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    • PMQs 9 April 2014
    • MPs quiet on Clegg vs Farage
    • PMQs 2 April 2014
    • PMQs 26 March 2014
    • Tetra’s Take: Budget 2014 Media Reaction
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Apr 09

PMQs 9 April 2014

James Donald

The Maria Miller affair dominated the final PMQs before the Easter recess. Ed Miliband chose to focus his attack on David Cameron’s handling of the issue. The Prime Minister hit back accusing Miliband of ‘playing politics’, having had little to say before Miller’s resignation. There was also debate around the Standards Committee’s role, and steps taken to reform it.

PMQs 9 Apr Small

Posted in Infographics, PMQs |
Apr 03

MPs quiet on Clegg vs Farage

James Donald

Last night saw Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage clash in the second of their Europe debates.

There were tens of thousands of tweets on the debate. Throughout the hour #EuropeDebate trended on Twitter along with the leaders’ names and at one point, after one of Clegg’s jokes, W.G. Grace.

MPs though were relatively silent. With the absence of David Cameron and Ed Miliband, only 63 MPs tweeted about the debate posting 351 tweets between them through the day.

Unsurprisingly it was Lib Dem MPs who were tweeting the most accounting for 279 of the tweets. Julian Huppert was the individual MP who tweeted the most managing a huge 88 tweets.

Party pie chart

In total 28 Lib Dem MPs tweeted. This compared to 16 Conservative and 16 Labour as they largely ignored proceedings.

As for the two participants, Clegg tweeted about it just twice and Farage three times.

With the polls pointing to a win for the UKIP leader only Farage tweeted post-debate, a retweet of himself celebrating with a pint.

Posted in Lib Dem, UKIP |
Apr 02

PMQs 2 April 2014

James Donald

Royal Mail privatisation was the top issue of a feisty PMQs. In a heated exchange Ed Miliband described David Cameron as the ‘Dunce of Downing Street’ and the Prime Minister responded by calling Miliband and Ed Balls ‘muppets’. It was Miliband’s jibe that gained the most attention with Dunce of Downing Street soon trending on Twitter.

There were questions from backbenchers on the NHS including from Jamie Reed who took to Twitter to express his disappointment at the answer he received.

PMQs 2 Apr small

Posted in Infographics, PMQs |
Mar 26

PMQs 26 March 2014

James Donald

Ed Miliband returned to a familiar issue in PMQs today, energy prices. He once again brought up his proposed price freeze after SSE announced their own. Energy prices then turned into the broader issue of cost of living with David Cameron pointing to measures in the Budget. It was the rowdiest session for a while, something that was widely tweeted about both from within and outside the Chamber.

PMQs 26 Mar Small

Posted in Infographics, PMQs |
Mar 20

Tetra’s Take: Budget 2014 Media Reaction

Tetra Strategy

In the Lobby, there’s been a broad consensus that pensioners are the big winners of the day. Tim Shipman, Deputy Political Editor at the Daily Mail, comments that “you can tell there’s an election a year away”: pensioners have already been pampered compared to workers by this Government, however now they’re getting even more. Times Deputy Political Editor Sam Coates claims that “this could be called the Steve Webb budget”, noting that the Liberal Democrat minister has got some big wins for his party in overhauling the pension system, which was also echoed by The Guardian’s Political Editor Patrick Wintour.

Tweets 1

Reporting for the BBC, Nick Robinson reflects on the populist measures in the Budget, listing: “penny off a pint of beer, bingo tax halved, duty on Scotch whisky and cider frozen”. He also alluded to the political gamesmanship in Osborne’s speech, which included digs at Miliband, Ed Balls and the SNP.

Robinson tweet

Robinson suggests looking out to see how Labour responds to the pension reform announcements given that Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves, had only recently promised to fix the “broken pension market”. Wintour also pointed to a potential banana skin for Labour in next week’s Commons vote on a permanent welfare cap, which he refers to as a trap door for the Opposition.

Robinson Wintour tweets

The Spectator’s Isabel Hardman reflected that Miliband spent a lot of time not talking about the Budget however gave credit in his attack line that the Tories are run by a tight clique of Etonians. She added that “Tories are fools for behaving as they have”.

Hardman tweets

Lionel Barber, the Financial Times Editor, summed up the mood for his paper, claiming that it was a “confident political budget targeting the grey vote, savers, old strivers and ‘Tory-UKippers’”. Coates reflected that the Budgets “divides starkly between pre and post-election” and suggests that this could become known as the “Fine Print Budget”.

Coates tweet

Meanwhile, true to the political game, Paul Waugh tweeted that the Treasury failed to give Labour a customary advance copy of the sacred document, which is normally received at noon.

Waugh tweet

Posted in Media |
Mar 19

UK Budget 2014

James Donald

Budget infographic small

Posted in Infographics |
Mar 19

PMQs 19 March 2014

James Donald

PMQs 19 Mar Small

Posted in Infographics, PMQs |
Mar 12

PMQs 12 March 2014

James Donald

With David Cameron away Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman stood in at a feisty PMQs. The Labour deputy targeted the Lib Dems on a variety of issues aiming to illustrate close ties to their coalition partners. There was a particular focus on recent votes on the NHS and the bedroom tax.

PMQs 12 Mar Small

Posted in Infographics, PMQs |
Mar 10

It’s the majorities, stupid!

Alexander Kneepkens

With Jean-Claude Juncker’s election as the common candidate of the EPP Party for the President of the European Commission, all of the political groups have now confirmed their candidates. His nomination marks the beginning of the campaign proper and Hannes Swoboda, leader of the rival S&D group was quick to welcome his election;

Tweet 1

Despite each group picking their candidate, there is still no guarantee that the Council will accept the Parliament’s candidate after the election;

Tweet 2

Tweet 3

The nominations for the President of the Commission may dominate the headlines but they should be seen in the broader context of how the European Parliament operates. Since neither the EPP nor the S&D are likely to be able to secure a majority on their own it is less important who will be the biggest group but rather which coalitions can be formed in the next Parliament.

This nuance was not lost on U2’s Bono, who spoke of the importance of coalitions in his speech at the EPP Congress in Dublin on Friday. The Parliament is governed by a majority; the President of the European Commission will be confirmed by a majority vote, a majority is needed in the Parliament to pass legislation as well in deciding who will take the key posts. The ability to form a coalition is therefore more important than the size of single parties.

It should also not be forgotten that the Parliament has usually acted by consensus; with the exception of the controversial elements of legislation, MEPs have always sought to have as broad a majority in the Parliament as possible.

The personalities involved in the election of the President may be an interesting spectacle but it is the far more mundane business of coalition-building that will be the more important factor in how the next Parliament operates. Judging by his speech, Bono appears to have a sound understanding of the technical detail of the European legislative process.

It’s the majorities, stupid!

Posted in European Union |
Mar 05

PMQs 5 March 2014

James Donald

Ukraine dominated PMQs today with Ed Miliband focusing all of his questions on the issue. There was agreement between both leaders in an exchange which provoked less noise than usual from backbenchers. Some viewed this as grown up and statesmanlike, others simply found it boring. Away from Ukraine, Conservative MPs were keen to talk about the Government’s record on jobs and apprenticeships.

PMQs 5 Mar small

Posted in Infographics, PMQs |