In this General Election, we must offer Britain hope for a real progressive future!

If on Monday you had told most people, MPs and political pundits that a general election would be called before the end of the week, very few would have believed you. Yet here we are. At long last, tens of millions of voters across the country have the opportunity to throw our disgraceful Conservative government out of office. Expect the next six weeks to be dominated by a bitterly fought campaign by all the major parties.

But as we go to the country, what should the Liberal Democrats offer to an electorate that is still struggling with the NHS crisis, the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis (to name just three)? In a word, hope! Real hope! Not half-hearted soundbites, but true meaningful hope. Hope that is accompanied by real policy substance and political commitments. Hope that there is an end in sight to the many crises that bedevil modern Britain. Hope that a real progressive future is possible.

One of the biggest crises we face is the diabolical state that our National Health Service finds itself in. The NHS is dangerously underfunded and understaffed. Swathes of the country have become dental deserts as patients struggle to find NHS dentists. Most parties still struggle to grasp the nettle of guaranteeing decent social care for the elderly.

We have a very ambitious and progressive platform on health and social care. Our current health policies include: a GP Guarantee; a dental action plan to solve the dental crisis; a two-month cancer treatment guarantee; giving mental health support parity with physical health support; and introducing free personal care for the elderly. Added to this, we have just announced plans to recruit an extra 8,000 GPs. We have the bold policies needed to save the NHS. I strongly believe that the Liberal Democrats ought to proudly become the Party of the NHS.

Another major crisis is the continuing cost of living crisis, as millions languish in poverty. Both food poverty and child poverty are increasing. The Trussell Trust charity that runs many food banks has reported that it handed out a record 3.1 million emergency food parcels in the year up to March 2024. While a third of the food parcels went to children. To put it bluntly, it is a moral stain on the conscience of our nation that food poverty and child poverty still exist in one of the richest countries on Earth.

However, we Liberal Democrats have the radical policies needed to address entrenched poverty. We are committed to transforming Universal Credit into a Guaranteed Basic Income, so that we can lift up the poorest people in our country and abolish deep poverty within a decade. Added to this, we are committed to scrapping the two-child benefit cap and to introducing free school meals for all of the poorest children. These policies will drastically combat poverty across our country. We as a party have long been committed to building a progressive liberal society whereby “no-one shall be enslaved by poverty”.

Our precious environment has not been spared the chaos of the Tories either. Britain’s climate targets have been watered down, while the Tories increasingly entertain opposition to achieving net zero carbon emissions. Meanwhile, our privatised water companies have not been held to account, as raw sewage has flowed into our rivers and onto our coastlines.

As a party, our green credentials stretch back decades. We are committed to enacting a green transition, so that we can reach net-zero by 2045. While the Tories and Labour may be reluctant to champion much needed green investment, we will always be its champions, especially when it comes to investing in renewable energy sources. Finally, we are committed to bold action to hold the water companies to account by transforming them into public benefit companies. This would make them more responsible to the general public who are reliant on them, putting water users ahead of shareholder profits.

Now there is no doubt that in healthcare, welfare, the environment and many other areas public spending will have to increase. That inevitably means that somewhere and somehow, taxes will also have to increase. But the burden must not fall on ordinary working people. That is why the Liberal Democrats were first to call for a windfall tax on the big oil and gas giants. We are committed to extending the windfall tax the Tories were pressured into introducing and removing its loopholes. A few days ago, Ed Davey announced a new tax on the big social media companies to pay for better mental health support. This comes after the party also committed to introduce a “Biden-style tax” on share buybacks. It is time that the very wealthy and the big companies paid their fair share. We would ensure that they do.

After years of chaos under the Conservatives and with the prospect of a lacklustre Labour government on the horizon, the Liberal Democrats must be the party to offer hope for real change across Britain. We are the ones who can champion Britain eventually rejoining the European Single Market. We are the ones who believe in radical political reform through the introduction of the single transferable vote and an elected second chamber. And we are the ones who will always defend trans rights, from a trans-inclusive conversion therapy ban to making the gender recognition process easier.

On the NHS, the cost of living, the environment, Europe, political reform and equal rights, the Liberal Democrats are the progressive party that Britain so desperately needs. Over the next few weeks, let us champion our progressive liberalism from St Ives to Shetland.

Real change is possible. A progressive future is possible. A fair deal for all is possible. The way for Britain to achieve this is quite simple, on the 4th July, vote Liberal Democrat!

* Paul Hindley is a PhD politics student at Lancaster University and a member of the Liberal Democrats in Blackpool.

