Broadcaster John Tusa backs the Lib Dems

The broadcaster and former Newsnight presenter John Tusa has declared his support for the Lib Dems…

I am British by citizenship, Czech by birth, European by culture, history and identity. The Lib Dems are the only party to believe in our continuing membership of the European Union. They are the only party not taken over by the extreme factions in national politics. They are the only non-sectarian party. They are the only party that puts the sovereignty of parliament at the heart of our representative democracy.

How could you vote for anyone else?

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  • I could not agree more, why would you vote for anyone else given the choice between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, but it seems that the British public would rather vote for one of these extremely flawed leaders and their parties, it leaves me in despair for the future of the UK. In answer to the lady on the news last night who said she would vote Liberal Democrat if they had a chance, I say they will never have a chance if people like you don’t vote for them! Give me strength!!!

  • Richard Underhill. 21st Nov '19 - 11:51am

    Barry Lofty: The lady on the news last night said she would vote Liberal Democrat if they had a chance”
    How did she vote in the euro-elections?
    Party List Proportional Representation in England, Scotland and Wales
    (STV in Northern Ireland choose Naomi Long, APNI)

  • John Marriott 21st Nov '19 - 12:51pm

    I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that any real progress that the Lib Dems might make both in this election and in any future elections is rapidly going to be stymied by the decision to lead on revoking Article 50. I have a sneaking feeling that some wiser heads may now just be realising that! As Lionel Barr’s Fagin famously sand; “I think I’d better think that out again”.

    Having seen the two clowns doing their stuff on ITV earlier this week, I reckon that electors are crying out for sensible, pragmatic policies from somewhere. This ‘Stop Brexit’ albatross around the Lib Dems’ necks may yet come back to haunt them. Are we in for a ‘tuition fees’ Mk2? Don’t the Lib Dems do sensible any more. By ignoring the views of 17.4 million of our citizens (and this is coming from a Remainer, albeit a pragmatic one) they are being neither ‘liberal’ nor ‘democratic.

  • Charles Pragnell 21st Nov '19 - 2:02pm

    I totally disagree with John Marriott. I except he speaks from a prospective of living in an area of the country which is anti-immigration and voted leave.

    The otherside of the argument is those cities and countries of he UK, who voted remain. The view is that a second referendum is the only way out of this mess. However if you ask graduates , or business’s who work within the EU, I am sure you will get the response, revoke, and let’s stick with a deal that brings 1. 9 billion pounds per week into the British economy , it is called the single market.

    I believe the polls don’t really tell us the true pattern of voting,in the coming election. This election is trench warfare, and there will be variations from seat to seat. There will be some surprises on-election night, candidates who are expected to win and loose , plus unexpected gains. With 20 days to go anything could happen.

    We must at all cost put clear water between us ,and the other parties, there are Labour Party supporters out there who think Jo will jump into bed with the Tories, so more ha to be done to reassure a scptical public. Jo is not doing enough to convince the public. To quote the late Paddy Ashdown. ” We are a radical independent party”.

  • @ Martin Your comment to John. “Put your thinking cap on and just explain what this referendum would consist of and how you it would be seen to have legitimacy.”

    So why was it established party policy for so long then ?

    PS From what I know about John, he’s got a pretty logical switched on thinking cap.

  • I always liked John Tusa when he was reading the news! 🙂 He puts it very well here.

  • Richard Underhill 21st Nov '19 - 2:15pm

    John Marriott You said “This ‘Stop Brexit’ albatross around the Lib Dems’ necks may yet come back to haunt them.”
    The key word is “them”.
    We do not regard ourselves as “them”.
    How do you self identify?
    Have you voted Liberal Democrat in previous general elections?
    How did you vote in the euro-elections in 2019?
    Did you have a local election in 2019? If so, how did you vote?

  • chris moore 21st Nov '19 - 2:22pm

    I am one of a small minority of Lib Dem members, who though a Remainer, thought that we should have worked towards a compromise deal in the last parliament.

