saxon looked more pragmatic and dutiful than some people would've previously given him credit for up until now.
Note: apologies for the lateness. My life has gotten hectic in conjunction with the game being hectic, new job (kind of), dental surgery, and then my energy has been spent making sure that the game doesn't collapse because everything just went down.
Verdict (not that it really matters): Cambel win. Suchet started off strong, though. Cambel's performance following was a bit more shaky.
What is the point of Prime Minister's Questions? It's to hold the government accountable, obviously, and ask the pressing questions that the public has. It's accountability and transparency in its finest. Right?
Sorry to burst anyone's bubbles, but wrong. PMQ's is entertainment, and showmanship, and - if you want to win, and most people in politics do - one upping. We can complain about the rows, the heckles and the bad jokes, but they're there for a reason.
Ari Suchet lost because she had the nice view of PMQs, whereas Cambel understood instinctively how you 'win' more. That wasn't to say Ari was bad: she started it off instinctively understanding how PMQs was meant to go, one upping Cambel on fiscal responsibility of all issues. This is where Suchet can learn how to do PMQs, by thinking of where she went right at the very beginning (and if she carried on on that tangent, she would've beaten Cambel by a country mile): make your questions themed and interlinked and make sure there's a purpose with every question - to humiliate, to reveal, and all of that jazz. If anyone wants more pointers from me or another admin, of course, feel free to contact.
Cambel's performance afterwards was a little more shaky; she answered the planted questions well, and deflected your cliche Labour critiques well too, but when it came to issues of heat - namely, the Macmillan amendments, things started to look sore, deflecting and personal. The spat with Dylan Macmillan was not a good look for the Prime Minister. Of course, in the hours following, we know it got a lot worse from there.
(Note: the response to Ari's SNP question was very, very good though. Well done).
Following Daily Politics
Verdict: Solid interview for Dylan Macmillan.
Macmillan made a good pundit here, which seemed to be his role temporarily, giving a decent assessment on what went on during PMQs. When posed with some difficult questions by Andrew Neil he seemed to defend himself quite well, though there were your odd stumbles and awkward corners in regards to whether he'd set up his own party. Short and sweet.
Verdict: Not perfect, but Suchet is improving and this was altogether an alright interview.
That's not to say that this was the perfect interview - it wasn't, and sometimes you did basically feed your opposition some attack lines they can use in this upcoming election (on referenda, on taxes and potentially on Syria). But Suchet does seem to be slowly and surely grasping the machinations of politics, the sacrifices that have to be made and the strategy you need to employ in order to assemble a winning coalition of voters.
Defence was funnily and surprisingly - and Suchet has been pulling out some surprises - the strongest part, with Suchet (wait for it) pulling a more moderate tone than Manning in some respects, and walking a fine but balanced line on trident and defence. The Syria stuff may incense some people, but admittedly it's sentiment most of the British public are ok with.
Even Europe was handled relatively well, with at least a semi decent case given for opposing a referendum, and you never properly crossed the line of implying Brexit supporters or referendum advocates were stupid or worthy of contempt - even if you toed that line; as I said, it wasn't perfect, but you toed the line and seemed to appreciate the electoral coalition Labour had.
Taxes were the worst bit. Look, I'm not saying it's fair, but if you're in the Labour Party - especially post 2010 - have an idea what you're going to spend and how you're going to pay for it. You can't announce on the dot, because you need to know how you're going to get it done. And if the pennies don't add up, you'll need a good economic rationale.
This doesn't immediately negate the case for a left wing programme and neither do your sums have to be super spot on (cough Labour 2017) - also, unless the Tories and media (us AVs) are sad (which is a possibility), with a few tweaks or overoptimistic projections no one will care too much. But you need to make your plans look achievable under the current economic situation. You looked like you were going to spend now and tax later - that makes voters anxious. I don't think they're inherently against taxes when you outline those taxes to them and make the case, but if you leave it to their imagination they're going to go for the worst case scenario.
Verdict: Great performance from all, but I think Manning eked out a win (but some of this was luck; more on this later).
Here's the thing: you weren't just all fine or ok - but you were all really good, so picking a verdict where there's no clear winner is hard.
On the floods you all struck a similar and probably the right tone; though on coalition negotiations Adiputera did stumble a little - it was slightly needless, as Summer and on twitter the PM defended you in a way the public would buy easily - but kudos to Manning for making a mountain out of a molehill but doing so effectively that the watching public would feel like there's a rat to be sniffed out. That said, it was only a very minor stumble, and I'm being nitpicky.
I think Summer did manage to do best on the referendum question and effectively tapped into - even if it's not, he certainly made it feel like - the public mood. Conceding there were important things on top of Europe, but that didn't mitigate the fundamental question, may - possibly counterintuitively - be a smart move to get a referendum in by the backdoor. Adiputera, however, despite being grilled, rebutted very effectively and made a very passionate and buyable case against a referendum.