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44 Comments

  • Steve Trevethan 24th May '24 - 10:34pm

    Thank you for a carefully constructed sketch map of what our regular citizens, and their many underfed children, need.

    May I make a few suggestions relating to financing the changes our country needs to become more productive, effective and to better care for all its citizens and their children? (Healthy, well fed, well housed and well educated children are the most important resource of any and every country.)

    1Tax reform is what is needed and is difficult to argue against.

    2) Transparent horizontal and vertical taxation is equitable and relatively straightforward and acceptable to collect.

    3) Drastic reduction of our tax gap would make a considerable contribution to the payments needed for the survival and growth of essential infrastructures.

    4) Re-localisation of tax offices would make collection of taxes more efficient as would the closure of tax dodging loopholes.

    4) Governments with a sovereign currency, which we have, can create money provided that there is care over inflation.

    5) Inflation is more effectively and benignly controlled through flexible taxation rather than finance industry favouring rises in bank rates.

    P. S. How do families who cannot afford to feed their. children properly contribute to inflation?

  • Andy Chandler 24th May '24 - 11:57pm

    Compare agree and I hope we champion these very hard to the public. I hope these true blue Tory seats we are strategically and rightly targeting don’t get dissuaded by this. I suppose rural heartlands are not exactly are bleeding with tech, banking, tax avoiding business class that we are targeting in tax as described.

    I think you can have a powerful argument saying how a more equitable, fairer and progressive society is good for everyone. If we do well in these blue wall areas I hope these new LD MPs don’t then get “cold feet” and then start competing to be Tory-lite Libertarian types. We are liberals NOT conservative libertarians. That’s my worry.

    And yes we should us being the party of the NHS too which I hope is used powerfully in the campaign in the same way I said in my article we need to be a new home for the working class and poor.

  • Andy Chandler 24th May '24 - 11:58pm

    Completely agree, not compare…sorry on my phone tonight, prefer the keyboard!

  • Mark Frankel 25th May '24 - 7:42am

    Too utopian for my taste. More GPs for more face-to-face consultations is not a good use of resources. My main hope is for some undoing of the damage of Brexit.

  • David Garlick 25th May '24 - 8:29am

    This is a vision that we need to get across to the public. It will cost more in taxation whoever forms the next government. Sadly many will vote for the option that costs them least and then complain about poor or missing services are the order of the day.

  • Nonconformistradical 25th May '24 - 8:46am

    @Mark Frankel
    “More GPs for more face-to-face consultations is not a good use of resources.”
    On what grounds do you say this?

    The media is full of stories about overwhelmed hospital A&E departments If people cannot see a GP quickly it seems they go to A&E rather than wait – they don’t know if their problem is minor (and could wait) or serious (and can’t wait).

  • Yusuf Osman 25th May '24 - 9:01am

    A good piece. I support free social care for the elderly! I think though it should be extended to free social care for anyone that needs it. Don’t forget there are working age disabled people who also need social care and currently have to make contributions usually from benefits.

  • David Simpson 25th May '24 - 9:08am

    Perhaps we should point out that according to Cambridge Econometrics, leaving the EU has cost our economy £140 billion.

  • Martin Pierce 25th May '24 - 9:58am

    Lots of good points, but neither the article nor 6 of the 7 comments mention Brexit. All this good stuff needs funding – you can’t wish a better NHS into existence. That has to come from either higher taxes or growing the economy, and the latter is much the less painful. The point about Brexit is never mind whether you love or loathe the EU, but not being in it has seriously contracted our ability to pay for these things. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs estimated that real GDP has taken a 4-8% hit compared with a non-Brexit scenario, while goods exports are down 13% since 2019. We seem incomprehensibly scared of talking about this. Relentless messaging by pro-Brexiteers chipped away at EU support over two decades; we can’t expect people to come round to supporting closer links unless we keep messaging these basic facts – and what they do to our ability to fund good public services. It’s not even as if this strategy works – we’re still languishing on 9% almost a decade after the 2015 catastrophe, while ghastly Reform are on 11% despite barely trying. I am sure we’ll win a few more seats, but it will only be because of Tory weakness rather than LD strength.

  • nigel hunter 25th May '24 - 10:01am

    Utopia is hard to get. BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT MUST NOT BE AIMED FOR!. Hope for a better future is the aim. Our message on what we believe ,want to achieve has to be shouted from the rooftops in ALL POSSIBLE WAYS. On the doorstep. In leaflets .On ALL media outlets. The future is ours to make.

