Sarah Wollaston, chairwoman of the Commons health select committee, is everyone’s favourite Conservative backbencher. Well, maybe not everyone’s. With her forthright, often outrageously non-partisan, views, she’s not always as appreciated by party managers as she is by those of us who appreciate common sense and respect for the facts. But Dr Wollaston, you may recall, was the result of an experiment gone wrong – at least in the eyes of the Tory leadership and the whips’ office.
One of the many paradoxes about British politics right now is the fact that those who belong to the party which formally grants its members least say over policy can plausibly claim to have exercised the most influence on us all in recent years. Unlike their counterparts in the Labour party, the SNP, and especially the Lib Dems, rank-and-file members of the Conservative party still don’t get to vote on its policy platform.
Am I normal? Are you? Is any of us? And what is “normal” anyway? To be honest, I haven’t a clue. But I do know what is not normal, and that’s being a member of a political party. It’s something that fewer than two out of every 100 adults entitled to vote in the UK choose to do. Read more: MPs raise fears over food security after BrexitMoreover, those who take their politics seriously enough to join a party are abnormal – or at least unrepresentative – in other ways too.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".