Ministerial whirl

See how the New Labour government has changed from day to day, month to month, reshuffled to reshuffle by clicking on the buttons at the bottom of the Java applet.

The colours are zoned by government department, and the distance from the centre signifies seniority, with the cabinet occupying the inner layer.

Instructions: Position the web page so that the entire animation fits on your screen. There are two rows of grey buttons at the bottom. Use these to change the date of display. For example, to see who is in Tony Blair's government today, click on the button on the right hand side marked "Today".

When the names are not in motion, you can also click on one of them to see which department they belong to. Click on the same name a second time to see that person's ministerial career.

Not working? You may need to wait a minute for it to load. If you are able, download Sun's Java software. On Windows, the old unsupported Microsoft versions of Java will not do.

Read more about this below.

SSun Java 1.4 or above required

Background

This applet-animation is a visualization of the XML file ministers.xml, which the Publicwhip central computer updates every twelve hours by scanning the Parliamentary webpage Her Majesty's Government for changes. We have kept all versions of this page back to June 2004, which is about when we first thought of this idea. Earlier information was kindly sent to us by the House of Commons library in several emails. The source code for this little program is in the SourceForge CVS under custom/radialtree, and is protected by the General Public License.

If you have any easy to implement suggestions for improvements while the code is still fresh in our minds, please email the team. We've already thought about using pictures instead of names, but they don't fit on the page and are much more unrecognizable than names.

More of the same? Try our map of MP votes

About the Project

The Public Whip is a not-for-profit, open source website created in 2003 by Francis Irving and Julian Todd and now run by Bairwell Ltd.

There are lots of plans afoot, including extensive redevelopment of the site and plans for new functionality. To keep up with what's happening, please check out the blog. We're working on updating all the contact details throughout the site, but if you'd like to talk to us about the project, please email [email protected]

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