  • I’m afraid I rather agree with @Mark Frankel. This article is basically calling for us to promise utopia for everyone. And the cost of having the Government provide all these amazing things? Oh don’t worry, we’ll find someone else to pay for it all (“But the burden must not fall on ordinary working people“). Don’t get me wrong, most of the things @Paul is proposing would in principle be great. But if we want to be taken seriously, we have to be realistic about what is deliverable, what state the economy is in, and what resources are available. Let’s get on and win as many seats as we can, on a manifesto that is liberal, balanced, and believable!

  • Richard Cripps 25th May '24 - 11:37am

    Having worked in health and social care (statutory and charity sectors) for over 40 years, I am convinced that the way forward is to integrate health and social care and call it the national NHSC Service, funded by an honest National Health and Social Care insurance scheme. In other words, separate from general taxation. Currently we have a mixture of funding models, a mixture of personal contribution models and a mixture of providers (including the private sector), and a post code lottery in the delivery of both health and social care. An integrated national system or protocols would deliver better outcomes for people in need and would save money as the current duplication of effort would be mitigated.

  • @ Richard Cripps “I am convinced that the way forward is to integrate health and social care and call it the national NHSC Service, funded by an honest National Health and Social Care insurance scheme”.

    And, as a former Cabinet Member for Social Care in Scotland, I very much agree with you, Richard.

    Have you looked at the proposed National Care Scheme currently proposed in Scotland, and what is your opinion of it ?

  • Steve Trevethan 25th May '24 - 5:02pm

    Might this question be relevant for all political parties, perhaps except for the S. N. P.?

    https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2024/05/25/youtube-short-election-questions-why-wont-uk-politicians-end-child-poverty/

  • James Fowler 25th May '24 - 10:14pm

    Repeat slowly after me: Labour. Own. The. NHS.

  • Chris Moore 26th May '24 - 7:04am

    @James Fowlee: why would we want to talk in one word sentences?

    Why would we want to stand in line and repeat after YOU?

    Why would we want to say something that’s false?

  • Chris Moore 26th May '24 - 7:07am

    No party “owns” any issue. Everything is contestable.

    Forgive the typo in my spelling of your name.

  • Ross O’Kelly 26th May '24 - 8:02am

    Most of the policy goals are self evidently good and could appear in the manifesto of almost any of the parties. The big question is what we choose to prioritise and how we fund it.
    Let’s look at the proposals for the NHS. Lots more of everything, presumably a result of throwing more money at it, no fundamental reform of the organisation that gave us Alderhay, the hepatitis blood scandal etc etc.
    And all these good things paid for by bleeding the rich (yep, that one always worked well for Labour at elections). Windfall taxes and taxes on share buybacks, our version of Labours non doms tax.
    Anyone out there got a pension ? So that’s YOU being taxed not some caricature fat cat from a Corbynite fantasy.

  • Paul Reynolds 26th May '24 - 2:44pm

    Thanks Paul for putting this together. These things take a lot of time and effort. Policymaking can be affected by the need for clarity on its purpose. Is it designed to distil a series of headline post-election spending promises that we hope break through to the mainstream media ? Is it a wishlist of spending ideas that we would like to see if and when money becomes available, or diverted from current spending ? Is it a broader ‘state of the nation’ list of deeper problems across the UK that we believe need to be addressed in the long term, with remedies ? Is it a set of priorities for spending (and/or reform) on the basis that governments can only realistically emphasise a handful of changes ? Is it a list of red-line policies created for the purpose of potential coalition negotiations ? Each definition would no doubt result in very different results, and each approach requires a different timeframe. Some are for the election campaign and some are longer term challenges involving the different policy institutions of the Party, including Conference. Let us be clear on what ‘policy’ is for and the approach being taken, in each case. The main problem for the electorate perhaps is that the main political parties are somewhat vague about the specific problems they wish to address, (defined in such a way as to make them credibly addressable).

  • Katharine Pindar 26th May '24 - 5:07pm

    Tackling Britain’s poverty need be neither Utopia nor Heaven, in terms of paying for our policies. Colleagues should look again at Michael Berwick-Gooding’s article here in October 2013, https://www.libdemvoice.org/ending-deep-poverty-by-april-2029-74037.html. We can press the forthcoming government to consider our policy of Guaranteed Basic Income, passed at York Spring Conference last year. Steve Trevethan in his comment of May 25 at 5.02 pm also refers us to the ideas of Richard Murphy, and it may be useful also for our Welfare spokesperson to get in touch with Gordon Brown, who is promoting an anti-poverty alliance. I hope Ed Davey will remember to speak of our party’s commitment to reducing poverty in his electioneering – and refuse to accept the fiscal demands that could strangle good initiatives for the expected new government at birth.

