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Press Cycle #1 - The Death of John Smith
#1
Media Cycle:

“With the passing of John Smith, what do you think lies in store for the Labour Party and the country?”

This press cycle will be closed at 23:59 on the 27/01/18. 

Remember to bolden the “tagline” of your statement. 
“Yes. It’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and… everybody lives happily ever after.”
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#2
I want to pay tribute to a man who was proud of his country, a man who cared for this country passionately. He lived for things he cared about; he fought for them and he was fair, he did so without being nasty. I of course am on the different side of the political pond to John Smith and Labour and we sure do have differences but the country has lost a man who represented others and was passionate about issues affecting this country , and his family has also lost a husband, a father. We shouldnt forget who we are and we should all put political differences aside at this awful time , now is the time to pay tribute and reflect on a significant loss, not to speculate on what may or may not happen.
James Allen

MP for Leeds Central

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#3
I offer my deepest sympathies to Elizabeth and their children in this awful time. With the death of John we have lost a giant in British politics. John was a man dedicated to public services and to building a better future for the country he so deeply loved. He forged a new path for the Labour party returning us to Government to deliver a policies that are focused on improving the circumstances for all British people. John's legacy will be a legacy that endures the test of time, his life cut short but it was distinguished. His commitment and passion to our country will become the standard for all political leaders in our country, and it is imperative that we continue the course that he set out for the Government to ensure we deliver a better Britain for all.
Rt Hon Oscar Hattingly QC MP
Member for Truro
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
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#4
"The loss of a political leader touches a country greatly because it is a loss of someone in whom the public have placed trust and hope. Our thoughts and prayers, as a country, go out to John Smith's family and those who knew him best. However our thoughts also go out to Britain as we mourn the loss not only of a politician but of a national leader of stature and integrity. We must now ensure that as Britain moves forward, we do not lose hope or trust and that will be John Smith's legacy.
Aaron | Coaching Admin
Civil Service roles: FCO, MoD, Environment
Press roles: Foreign coverage
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#5
The passing of John Smith is a truly tragic occasion and politics and parliament will be lesser because of it. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to his wife Elizabeth and their children at this understandably very difficult time. They can be rest assured that the name John Smith will go down in history as representing everything good and decent about British and Labour Party politics. I had the pleasure of serving in his government for the past three years, and from the green benches in the Commons it was clear that John Smith was in a league of his own, standing tall among political pygmies and bottom feeders. His commitment to this country and every working man and woman from John O'Groats to Land's End was evident from the policies advocated by him and his government and are plain to see regardless of what side of the political divide you find yourself on. I don't believe that this is the time to speculate what may or may happen in the coming weeks, but I do believe that this is the time to mourn the loss of a great man and to reflect on a stellar political career and a life that touched and improved those of all around him.
James Keating | Labour
Member of Parliament for Bootle (1974-present)
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Real Ale
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#6
I offer my condolences to John's family. This is a truly tragic occurrence. John was a man who campaigned tirelessly for what he believed in. Despite being in direct opposition with him, I admired the way he acquitted himself as leader of the Labour party. While we must not forget the legacy that John has left behind we must make sure that Britain keeps moving and that we improve this country.
Paul Dolan

