Momentum and Summaries

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Marty
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Re: Momentum and Summaries

Post by Marty »

Parliamentary Marking - May 2015 Timetable

Conservatives 189 (+26)
Labour 138 (+16)
SNP 15 (+8)

Debate on the Address

Saliency: 50
This is where we usually explain how we arrive at the saliency ratings. But this time, it's the QS, so we needn't bother. Hurray!

Okay, so much of the blow-by-blow analysis of the debate was already given in the two Daily Politics episodes on the budget debate, so I'll dispense with it this time in the interests of time. The dominant question this debate was, to liberally quote Crowther, Marx or Miliband? Labour had one job this debate: dispense with the impression that you're tearing up your manifesto, or at least convince people it's not all that bad. Black's speech tugged at the heartstrings, but there was one crucial impression we couldn't help but have: "meet and exceed" is code for co-opt and discard at will. The Tories were absolutely ruthless and came out in numbers to drive home the point and give Labour a bloody nose on this vulnerability. The Labour voices, chiefly James Valentine, were drowned out by a chorus of Tories who drove home the point. His rebuttal was quite good - pointing out quite rightly that the Tories were playing political games, but it didn't quite parry all the punches of the combined Tory frontbench. That said, the Tories had the easier job, quite unusual for an incoming Opposition, and they also did it well in and of themselves. Euan Urquhart put in an appearance on behalf of the SNP near the end - and he talked, unsurprisingly, about Scotland. His reminder of Labour's tendency to backslide a bit and in fact geting in to the left of Bill Black on nuclear disarmament was an effective way to prove the point for which he takes some momentum off the big parties, although I would've liked to see him go a bit deeper into various policies.

So the lessons here for Labour for next year? Show up, and get your message ready to go beforehand. Don't count on us to see how bad the other side's argument is - hit back with full force. You were outnumbered here on one of the most important days of the year, and you got a bloody nose. It's not a nail in the coffin moment, but it's definitely not the honeymoon governments usually get in their first year.

Labour +16
Conservatives +26
SNP +8
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Re: Momentum and Summaries

Post by Marty »

June 2015 Timetable

Conservatives 216 (+27)
Labour 160 (+22)
SNP 21 (+6)

Please note: the reward thresholds are being revised because we're burning through momentum like it's nobody's business. As of now, for each momentum reward a party earns, their threshold increases by 50 for the major parties and 25 for the minor parties (so the Tories and Labour are now at a threshold of 150, the next will be 200, etc.). These will get reset, for the time being, at the Queen's Speech.

Youth Representation Bill - An Act to Expand the Franchise to 16 and 17 Year Olds in Parliamentary and Other Elections

Saliency: 20
While not a very important issue in the mind of many voters, it is a bill, and the government's first one at that. It's furthermore quite a debate to watch for the politicos.

I felt that while Doreen Henderson's speech could have been longer, it was quite evocative. Where I think she missed an opportunity, though, would be to actually tie in the citizenship provisions to the main argument on young voters to pre-empt the criticisms that would surely follow. I felt the speech could've been a bit more neatly tied together. Liz Laird starts on a solid point - the government's priorities for its first bill are slightly odd (but then again, let's make allowances for the fact that they don't have a horde of civil servants who have prepared for their arrival the entire purdah). I thought she had the stronger of the two opening salvos, and it was mostly for the well-structured, extensive and amply evidence-based argument - take note, people, that's how one of these opening speeches should go. In fact, Laird seizes on a few of the deficiencies in the introductory speech I noted down for myself, such as the impression that political education is a bit of an afterthought in it and the lack of actual reasoning beyond the evidence of IndyRef. The response Henderson gave to this (well done for responding) rebutted some of the critiques, but I was not entirely convinced by her reasoning. I can see it appealing to young people, but older people with doubts who will have just heard or read Laird's reply will still be stuck in their minds with the comparative evidence suggesting that younger voters don't turn out. Then Tom Levy came to the rescue, although I must note that the argument that something was in the manifesto is not a very cogent one for any bill. Then debate got sidetracked by an argument on whether a government gets to implement its entire manifesto - or whether it's on for the opposition to criticise, as I read it. It's a bit of an odd argument and I do not think it works as well as anyone seems to think it would.