    I was also not in favour of the switch to Revoke.

    However, I think it’s extremely pre-mature to be writing off the hopes of the party in this GE. Nor is it at all clear that the reason we have had some disappointing poll figures is the switch to Revoke. Often, at he start of GEs the Lib Dem score ahs declined.

    My impression is that we are now beginning to gain some traction. Let’s build on it.

  • Peter Watson 21st Nov '19 - 2:50pm

    @Charles Pragnell “The view is that a second referendum is the only way out of this mess. However if you ask graduates , or business’s who work within the EU, I am sure you will get the response, revoke”
    You may as well have written “if you ask Remainers I am sure you will get the response, revoke”! And for over three years, “The view … that a second referendum is the only way out of this mess” seemed to be the Lib Dems’ defining policy.
    The problem for me is that both of these (i.e. only speaking to Remainers, muddying the water over revoke vs. 2nd referendum) reflect aspects of the same problem: the Lib Dems give the impression that its priority is gaining votes from the half of the electorate that wants to remain in the EU rather than actually doing what needs to be done to ensure we do remain in the EU.
    This is a high-risk strategy. It might win enough seats to hold the balance of power and force a second referendum or it might deliver a Tory majority and a relatively hard Brexit.
    In 2016 I correctly predicted the result of the Referendum but I wrongly thought the likely outcome was a compromise around a soft Brexit-in-name-only (that could be reversed or “hardened” over time). Instead of compromising, our politicians seem to have simply relished playing a high-stakes all-or-nothing game of poker.
    The uncertainty continues. I entirely agree with you about the polls and surprises, and even the Lib Dems’ apparent decline might mask strong support in a large number of target seats. I don’t think anybody can confidently predict the outcome of the election.

  • John Marriott 21st Nov '19 - 2:56pm

    To all those who bridle to my comments let me just say that I joined in the old Liberal Party in 1979 and also joined the SDP IN 1983 and was a founder member of the Social & Liberal Democrats in 1989. I was first elected as a councillor in local government in 1987 and retired in 2017 having never lost an election and having at one time or another serve on Town, District and County.

    I was also the Lib Dem candidate in the new Sleaford & North Hykeham parliamentary constituency in 1997. While some were regularly attending conference I was out there getting reelected as a Liberal Democrat (sorry if some of you have heard all this before). I did not renew my party membership a couple of years ago for various reasons, although I still basically consider myself to have mainly but not exclusively liberal views. That’s why I contribute to LDV and other publications.

    @Richard Underhill
    As far as my recent voting record is concerned – not that it’s really any of your business; but, hey ho, today is obviously confession day – I have voted Lib Dem, Liberal or SDP in every election for which I was eligible since 1979 (I confess to voting Tory in my first election in 1970, after which I spent four years living abroad so missed 1974). This time it is my intention to spoil my vote by writing ‘None of the above’ on my ballot paper. I have ALWAYS voted Lib Dem in the ‘euro-elections’ and would continue to do so if given the opportunity in the future (at my age (76) you never know if you’ll be around the next time, as they don’t occur that often!). Yes, we had local elections but there was no Lib Dem candidate so I spoiled my ballot paper again – by the way, I’ve also done that twice in PCC elections.

    For me the only referendum worth a damn would be a preferential one, asking voters to number in order of preference three options : a Brexit with no deal / a Brexit with a deal / Remain. After the first round of counting the least popular choice would be eliminated and its second choices applied to the other two. In that way a ‘winner’ would emerge. It’s called compromise, which I have been advocating all along.

  • Barry Lofty 21st Nov '19 - 3:29pm

    John Marriot, I happen to be in the same age group as you and have always voted Liberal/Liberal Democrat but have not put my principals on the line as you have by standing for election etc and I agree that compromise on the referendum result would have been the preferred option but consecutive Tory leaders and others kept banging on about the “the will of the people” as if the very narrow referendum result vindicated their preferred hard Brexit. It would have needed some statesmanship at that stage, which was sorely missing, to avert the catastrophe we now witness.