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#7
I am of course saddened at the news of the death of Prime Minister Smith. While we did not see eye to eye on many issues, I do not think anyone can doubt his dedication to his constituents and to serving this United Kingdom. My thoughts, prayers and condolences are with his family, friends and constituents at this time. I think the Prime Minister would be glad to see that, remembering and reflecting on this tragic event, we have, even for a moment, come together as Britons.
Francis Paris PhD (Londin) MP
Member for Arundel and South Downs
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and the Environment
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#8
What I will miss most about John is his humility. It is a quality so lost on so many of us in Westminster. The evening before his first heart attack, that humility was summed up when he told all of us that "The opportunity to serve our country—that is all we ask". John didn't seek power or pride. He sought service. It is a lesson that I think we can all learn. We have lost a giant of this political age, and I have lost a friend and mentor.
Rt. Hon. Sean Manning MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer (2000 - )
Labour MP for Bristol East (1992 - )
Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1997 - 2000)
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#9
Today Britain lost a great statesman, who at the pinnacle of his pursuit in life was struck down by the tragic uncertainty that is death. Since his passing I often think about a quote from him: "What's the point of being in politics if you can't speak up for the people who can't speak up for themselves?". In his years of public services, Smith inspired hopeful generations about what good government can do, and as one of those people I can say that I will miss him dearly.
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#10
I'd like to offer my sincere condolences to the family. Today we have lost a great political figure of this country. Although he and I weren't shared many things in common, however his enthusiastic manner toward this country will be remembered forever. We must pay a tribute to what he have done for the country and should get united to make the country to be a better place to live!
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#11
Many times I have been at the opposing side of John Smith on many issues, but even when passions run high in Westminster I could always respect the accomplished, consistent parliamentarian and committed public servant he was. Something which we must never forget is that there is always time and space in politics for decency, for humility, and for fighting for what you believe in. That, I think, is a positive personal legacy we should recognize to the Prime Minister. My sincere, deepest condolences to his family, to his friends, and to his colleages.
Rt. Hon. Edward Winter MP / Conservative and Unionist Party
Member of Parliament for Ashford (1979 - Present)

Shadow Foreign Secretary (1992 - Present)
Leader of the House of Commons (1990-1992)
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#12
When Labour won the election in 1997 I was in no doubt that was due to the vision and leadership of John and the unity he delivered. He, more than anyone else I knew, understood the power of unity and of a common vision for the party and for the nation. He was a driven man, sometimes his own worse enemy. He overcame hardships and his own health to lead the party and lead the nation. We have lost not just a great man, but a great leader and a great unifier. However, his message and his vision will live on through the Government he set up and the people now working in his name. 

While I personally mourn his passing, I also am celebrating his achievements. I also will remain thankful for the path he has placed our country on; towards greatness.
MP for Cambridge (1992 - )
Independent 
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#13
I would like to extend my heart felt condolences to Elizabeth and the rest of John's family. I have known John for many years now and I have admired his courage and dedication to his community and our cause. John was an extremely intelligent and articulate man who cared passionately about the whole of society. We as a party must continue his legacy by steering our country away from economically and socially ruinous Thatcherite policies of the Tories.
Joseph "Uncle Joe" Flanagan
Member of Parliament for Easington 1983 - Present
Secretary of State for Natural Resources & Environment 1992 - Present

Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 1987-1992
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#14
Today, Britain feels the deep pain of having lost a heavyweight of national politics and a man who's humility, commitment and expertise can be rivalled by none. Under his leadership, our party returned from the brutal wilderness of eighteen years of being lost in opposition. It is not lightly that I say that his leadership was more unifying and nurturing than any leader we have had during my lifetime. His legacy is big and his achievements number is the hundreds. He will be remembered for his dedication to public service and public life. Looking forward, It is my intent to offer continuation of his leadership, but recognise where we as a government and as a party got things wrong.
MP for Kensington

(In previous lives: violated a confidence and supply agreement, tried to fight a man on Eton's nine-hole golf course, released a leaflet torpedoing ones own party, was likened to an M&M shovelling money into a fireplace and co-founded Solidarity 2.0 ft. much anarchy)
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#15
Say what you want about his politics, John Smith was a statesman befitting the name. He led this nation for three years with dignity and grace and the public responded with him often far out polling the Labour Party. You don't out poll your party without being something truly special. I had the great pleasure to ask a great many questions to Mr Smith during his three years at the dispatch box for Prime Minister's Question Time and I am the better for it.

