No football last week, so why not pick your Fantasy Politics team instead?

fantasy politicsThis week’s internationals mean no English Premiership action so no further update: positions are as they were at the end of Week 3.

Which gives me the opportunity to preview Demos Fantasy Politics which operates throughout the party conference season. All you have to do is select a dream-team of up to nine MPs, three from each party: you have until the start of Labour’s on 20th September, a week today, to enter your team. I’m part of the judging team for the Lib Dem conference. Further details as below…

As conference season approaches Demos Fantasy Politics is back, letting politicos battle it out to prove their insider know-how and political nous.

Demos Fantasy Politics lets you select a dream-team of up to nine MPs, three from each party, and score points in a series of conference-based categories. Media coverage and social media mentions will be rewarded, while embarrassing gaffes and tiresome clichés will be suitably punished.

Joining us this year to help with the scoring are political monitoring company DeHavilland, as well as our very own Centre for the Analysis of Social Media.

Bonus points will also be awarded for a number of special categories policed by a team of celebrity judges including:

  • Joy Lo Dico, the Evening Standard Londoner’s Diary editor, will judge each week’s ‘Talk of the Town’ prize for best anecdote or gossip.
  • Renowned political bloggers Isabel Hardman, Mark Ferguson and Stephen Tall will also take turns to select a ‘Goal’ and ‘Own goal’ candidate – for the best, and worst, performance of each week’s conference

Each party conference will be run as a separate competition, allowing participants to prove they know the most about their preferred party, or embarrass their political rivals with better knowledge on their opponents.

The deadline for entering your team before Labour Party Conference is 5pm Saturday 20 September. You will also be able to keep up with the latest gossip, and MP performances, via our Facebook and Twitter – and also using the hashtag #fantasypolitics.

Best of luck.

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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12 Comments

  • Fantasy Politics is what happens in the Westminster Bubble every week of the year.
    For example the cancellation of PM’s Question Time — which is supposed to be about Parliaent holding the Executive to account– so that the three party leaders could go to Scotland to share the cause of UKIP’s Nigel Farage and the marchers of The Orange Lodge.
    If only that had been merely a fantasy.

  • Whaddaya mean “no football?” There are loads of matches outside the Premier League!

  • Malcolm Todd 13th Sep '14 - 12:42pm

    John Tilley
    “so that the three party leaders could go to Scotland to share the cause of UKIP’s Nigel Farage and the marchers of The Orange Lodge”

    This is getting quite ridiculous. I get that you’re a zealous supporter of independence for Scotland, and I understand that everything’s getting very frenetic in the last days. Even I find that I care slightly about the outcome. But this sort of smearing by association, as if the Union is something that belongs to the cracked legions of UKIP and the Orangemen, who are being supported by the other parties, really ought to be beneath you. After all, I don’t accuse you of “sharing the cause of the anti-Catholic bigot William Wolfe“.

  • Paul In Wokingham 14th Sep '14 - 10:20am

    A few years ago I was visiting Berwick for a short break and took the opportunity to attend a football match between Berwick Rangers and (if memory serves me right) Alloa Athletic. I particularly recall the displeasure of the home supporters with a recent signing who had come to them from Gretna. Sections of the crowd were using their quaint and colourful vernacular to suggest that he should return to Gretna with alacrity.

    Now this is actually a serious question: what is the status of Berwick Rangers in the event of a “yes” vote?

  • Paul in Wokingham, in the event of a YES vote Berwick Rangers will this season be playing as much football in the Champions League and UEFA Europa League as Man Utd.

    As a Manchester City supporter I look forward to Berwick qualifying for the Champions League. 🙂

  • Malcolm Todd, it is not smearing anyone to point to the facts of the strange bedfellows that Liberal Democrat NO campaigners are aligned with.
    My guess is that Liberal Democrats who opposes self-determination for the people of Scotland are appalled and acutely embarrassed to be on the same side as those who marched yesterday under banners saying NO POPERY.

    I am in no way suggesting that they share the repugnant views of those marchers. I just think it was a huge mistake to align our party with any unionists, even the supposedly respectable unionists in the Labour and Tory Parties.

    I also think it is a huge mistake for the party to pretend that Labour and Conservatives have suddenly seen the light on federalism. They have not.
    All the promises about further devolution will be as importat as yesteray’s chip wrappers if there is a NO vote.

  • stuart moran 14th Sep '14 - 11:42am

    John Tilley

    I am often in agreement with you but in this case I think I am more in sympathy with the comments of Malcolm Todd

    I am a devolutionist and believe in local level Government as much as possible but I also believe that a Union that has existed for 300 years and which has such a geographical and cultural similarity is not something that I think we should give up

    In the end it is up to the Scottish people but there are still are details that remain unanswered and there are a lot of things that are dependent on the approach of the UK post independence. I have a feeling the English especially are becoming less and less impressed at the approach of Salmond (who is an impressive politician but a really unlikeable personality) – does he see himself as a modern day Ataturk?