  • Bill le Breton 21st Nov '19 - 4:50pm

    If Johnson wins a majority he’ll move quickly to a Queens Speech which will include his WA/PD – in the WAB. And his majority will pass the Bill – out of the EU by 31st January.

    There is no chance of him agreeing to a referendum in that situation nor does Ed suggest one. Ed prefaces his thinking on there being a Johnson minority government.

    But how does one arise? – one which would later (ie during the passage of the WAB) require him to negotiate for support from others for that WAB, giving the Lib Dems the leverage to negotiate the addition in the Bill of commitment to a confirmatory referendum?

    How does Johnson get from No 10 Downing St to kissing hands?

    If he has a minority of MPs in the HoC he’ll only be able to leave for the Palace if he can demonstrate he has >325 votes (by some agreement with others) or, if fewer, an agreement from others that they will abstain in sufficient numbers to give him a) a Queens Speech, b) a Finance Bill and c) a WAB

    And how do we survive the next few weeks to polling day without our competitors claiming that we have committed to ‘a secret deal’ supporting Johnson for PM?

    I cannot square the circle. Please tell me I am wrong.

  • Paul Barker 21st Nov '19 - 4:59pm

    Can we just leave all the lofty theorising till after Friday the 13th ?
    It way too soon to be giving up on a breakthrough, we dont know whats going to happen.

  • @ Bill le Breton ” WA/PD – in the WAB”.

    Could we please have a translation of this before I get completely Wabbed.

    Wabber, wabber and thank you.

  • Paul Barker talking sense as usual.
    There are three weeks to go. If our poll results so far are a bit disappointing, let’s remember they are still more than twice what we got in 2017. The reports from our target seats are encouraging. So let’s put the gloom to one side for the next three weeks, and get out there and campaign!

  • Bill le Breton 21st Nov '19 - 5:57pm

    It is not ‘lofty theorising’. Last night the party ‘pivoted’ away from Revoke. The pivot is that there now are circumstances in which we would support a Johnson minority government.

    It must clearly have decided that Revoke was not a successful policy. Not least because our opponents were successful in convincing many people that we ‘no longer supported a People’s Vote’ and were demonstrating a disregard for ‘democracy’.

    But how was the party to get off this hook and onto a ‘People’s Vote’ platform?

    Answer by saying that there were circumstances in which we would support John’s WAB in return for a People’s Confirmatory Vote.

    Others are arguing here that in the event of a hung Parliament our policy is still to vote against a Johnson minority government (and against a Corbyn minority government).

    If so, how can we do this (the safest policy) AND say that we could support a Johnson minority government on the condition he agreed to a confirmatory referendum of his deal against remain?

    What would be the effect on Labour voters preparing to ‘lend us their vote’ in a host of target seats?

  • Bill le Breton 21st Nov '19 - 6:01pm

    WA = The withdrawal agreement
    PD = The Political Declaration on future UK/EU relationship
    WAB = The Withdrawal Agreement Bill

  • Bill – if there is a hung parliament we can vote on things issue by issue. So, if the Tories are the largest party they will form a minority government – they will do this without our help. It’s their right by virtue of being the largest party. We can then vote for their WAB (subject to there being a PV attached) without supporting anything else they do.

  • @ Bill le Breton “there now are circumstances in which we would support a Johnson minority government.”

    If that happens that’s me gone for good forever, Wabber or no Wabber.

  • Before moving recently to Marriott country for family reasons, I was for very many years a member of the Scottish party so am naturally hardwired to support the present leader. Regarding emphasis on either revoke or second referendum or both, I would like to see some appeal to those leave voters who thought in the referendum that they had nothing to lose. Secondly, please will our leaders describe their vision of a liberal Europe. We need a more positive reason to vote remain than ” Europe, warts and all, is better than any form of Brexit

  • Support Depeffle and you’ll finish the job Clegg started and kill the party. Learn from past mistakes Bill or just give up it saves the trouble of the embarrassment of death by sucking up too Depeffle.

