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General Press Cycle
The wealthy few have spent the last 13 years asking Tory Governments what their country can do for them and the response they got is more wealth and power through the economic project advanced and supported by people like Thatcher, Macbeath, and Myerscough. A project wich has consisted of the selling off of our industry and the good, stable jobs it supported, the hollowing out of our communities, and the creation of a rotten low-wage, high unemployment order in which the many have been condemned to precarity so that the few may live in prosperity. As we march into the new millennium we cannot afford to tinker around the edges of a fundamentally sordid economic order, and we certainly cannot afford to ask working people to sacrifice more while fat cat executives accumulate more. What we need is a new economic course to shift wealth and power into the hands of the many, one that will restore our industry to create good jobs, and one that will rebuild our communities which have been savagely deprived. Fancy Tory slogans while they gift wrap the same rotten economic order that has resulted in recession , poverty, and profound inequality will not cut it.
Tommy Dawson
Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside (1979-Present)
Socialist Campaign Group. 9 XP. 15 Marx Visits. Media Darling, Campaign Guru, Issue Champ (Econ Equality)
Deputy Leader (1990-1992), Shadow Chancellor (1990-1992), The Most Dangerous Man in Britain (1992)
In her first response to a Foreign Office Ministerial Statement since her appointment to the Shadow Foreign Office the Shadow Foreign Secretary has chosen to rather blatantly blame the Government for the Soviet Union's decision not to accept our ambassador. Her precise words were "In choosing to reappoint Sir Rodric, he has strained those relations further". It is a shame that Labour have chosen to politicise the Soviet Union's blatant disregard for international law and somehow accuse the Government of being at fault for it. It is a painful day when Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition choose not to support the Government against a belligerent foreign power breaking every diplomatic rule and norm in the book as well as international law, instead choosing to side with Moscow and intonate that the Government should have blithely followed the edict of the Kremlin and appointed anyone other than the best man for the job. This Government is on the side of the British people, what that means is that we're going to appoint the best person for the job and if the Soviets think that they can tear up treaties to try and weaken our diplomatic mission then they shall be met with a firm and international response. I have every faith in Sir Rodric and believe that he is the best person for the job, hence I reappointed him following my decision to try and restore normality to the British Mission in Moscow.

Let's examine the list of actors who believe that the Government is responsible for "straining our relations with the Soviet Union further", that would be the Soviet Union and the Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary. Let us in turn examine the list of actors who believe it to be the fault of the Soviet Union for their blatant disregard of international law, treaty norms, and diplomatic convention: The United States of America, Germany, France, the European Commission, Canada, NATO's Secretary General, and every constituent nation of both NATO and the EEC. The Shadow Foreign Secretary has gotten this wrong in aligning the Labour Party against Britain, indeed against the entire Western World. I would urge her to withdraw her comments immediately and work with the Government to bring the Soviet Union back into compliance with international law.
Nicholas Eden
MP for Vauxhall (1974/1 - Present)
The Foreign Secretary is correct: when MPs of all political stripes should be standing in solidarity behind Ambassador Rodric and Britain's incredible diplomats, we have Labour front bench MPs suggesting that somehow Britain is to blame. This trend to attempt to blame the British Government, rather than the foreign dictators and terrorists who threaten the lives of every single British citizen, is a very worrying development within the Labour Party. First they sought to place blame every where but the IRA for the Boyle attack, and now they're attempting to avoid placing blame on the Soviet Union for their decision to refuse our Ambassador.

The question voters should be asking is simple: why is Labour working over time to come up with excuses for Britain's adversaries?
I welcome the news that the United States, Germany, France, Canada, Turkey, the NATO Secretary General, the European Commission, an every constituent nation of NATO and/or the EEC support the United Kingdom at this difficult time. The Soviet Union's actions pose a grave threat to international law, diplomatic norms, and historical conventions. They must be opposed in this endeavour and convinced to return to diplomatic normality or this support shall turn into more targeted sanction action.
Nicholas Eden
MP for Vauxhall (1974/1 - Present)
The Foreign Secretary’s and Home Secretary’s untrue statements are extremely disappointing, but their mistruths have become par of the course in attacking Her Majesty’s Official Opposition. Unfortunately for them, I will not accept it. 

The opposition condemned without reservation this display of aggression from the Soviet Union, and extended our solidarity to the government in the process. It is sad that instead of accepting this and working for the best outcome for Britain and our diplomats, the government wishes to turn this into a party political spat. 