The Conservatives win this one on substance and depth of research. Their arguments stuck with me because they made it seem as if they had the facts on their side in a way that just seemed more thoughtful and considered. Now on the socials, young people will no doubt be seeing clips with an entirely different message - but in the thinkpieces in the press and consideration of this debate, the doubters are still doubting.

Labour +7
Conservatives +13

Ministerial Statement 1 - Homelessness Emergency Funding

Saliency: 10
It's not that homelessness isn't important. However, the crusade against it is only just starting. The speeches given since on the subject will make the next statement more salient, but for now, it's dwarfed by Syria and the government's first bill.

So, the PM opens this one. Will Black gives quite a sweeping, emotive statement that sets out the beginnings of a plan. It will certainly cause the issue to gain a lot more attention. It's dramatic, that's for sure. However, the issue is not as simple, and Gavin Holmes's response with a lot of questions gives a good deal to think about the efficiency of the funding and how well-thought out this dramatic plan really is. The more I read of Holmes's comments, the more I realised this wasn't as close as I thought it would be. When I got to the questions in his statement, knowing they weren't answerred or addressed, I knew it would be even less so.

The lesson here: if you opposite number's reaction contains serious questions like these, letting them unaddressed is risky. It makes you look as if you either don't know what you're talking about or are hiding that you don't know what you're talking about. The issue is still open, but for now, the Tories win handily - even though I wish it'd be different.

Labour +3
Conservatives +7

Urgent Statement on the Attack in Syria*

Saliency: 5
There was some debate on the A-team as to whether this one should not be folded into the authorisation motion debate. It's certainly a high-profile statement, but its thunder is stolen by the motion - it's also quite a brief debate with little contention, so there's that.

It's almost a draw, but then it's hard to score points when the statement tells you a soldier has died in the line of duty. A rally around the flag edges it for Saxon, but that's only because I can't call it ex aequo. That having been said, I do believe Macmillan's points were valid, and expect to see them back in the motion debate.

Labour +3
Conservatives +2

Government Motion 1 - Authorization of Use of Force Against ISIL in Syria

Salience: 20
This is high for a motion. That is, of course, because it's a very high-profile debate. I don't think I need to explain how people are watching this.

If the government plays its cards rights, it's 15-love ahead in debates like this, and Will Black's opening speech hit the buttons. Crucially, if anyone doubted that this left-wing Labour PM could appear conventionally Prime Ministerial, those doubts are now dispelled. Very well done. Crowther walked the tightrope here, but unfortunately, I must've read a different speech than she did. When the Prime Minister has just laid bare his entire Damascene Conversion, it seems a bit... petty to criticise him for it in these terms. It makes the constructive end of the speech sound somewhat insincere. It's not that there's no truth to it, but maybe the start of a statement on a motion such as this wasn't the right place. The end of her speech is better in that regard - I think it'd have been stronger if she'd led with it.

Hildegard Brown then pitches in, making much the same argument, but coming from her and said in the way she said it sounded a bit more credible. I did frown at the bit where she mentioned intervening earlier because, you know, weren't the Tories in government? The point does move a bit towards "why aren't we offing Assad", implicitly, not sure what to make of that. James Flynn throws in a hand-grenade after this. The erstwhile Black ally resigns over the motion and this is not a good look, even if it is expected - it gets all sorts of speculation going that you don't necessarily want. His argument is very conventional, and I think Black does have the benefit of the doubt here, but it's never a good look. Locryn Chenoweth, in a rather brief speech, lays his own doubts bare in a way that resembles the PM's. It did strike me as a bit dramatic for Parliament, though - more like a Shakespearean soliloquy than a speech in Parliament. Doreen Henderson wades in to excellently parry Flynn's arguments and makes a really good clear case why this is in no way comparable to 2013, enhancing the Labour credibility here. Urquhart put in a good way of building to rejecting the motion in a dignified way. Quite a good job.