The Labour Party needs to look inwards now and decide what it wants. Already we have seen huge question marks raised over their ability to govern without the calming and guiding presence of the former Prime Minister with both camps sniping at each other in the printed press. This is not good for the country. Labour was elected to govern after 18 years of Tory misrule, it should get back to governing in the national interest rather than fighting each other in their own personal interests.
REBECCA FLAIR

LIB DEM MP FOR MONTGOMERYSHIRE
______
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. - Friedrich Hayek
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman
Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Milton Friedman
______

Mac the Great and Powerful
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#16
A great loss for our great country. Even us on the other side of the political divide could see he was a man of great talent. His untimely death is a tragic event. Though of course some people and some parts of the media will, of course, make too much of this, and will drag the grief out. But in the years to come, i am sure we as a country will realize just how big a miss he will be.


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#17
Press Cycle closed.
“Yes. It’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and… everybody lives happily ever after.”
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#18
Marks/Summary

So, this is the first thing I’m marking, ever, in PolUK, so you guys are all privileged to be part of it. But first:
 
  • If you don’t like your marks – please don’t whine about it or play up the histrionics. If you think I missed a vital point or was mistaken in some way, talk to me one to one. But generally I make my decisions with fair consideration and won’t be changing my mind. In politics, you win some and lose some – trust a Labour Party Remainer who is not a Corbynista on this. 
  • This has been explained before, but quick recap before it all happens: each media cycle has 50 momentum points up for grabs. They will be distributed between all the parties depending on their performance. Contribution also helps: the more voices, the stronger the message and more likely the media will pick it up – but quality > quantity.
  • An influence point will also be rewarded to the top three contributors. 
 
Now onto the marking:
 
Labour: 19
 
Yeah, you won – perhaps it was an easy victory, because potentially the only time government has the upper hand is when tragedy for one of its own strikes. But I found the tributes here to be particularly poignant and personal which is what you want – there was a sense that John Smith wasn’t a run of the mill Prime Minister, but a particularly special one.
 
Conservatives: 18
 
And yet, for me, the Conservatives aren’t far behind: they avoided a trap that was (arguably obviously) set up by not criticising John Smith. By paying tribute to him, while acknowledging those pesky political differences with someone who is beloved and dead, you look mature. And mature is always a good look on the official opposition.
 
Liberal Democrats: 13
 
Nice contribution. You very carefully toed the line between remembering/paying tribute to Smith and finding a way to criticise the Labour Party without looking  too opportunistic – the tabloid press love that you’re throwing fuel into the flames or perceived Labour division, but some of the left wing press won’t be happy with you for what they perceive as opportunism.
 
Influence Point For:
 
Sean Manning: “John didn’t seek power or pride. He sought service. It is a lesson that I think we can all learn.” – Essentially, you got this for showing how poignancy is done. You did well in capturing in a few words an element of Smith that set him apart, as well as making yourself look close to him – whether this is true or not, the public buy it, and it makes people like you.
 
Grant Limann: “Today Britain lost a great statesman, who at the pinnacle of his pursuit in life was struck down by the certainty that is death.” – I read that in your faceclaim’s voice and it fit perfectly, which is testament to how strong a piece of writing this was. Usually, in press cycles, you'll need more than great prose - but this is a tribute bandwagon so it more than works. Every corner of the press pushes your quote around. 
 
Hilda Asher-Grey: “We must now ensure that as Britain moves forward, we do not lose hope or trust and that will be John Smith’s legacy.” – You got an influence point for doing what I think the Tories did well here: pay tribute, be humble and move forward. But you also do two things the rest of your party didn’t seem to do: first, summarise the public mood even better than anyone did in Labour – no matter how popular or unpopular a leader is, often when a country loses one tragically and prematurely it touches the nation collectively and canonises said leader (perhaps unjustly). Secondly you acknowledge Smith, his demeanour and his principles are popular – more popular than his party – and that he will have a legacy: it’s something the Tories will probably do well to remember in the long term as much as the short.
 
That said, all of the contributions here were stellar. Special well done goes to Andrew Summer and Elizabeth Tanner – I’m annoyed I couldn’t also give you both an influence point as well.
“Yes. It’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and… everybody lives happily ever after.”
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