Then there was the last bit we sprung on you all. Manning and Adiputera's coolness looked good, although this was somewhere you probably could've gone in for the kill a bit more. Summer's reaction is obviously going to go viral and he'll be the politician who is laughed at for the month - but it doesn't negate that you played the horror at the response correctly and didn't try to make excuses for your former ally - that would've been less mocked, would've been shared a little less widely - but it would've been much, much, much worse for your image in the long run.
Manning probably came out on top what you factor in all these debates overall. I'm not sure if Manning decisively won on any of the topics, but was consistently extremely strong throughout. I imagine this performance could've been significantly worse had there been a bit more time - 'taxed to oblivion' was a line looking to be torn apart - but you were saved by the breaking news. Redtops will still make punches, but not having Neil grill you on it meant it didn't resonate as badly as it could've.
(As I said, you all got +2 media each for being great).
Instant reaction – Anita Redmond and Graham Adiputera on Newsnight
((Sorry this is so late))
Well that was… polite. Anita and Graham both have a habit of coming across as a very safe pair of hands. But when you put two safe pairs of hands together they rarely make fire. Which for us politicos is a bit disappointing, but the public watching probably enjoyed actually watching a grown up discussion rather than a slagging match.
It does make it a bit harder to mark, because neither of you struck a knockout blow. The first two questions were a decent draw, especially on the first. The second fell a bit flat because you both like weed, apparently.
The third and fourth question were a bit tougher, and I think on balance it was probably Anita who won out. Anita could speak with the authority of a Tory euro-pragmatist on a referendum, and the demand that the Lib Dems have ab it of accountability on tuition fees hit a raw nerve. Graham – you did well, but you looked a bit more challenged than you have in previous media appearances. Your assertion that “nothing has changed” on tuition fees had me in mind of Theresa May. Taking Anita to task on her party’s divisions on Europe did, however, work well.
So overall I would say a narrow win for Anita Redmond, but a generally high standard of (polite) debate all round. Next time I am going to throw a grenade in and force you both to debate Mark Francois or something.
Rewards: Anita Redmond media XP+4, Graham Adiputera media XP+3
Verdict: Decisive, if not overwhelming, win for Dylan Macmillan.
I know I often tell people that I truly believe any policy or message can be accepted by the British public if you spin it well enough - on left and right - but there really are a few exceptions. Cambelgate was one. When confronted with the complications and perceived u-turns of the budget is another - the best spinner, the best media performer, really couldn't have escaped a PMQs like this unscathed, even if their opponent was ineffective and they were effective.
Unfortunately for the PM, Macmillan was very effective here. Ege: when I said PMQs must be focused and not scattergun, this is what I meant. Macmillan was consistent, themed, made sure to back up his arguments with some facts and figures without going overblown and was rhetorically very good (I particularly liked the resurrection of the longest suicide note in history, which the press has regurgitated).
I think Suchet's performance in itself wasn't awful... it looked slippery, evasive, and you let the fact you had been caught with your hands in the cookie jar show way too much. This performance isn't what people expect from Suchet, a politician even her opponents look on as having integrity and principle. There were some good attacks on Macmillan, and I did enjoy the sass, but lets be honest: no one is listening
Let me start by saying well done to all those involved, live events are never easy, and it takes guts to stick your hand up above the parapet. It’s also good fun. The trick with question time is to answer the question that’s being asked, as obvious as it sounds it is quite easy to ignore it completely and go for your opponent. In fairness I think all three of you did this pretty well, but some of you performed better on the night than others as we got into the live event. I’ll explain In my analysis.
So we are going to go through this one question at a time.
Q1 – Iraq
It’s not often panellists agree which each other on the panel, if we had UKIP representation this might have been a bit of a different story, but you all conveyed the same message – It was right to go in and it was right to carry out air strikes. I’m a little surprised that the Tories didn’t play the international card and go for the government over their reluctance to bring in allies like the EU or indeed the United States, that’s not a negative but Britain’s allies will no doubt be concerned as to why they weren’t consulted. Based on the fact that you all conveyed pretty much the same point and none of you slipped up, I’m going to call this one a Tie. – Tie
All square into Question 2..
Q2 – The Reform Bill
Probably one of the hottest topics at the minute. The questions was on does the voting system introduce more uncertainty. Croft went first, stating that STV brings more uncertainty an challenged Labour and the Liberal Democrats to put it to a referendum. Mr Adiputera, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats instead of addressing that curveball tried to deflect and imply the Tories have tested stability, from the Cambel-Saxon scandal (shall I look away now?) to blaming Macmillan and croft’s negotiation stance for instability. Despite not answering the question Mr Adiputera did make some good arguments against FPTP, and that was noticed. As for the new Chancellor, it started alright but I’m not sure stating STV will make UKIP a viable alternative is a way of getting public support on your side, especially as it is your party and the Lib Dems who are trying to get this bill through. Croft and Adiputera had a better showing here than Mr Ward, but Croft’s final line “Actions speak louder than words - the Government talks a lot about strengthening representation and giving the British people the right to choose, but every time they have the ability to actually give the British people a choice they refuse to do so” gave you a slight edge to win this Question – Croft.