Labour wins this one comfortably, but it could've been a bit more without the backbench dissent (and, TBH, without a three-way split, because the SNP takes a big chunk).

Labour +9
Conservative +5
SNP +6
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Re: Momentum and Summaries

Post by Axon »

Conference-related PR & post-Conference stuff

Conservative 238 (+22)
Labour 154 (-6)
SNP 21 (N/C)

Well, with the split of PRs as it was, the momentum changes are unlikely to surprise anyone. The Tories manage to make some good policy points (thanks for listening to feedback again!). The policies are viable alternatives to the Government's agenda, which increases the credibility of the Tories as a possible next Government. The responses to the policy are mature and aren't just 'I H8 THE GOVERNMENT'. This is a notable achievement so soon after an election loss and recent polling suggests this is working. Crowther continues to enhance her reputation, and as such, I feel compelled to award 1XP in her direction given the positive work she has been seen to be doing to enhance her stateman-like reputation. Macmillan isn't far off either with making his portfolio work, which is no easy task as Shadow Foreign Secretary.

Labour, the only real feedback I can give to you this time is to make sure you turn up. Nothing more can be said.

Crowther +1 XP
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Re: Momentum and Summaries

Post by Axon »

Fracking and Tunisia - Parliamentary Marking

Conservative 247 (+9)
Labour 170 (+16)
SNP 21 (N/C)

Tunisia Feedback (Salience 15): viewtopic.php?f=68&t=523
Fracking Ban Feedback (Salience 15): viewtopic.php?f=68&t=481

Yes, the MS on homelessness will be marked soon.
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Re: Momentum and Summaries

Post by Redgrave »

Pre and post-Budget / appointments PR marking
Conservative 259 (+12)
Labour 172 (+2)
SNP 21 (N/C)

Conservatives get more out of this round largely due to the fact they had more good PRs from the likes of Lam and Holmes whilst also having reasonably well-received speeches from Holmes and Macmillan. However, Labour shouldn’t be disheartened as the contributions by the likes of Blakesley and Lawson gave a sign that they can fight back nicely in the press. Therefore, I’d advise Labour to get more people into the press next time around key issues and structure PRs according to the positive feedback. The Conservatives should keep doing what they’re doing in terms of using spokespeople in the press whilst also considering points made in individual feedback.
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Re: Momentum and Summaries

Post by Redgrave »

ZHC, Welfare, Statutory Instrument and Budget - Parliamentary Marking

Conservative 284 (+25)
Labour 186 (+14)
SNP 21 (N/C)

ZHC - viewtopic.php?p=3049#p3049
Statutory Instrument - viewtopic.php?p=3050#p3050
Welfare Reform - viewtopic.php?p=3051#p3051
Budget - https://www.politicsuk.net/blenheim/vie ... 3052#p3052
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Re: Momentum and Summaries

Post by Redgrave »

Pre-Budget PR Marking (inc. flooding, economic policy, Europe and energy PRs)

Conservative 296 (+12)
Labour 195 (+9)
SNP 21 (N/C)


Once again the large bulk of PRs to mark were Conservative ones and these encompassed a variety of issues but for the most part focused on flooding. The contributions prior to the flooding crisis came from Brown, who did an excellent job of outlining her arguments, her command of the issue and in showcasing the action she’d taken in Parliament. The other contributions on flooding this cycle from the Conservatives came from Macmillan, Ashbury and Croft who all performed reasonably well considering the albatross they had of the Government dealing with the flooding crisis well in the eyes of many.

Blakesley was the only contributor on the Labour side and whilst her PRs and speeches were of high quality, Labour once more need to get people into the press on the key issues. This will particularly be the case for PRs surrounding the upcoming budget where competition between the two parties will undoubtedly be at its highest.

Brown +1 XP for flooding PRs
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