I will not accept that. My solidarity is still extended towards the government, but I urge them to use Ministerial time to guarantee the security of Her Majesty’s diplomats as the opposition are urging instead of concocting party political spats and division when we most need unity. 
I would expect the Shadow Foreign Secretary to understand how treaties work. All nations that are party to a treaty sign it, we did so with the foundation of the United Nations, we did so with literally every other treaty in recorded history. Treaties are then subject to ratification, in our case constitutional law dictates that the House of Commons presides over this function, even if certain people would see that constitutional law obliterated for political gain. Once there has been ratification of a treaty it comes into effect, until then it has no legal force. We did not become members of the EEC until we ratified the treaty and it took effect in British domestic law in 1973 even though we signed it a year earlier in 1972. The Government fully intends to ratify the treaty the constitutional way through the House of Commons, if this proves impossible then we shall obey the will of the House of Commons and allow it to abrogate its constitutional responsibility by putting the full treaty up for referendum.
Nicholas Eden
MP for Vauxhall (1974/1 - Present)
I am pleased that the Foreign Secretary stopped pointless chest beating and sewing division in the country for political gain, and used his Ministerial time to do something productive: remove Sir Rodric and British diplomats from a potentially dangerous situation as well as take action to secure the safety of British nationals in the Soviet Union, as the Labour Party had pushed for. 

If the Labour Party's focus had been on a party political spat about blame games and semantics as the Foreign Secretary's had, we would be in no doubt that thousands of British citizens in the Soviet Union could have found themselves in a compromised position abroad without diplomatic representation or protection - thankfully, we've made it clear we will always prioritise results over rhetoric, and thankfully the Foreign Secretary has took heed there and charted the right course.
FYI - this is the cut-off point for marking of this latest round of the press cycle.

Feel free to post comments after this but be aware that only comments between the last marking post and this one will be marked for now.
Redgrave | A-Team
Another bumper edition of the GPC and one that focused on a wide range of areas, going from the environment and international development right through to intrigue in Moscow and the democratic rights of the British people.

Some contributions were re-posted in their relevant, subject-specific press cycles and so were not marked for this. Of those subjects that did not have their own press cycle however, it was the British Ambassador situation in Moscow and the Intelligence Services Act that saw the most activity. 

On the former subject, this resulted in a back and forth towards the end of the cycle between the Foreign Secretary and the new Shadow Foreign Secretary. Their comments are a mix of appealing to higher purposes (e.g. the safety of the Ambassador, the sovereignty of the UK) whilst also taking potshots at each other, with Murphy accusing Macmillan of engaging in a political spat and Macmillan accusing Murphy not supporting the UK against the Soviets. This back and forth was another clear indication of how the two most active media figures in their respective parties now face each other across the dispatch box. 

The Intelligence Services Act was more straightforward, particularly for the fact that Labour didn’t have a media comment on this at all, whereas the Conservatives did numerous times. The Prime Minister led the way here and his remarks were seen as moving on from the scandalous run of his predecessor, something that helps to chip away at the Profumo-esque elephant in the room that has been part of Myerscough’s government from the start. 

Of the other subjects, Dawson’s comments about Tory plans on energy companies, Cardigan’s environmental plans and Myerscough’s proposed Millennium Corps were the ones that were picked up the most by media outlets and appealed to their respective target audiences. 

2XP for Myerscough (1 for Intelligence Services, 1 for Millennium Corps)

1XP for Macmillan, Murphy, Dawson and Cardigan
Redgrave | A-Team
Labour appear to be frantically trying to fill the policy & ideas deficit of the past months by getting the former Shadow Foreign Secretary out to make a lovely speech, with lovely words, that sound very lovely. There is a slight issue, though - I've barely got any idea what he's going on about.

I will confess, I skipped Sixth Form & University debating society & Politics Societies in favour of playing cricket, painting, and a spot of travel, so I may just be missing something here. But is there any meaning at all to Mr Rhys-Morrison's turn of phrase with lines like "My own ideologies, internationalist though I undoubtedly am, must come second to the presiding obligation that I have both as a Member of Parliament and as a private citizen, to pick apart the answers presented, to compare that with the information before me, and to make a judgement based not on my own prejudices but on the research and evidence unveiled." - if so, I welcome anyone to drop a letter off at my Parliamentary pidgeon-hole.
Alex Cardigan MP
Deputy Prime Minister (1992-present)
Leader of the Liberal Democrats (1990-present) | MP for Montgomery (1983-present)
Former BBC Broadcaster | Liberal Party | XP: 20 | Issue Champion | Safe Pair of Hands

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