  • Paul Barker 21st Nov '19 - 9:06pm

    Can we stop making silly comments that could be used againsy us ?
    Can you really imagine Johnson offering a Referendum ? That would be Political suicide for Him & His Party.
    Can we just get on with fighting a Campaign & worry about the Result when we have it.

  • Charles Pragnell 21st Nov '19 - 10:00pm

    Supporting minority Tory government would be the death of the Lib Dems. This country needs an independent Liberal voice.

  • Arnold Kiel 22nd Nov '19 - 9:13am

    Revoke as a “pure-play” LibDem policy is entirely logical and democratic. If the 17,4 million from 2016 are still firm on leave, an outright LibDem majority is impossible. Implementation of revoke presupposes that the 17,4 million leave preferences have manifestly ceased to exist on Dec 12 2019.

    The straightforward defence against the “Revoke is undemocratic” nonsense is: if all leavers tell us again, they will get their will, otherwise, the “will of the people” has changed.

    Absent an outright majority, LibDems will continue to support a 2nd referendum-bill that includes remain, whoever introduces it.

  • jayne mansfield 22nd Nov '19 - 12:41pm

    Fiddling while Rome burns. Still playing the tune, Jo Swinson might be Prime Minister, We can be the largest opposition party replacing Labour, tune.

    If you really cared about stopping Brexit, your leader and the party would have, whether under other circumstances it would been unthinkable, had the sense to know that stopping Brexit required that you collaborate with Labour on an issue that you claim, and according to polls, a large proportion of the population believe, is the most important issue in the coming election.

    If it reduces your personal anxiety to rant about what the parties pushing for Brexit are arguing, ‘Will of the People’ etc., in my opinion, effort could have been used more productively pushing a positive vision for remaining in the EU. The campaigns of the last 3 plus years have been as dismal as the pro remain campaign prior to the last referendum. It has been predominantly negative, if we leave, we will all, go to hell in a handcart predictions that have not gained much traction amongst those one most needed to persuade.

    If you really believe all that, why do you not do the one thing that might, even at this late stage show a willingness to compromise, collaborate with Labour and parties that support a referendum, and mount a concerted effort to keep the Tories out of power and their hard or no deal Brexit consigned to history?

  • Charles Pragnell 22nd Nov '19 - 1:32pm

    Over night, I was reflecting on revocation, and one thing not mentioned on these threads, is the fact that 6.1 million signed the petition to revoke article fifty ! Logic tells us that there is a core of voters who want revocation . A prediction for Friday 13th of December. Lib Dem vote more than doubles , and poll at least 5 million votes, more than 2 million polled in 2017.

  • Peter Martin 22nd Nov '19 - 1:58pm

    If you really believe all that, why do you not do the one thing that might, even at this late stage show a willingness to compromise, collaborate with Labour and parties that support a referendum, and mount a concerted effort to keep the Tories out of power and their hard or no deal Brexit consigned to history

    I recently made the same argument to a Lib Dem friend of mine. His answer was that he’d rather have the Tories and Brexit than Labour under Jeremy Corbyn and no Brexit.
    I must say I was rather taken aback! So from his POV the Remain cause was lost from the moment the election was called. It’s all about party politics now.

  • Paul Barker 22nd Nov '19 - 4:29pm

    You have to admire the Work Ethic of Labour trolls but saying things that make sense seems to be beyond them.

  • Peter Watson 22nd Nov '19 - 5:33pm

    @Charles Pragnell “6.1 million signed the petition to revoke article fifty … at least 5 million votes, more than 2 million polled in 2017”
    That’s a very interesting point.
    It certainly puts a level of expectation on the Lib Dem vote, and chimes with the 6.8 million votes in 2010 and 6.0 million in 2005 which show that the potential is there. Significantly less than 5-6 million votes in December would reflect pretty poorly on the party’s recovery from Coalition and the effectiveness of its anti-Brexit strategy since then.

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