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Press Cycle #27 – The PM on Newsnight
“What did you think of Callum Finch’s Newsnight appearance?”

Closes 11:59 16/04/18

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"The Prime Minister gave a great summary on how this government has been a powerful and effective steward of change for this country. I am immensely proud of our government's principled position in foreign policy, measured enthusiasm for European partnership, and forward thinking on the NHS. He made clear tonight that he is more than just a party leader looking for a headline: he's a Prime Minister looking to a better future. It is an honour to work with him, and I look forward to our continued success, on the telly, in Westminster, and across the country."
Dame Beatrice Oona Millar DBE MP FRSE RSA | Labour
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1992- )
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead (1987- )
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh Leith (1957-1959)

Formerly: Parminder Chawla, Joshua Bertram, Lillian Nichols, Gareth Edwards, Andrew Pearson, L Chris Havilland, Mack Aldritt
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One would like to think of a Prime Minister, in ideal terms anyway, as someone with a backbone and a very clear idea of what is best for Britain and what he wants to accomplish. Hearing Callum Finch's indecisive and irresolute answers on the Euro do not exactly inspire confidence or show a man of backbone when it comes to such a crucial issue for Britain, even after his government has already taken irresponsible steps to move us ever closer to a single currency and away from the pound. His colleagues have the courage to come out clearly in favor or against the Euro, why doesn't he?
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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Flighty Finch could not decide which side of the issue to land on. He see sawed on Cabinet members integrity, hedged his bets on the Euro, spoke out both sides of his mouth on the recall bill, and offered bland platitudes about the NHS without offering any real reforms for a very real problem. Flighty Finch showcased what this year's election will look like; a double speaking politicians who wants to appease everyone and promise nothing. Britain has been ill-served by this mealy mouthed prevarication in the past and won't be better served by it in the future.
Philip Porter
MP for Orkney and Shetlands (1983-Present)
Leader of the Liberal Democrats (1992-Present)
Liberal Democrats Spokesman for the Treasury (1992)

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The Prime Minister was predictably as half-hearted and aloof as always.

Callum Finch is a man incapable of taking responsibility for the actions and failures of his own government, and this became painfully obvious through his desperate and narcissistic attempts to save face at all costs. Indeed, the Prime Minister seemed perfectly content to dodge and duck his way through this interview: his non-committal stance on the Euro was laughable, his distrust of our NATO friends and allies evident, and I'm also afraid to say that his fashionably vague and duplicitous take on the NHS wasn't fooling anyone.

It was fun whilst it lasted, but the show's over and it's curtains for Callum Finch: weak on the economy, weak on health and weak on foreign policy -- the Prime Minister cannot unite his own party, let alone this country. 
David Crawford MP 

MP for Reading West 1997 -
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Weak as water. He never seems to be able to give a definite answer.
MP For Hexham 1987 -
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On newsnight the Prime Minister demonstrated what calm and measured leadership looks likes, a Prime Minister that is leading a nation isn’t a man that chases a headline but approached the problems we face as a nation with tact and understanding and that is what Callum Finch does. On newsnight he made clear our commitment to NATO and to action in Afghanistan to bring to heel terrorists who seek to destroy our way of life, he was clear on our commitment to NHS where record funding has pulled it back from the brink of Conservative party dogma and he set out a clear vision for the future of our country. That is what Callum Finch does as a leader of the Government and our country while the Conservatives tear themselves apart chasing after the next headline.

What I also find interesting is all these Conservatives crawling out of the woodwork to criticise the Prime Minister. It’s clear Headline Harry has sent the whips around to his MPs telling them to act tough to the press, but what they seem incapable of doing is acting tough in Parliament. The Government has been passing important legislation for our country and what does Headline Harry do? Introduces a recall of MPs act. While I am sure that cleaning up our national politics is very important I wonder how long it will be before the Conservatives present a single idea on anything else than chasing a headline. It beggars belief how he has survived this long when the Conservatives are famous for axing leaders who were far more competent and talented than Harry could ever be.
Rt Hon Oscar Hattingly QC MP
Member for Truro
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
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I must admit i didn't watch the interview as I was spending time with the family but after watching it back Callum seemed all over the place. First he was confrontational on the right to recall, not a surprise really as he didn't say anything in the cross party talks with the other leaders. When we got onto NATO he was indecisive and even suggested at one point the United Kingdom was at odds with our NATO allies. As soon as the Euro question came up, he sat on the fence, scared to pick a side which was quite frankly just showed us all how weak he is.

It is evidently clear Callum Finch is weak, indecisive and confrontational so ask yourselves this, are you really comfortable we have a Prime Minister with these traits? 
James Allen

MP for Leeds Central

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The Prime Minister gave an assured and measured performance. He is good for the country and in the remaining time in this Parliament and in all of the next Parliament will deliver a great future for Britain.

At the next election the message is straightforward. "Your decision is a sinch, vote for Callum Finch!"
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Press Cycle closed.
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Labour: 23
Not bad, but the Tories had a wave of pretty strong rhetoric that you didn’t properly counter, and you also didn’t big your PM as much as you went for the Tories when the former was more crucial.
More importantly if we're talking long term strategy, the Headline Harry thing can’t continue being the central tenet of your messaging when it comes to slating the opposition – I wouldn’t advise you stop it completely because a. Message discipline matters, and it’s good you’re keeping it in public consciousness and b. We all love a laugh, but it’s not going to hurt as long as it’s a focal point. Not because it’s bad, or not because it’s stale even, but the problem is everyone has bought it and the damage is done. Unless the Tories do a major and, more importantly, successful fightback against the Headline Harry attack (which they haven’t, to be honest) you need to find new things to hurt them with.
Conservatives: 27
Message discipline works. Find a line, keep nailing it in and when you (or we, the admins) get bored of it chances are it’s finally found resonance amongst the public. Labour did it well with Headline Harry, over time, (though everything reaches its stale point), and the Tories did it well with one central tenet here: that Finch was indecisive and, to a lesser degree, weak.  Because of that strong message unity, they win the press round.
Influence Points Awarded to:
Charles Kinbote: “He never seems able to give a definite answer.” Sometimes, saying it as it is works most effectively. The public noticed many of the PMs answers weren’t definitive, and Kinbote calls him out directly for it in a no-nonsense and hypercritical way.
David Crawford: “It was fun while it lasted, but the show’s over and it’s curtain’s for Callum Finch: weak on the economy, weak on health and weak on foreign policy – the Prime Minister cannot unite his own party, let alone this country.” I mean, I’m not sure if the ‘Labour are divided’ line works too much (Finch’s downfall in the interview is probably that he argued in a way which did unite his party), but this point wasn’t countered and you effectively paint him as weak across the board.
Elizabeth Tanner:  “On newsnight he made clear our commitment to NATO and to action in Afghanistan to bring to heel terrorists who seek to destroy our way of life, he was clear on our commitment to NHS where record funding has pulled it back from the brink of Conservative party dogma and he set out a clear vision for the future of our country.” The kind of strong defence the PM needs – Tanner makes a good cheerleader, and also does a really good job at retaliating against the Tories.
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