    If they vote for Independence next week then all the best to them but I would then expect my Government to treat them as they want to be considered – a foreign country. There should be a fair settlement but no more than fair….no underwriting of the Scottish economy by the UK and absolutely no currency union without the UK being adequately protected.

    I do not see myself as being at all similar to the Orange Order or to UKIP – especially based on just one policy area. That was a silly comment.

  • stuart moran 14th Sep ’14 – 11:42am

    A lot of people will share your view.
    But I do not think that demonising Salmond adds to your case.
    Self-determination for the people of Scotland is about all the people of Scotland, not one man.

    As for Ataturk, I have always been a fan since I was told at school that he had revised the language to remove all irregular verbs. As a schoolboy struggling with irregular verbsi in Latin, German and French this seemed like the perfect solution. I have no idea if this story is true,, perhaps there is a Turkish speaker in LDV that can confirm it?

    I do not think Alex Salmond has any similar plans for our language. Always assuming that George Osborne will allow the Scots to keep English as a language if there is a YES vote.

  • Malcolm Todd 14th Sep '14 - 1:08pm

    JohnTilley 14th Sep ’14 – 10:58am
    “it is not smearing anyone to point to the facts of the strange bedfellows that Liberal Democrat NO campaigners are aligned with”

    Yes, it is. It is called “guilt by association” and it is absolutely classic smear tactics. Like stuart moran, I am often in agreement with you — and on this particular subject, although I don’t agree, I certainly haven’t found the No campaign’s arguments any more convincing than the other sides. But this sort of behaviour substantially reduces my respect for you as a debater; I think you should reconsider what you have said, and be prepared to withdraw the remark. It would in no way lessen your commitment to the Yes campaign or the force of your arguments for it.

  • stuart moran 14th Sep '14 - 1:16pm

    John Tilley

    I agree that it should be about more than one man – but I am not sure he sees it like that. Hubris……

    Osborne, or anyone else, cannot prevent the Scottish keeping the pound if they want. I don’t mind if they peg their currency to the pound if they want – we cannot stop them. Currency Union is different from that though and it is the UK who decides that, not Salmond and the Scots. In fact a currency union could be a justifiable reason for a referendum in the UK as a whole and I bet we could both guess what the response will be….

    As I said Independence it is pretty much a question for the Scots but it is justifiable for those of us in the UK to try and persuade them otherwise – even using potential risks as an argument. The settlement though is for the countries and it is not for the Scots to dictate. At the end the argument that’ all English are Tories’ which seems to be one of the linchpins of the argument is making me very unsympathetic.

    Do you think a ‘Yes’ vote would happen under a Labour Government?

  • Malcolm Todd
    I could not in practice withdraw all the mentions I have made about the extreme end of the unionist spectrum because across LDV and elsewhere I have been making this point for a long time.
    It would also be dishonest for me to do so. For the reasons I gave in my last response to you.
    It seems unlikely that you would think more highly of me if I gave you some sort of ‘politicans fudge of an apology which would be insincere.
    If that results in my reputation being tarnished I guess I have to just lve with the consequences of making observations which are not to everyone’s taste. Although I think you have put an interpretation on my comments that was not intended as I have already said.
    I think it is important not to forget, or to cover up the fact that these people (extreme Orange people) are still active in large numbers (as yesterday’s march showed).
    Since Gladstone’s day Unionists have been the enemies of Liberals. It is one of those clear political divides and yet in this referendum we have almost by default ended up on the Umionist side. It was bad enough when it was just the party in Scotland, but during the last couple of weeks of Westminster Panic the party has been diverting its limited resources from target comstuencies such as the one where I live in South West London. And for what? To bolster the status quo and prevent constitutional change in line with the wide Unionist aims.

  • stuart moran 14th Sep ’14 – 1:16pm
    Do you think a ‘Yes’ vote would happen under a Labour Government?

    Well, in 1979 the Scotland referendum on devolution was under a Labour Government .
    In 1997 there was another devolution referendum under a Labour Government and the YES side won and a devolved Parliament was set up although with striclty limited powers .
    If there was a Labour Government today I think a YES vote in Scotland would be more likely. There are plenty of traditional Labour voters in Scotland who remain loyal to Labour despite everything. However, iif we were four and a half years into a Labour Government which had been pilloried by the Tory media the traditional Labour vote would be disenchanted and more likely to vote YES to escape London rule.
    Unfortunately, Labour has always been a Unionist Party — perhaps for reasons of wanting Scottish Labour MPs simply to provide a majority Labour Governemt in Westminster.
    It is quite probable that we will have a Labour government after next May. It will be interesting to see if Clegg’s policy of allowing the largest party to form the government will hold if Labour are the largest party but just short of a majority.

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