And onto Question 3
Q3 – The budget
I don’t know about anyone else, but this question was the best out of them all as it got everyone starting a fire. We started with the Lib Dem Leader, who did his best to defend a budget that hasn’t had the easiest ride. He did well at defending it and he convinced some of the audience that actually, this was a good budget – in the Government’s eyes that is. Croft then started to ask some really awkward questions, implying that the Prime Minister was lying over the Civil Service reviewing the budget and not finding the mistake. I didn’t exactly see a denial here from the Government. This question was going to be tough for the new Chancellor and I think you did what you could here. It got interesting when Ward turned on the Deputy Prime Minister and questioned if he saw the budget and green lit it, leaving to Adiputera to of course deny he had a chance to sign off on it. What we did see towards the end of this question was cracks starting to form between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, whilst that makes great Television, it can make the public worried. The events after QT certainly got the attention of the media, but that aside, I think croft’s performance during this question stood out the most, with Adiputera and Ward doing what they could to defend the budget, whilst turning on each other a bit. – Croft takes this.
Overall, William Croft had a good night here, opposition politicians generally do as it’s bash the government mode, but you also did well to defend your own. Graham Adiputera also had a good showing , the new Lib Dem leader will have impressed on his first television appearance since becoming leader, keep it up. Calvin Ward, you haven’t got the easiest job in the World, I think defending your own a bit more and you may have fared better and attacking the opposition more. Nicknames will only get you so far, some hard hitting soundbites would have had more of an impact, but not a disaster.
William Croft – 4 XP
Graham Adiputera – 3 XP
Calvin Ward – 2 XP
Newsnight Snap Verdict Alex Cardigan
You started off with your vision and stood your ground against Paxman about why you are an independent. You didn’t fall into the loyalty trap against the Conservatives (I expected you to go after Macmillan but you didn’t) and you stayed professional throughout. A good start.
This is where it could have got tricky. For someone who voted for the reform bill but then stated in public to oppose plans for a referendum you were always going to run into trouble when this question was asked. I thought you did very well, you could have fallen into a trap here but you stayed well above ground, I liked the question about would you rather see the reforms happening and kept alive, it made your case. STV, it’s always going to divide opinion. Paxman tried to catch you out here on STV for example on safe seats, It looked like you were going to go into the safe seat trap (there are no safe seats in STV) but you recovered quickly and actually the point about why politicians should have the luxury of being unaccountable which I liked.
So you got the figure right (£400 million) but I would like to have seen here a bit more meat about why Social Care is good for the people of this country. You may be an independent but a nice touch would have been to comment about how social care can help Montgomeryshire. Paxman then challenged you here on asking the public about what they think when citizens assemblies came up, nice response on calling a by election, you put paxo in his place here.
A strong confident performance from Alex Cardigan here, I think a bit more meat on social care would have scored some more points but the people of Montgomeryshire and the sheep will be pleased. Well done.
Alex Cardigan + 3 XP
Newsnight snap verdict - Paxman v Suchet
Opening – Polling
The Prime Minister on Newsnight is always a joy to watch and it is always going to be harder for the PM than other characters.
With Paxman the general road to success is to keep it short and concise as well as answer the question. To be honest I think you handled the opening well. Defending the polling of the Labour Party is going to be hard when you are coming second to the opposition and the Liberal Democrats, your partner in Government are gaining. Paxman was asking you leading questions on polling, including whose fault it was that the Government has had it’s ups and downs, nice deflection, if you had blamed your Lib Dem Partners that could have caused a whole heap of trouble, but you didn’t. I also think the attitude worked.
Here we saw a Prime Minister acknowledging mistakes, this part of the interview was all about keeping your cool, the reason the budget came up in particular was to test how you would react. I think you handled it well and some tough questions came your way. You tried to make out that everyone had worked on the budget, including the Lib Dems. I would have liked to see some praise of the current budget, what you’ve done for the country in some of your responses but well handled, you didn’t crack.
Here Paxman focused on the 31 MPs who voted against the reform bill for Labour. It was interesting that you avoided making a decision on the 31, you gave the impression to the TV audience that you were on the fence here. I’ve said before Paxman is more about answering the question, but I think it worked here that you didn’t. To be honest it’s a tricky subject as you don’t want to cause further problems in your own party yet you want to keep discipline. This could have gone worse, but again well done for keeping your cool.
So you are correct, it is in the budget and you did expand on how social care means more jobs, more care and gender equality. I think a little bit more on the impact of social care would have worked here, but I think you made your point.
So this was good, it was a confident performance from a Prime Minister who has come under fire lately over the budget. This was an interview that could have gone wrong at any moment and you saw it through, so well done.
XP + 3