  • Katharine Pindar 27th May '24 - 12:28am

    Correction: Michael BG’s important article on how deep poverty could be ended by 2029 was of course posted here in October 2023, not 2013; the reference I gave is however correct.
    Expanding my reference to Gordon Brown, I read that the former Labour prime minister has published a paper this month called Partnership to End Poverty, in which he calls on Jeremy Hunt to raise £2 bn from the banks to address poverty, and apparently to “champion a new coalition of compassion between foundations, corporate donors and local and national government.” Unlikely as it seemed for Mr Brown to expect compassion from the current government, he will presumably now be looking for different and additional partners to address that urgent aim.

  • Peter Davies 27th May '24 - 7:30am

    @James Fowler, @Chris Moore. At this election, Labour will be ‘Most Trusted’ on the NHS in all the polls but we should have no trouble being more trusted than the Tories in our target seats and if we are seen campaigning on it, we will pick up votes from both our targets groups in those areas (centrist conservatives and anyone but Tory).

    In the next election, it may well be an area we can attack Labour.

  • There’s a lot of slow-burning resentment against the Lib Dems for the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, which did a lot of damage and fragmentation to the NHS. Lansley’s Act, which the Lib Dems pushed through even though it wasn’t in the coalition agreement. The ‘mad with power’ coalition did a lot of very nasty things in its first half, including also the bedroom tax, which caused widespread disillusionment with liberal/’honest’/centrist politics. I don’t think the Brexit vote would have passed without it.

  • @ Former Dem You speak for many people with first hand knowledge of this subject. In my opinion, as someone with local government Cabinet responsibility at the time, it will only dissipate if the present Party Leader acknowledges it.

    I was present at the Gateshead Conference (a bit of a struggle, only weeks after a transplant operation) when the change of direction was signalled. I believed, and still believe, it was a hammer blow to the party’s credentials for radical liberalism. It needs to be dealt with rather than pushed under the carpet as inconvenient.

  • Alex Macfie 27th May '24 - 9:29am

    @Former Dem: It’s mainly the embittered, sectarian left who still hold a grudge against us over the Coalition. In 2019 they gave us grief as they were the dominant faction in Labour and were successful in packing TV debate audiences. They are no longer dominant, and the coalition is now a distant memory for most ordinary voters, so it’ll be far less of a problem now.
    As for whether the Brexit referendum would have happened without the Coalition, that’s one of those counterfactuals that are mainly of interest to political nerds. There is an argument that it would have happened anyway (by way of the Tories calling an election at the earliest opportunity, winning outright and holding the referendum under pressure from their pro-Brexit wing), but voters tend not to care either way about that sort of thing.

  • @ Alex Macfie, Sorry, Alex, but complacency about it being “mainly the embittered, sectarian left” is inaccurate, and with regret, I have to say somewhat cynical.

    There are whole armies of people out there who man the food banks, Citizen’s Advice, all sorts of charities and Church groups who are natural instinctive Liberals. Take it from me, as former Chair of a Foodbank….. they remember these things.

    If Lib Dems are not idealistic, radical and honest they are nothing.

  • @Alex Macfie I wasn’t saying the referendum wouldn’t have happened without the Coalition. I’ve no idea about that, could go either way. I was saying without the Lib Dems’ behaviour as part of the Coalition, I think the *result* of the referendum might have been different.

    Nick Clegg in particular really lead to a “can’t trust them, they’re all the same, all liars” attitude towards the kind of centrist politicians who were campaigning for remain.

    What you call being embittered and sectarian I call judging by results, by what actually happened.

    @David Raw I think you are both right! Many of the people you are mentioning do indeed remember these things … it’s not as if they are in the past. The poverty is still with us. But perhaps they have been pushed towards the embittered, sectarian left by it. Can’t blame them for being bitter after the things they’ve seen!

  • Peter Hirst 27th May '24 - 3:20pm

    The elephant in the room to your blog is inequality. Many of the policies you outline reflect the disastrous levels of inequality that corrupt our society. Many of your solutions also address this. Why not be brave and announce a war on inequality in our manifesto? Inequality is like inflation, it eats at our society so why not make it one of our major commitments?

  • Alex Macfie 28th May '24 - 1:45pm

    @Former Dem: Nick Clegg has left active UK politics, along with most of his Coalition-era entourage. Bringing him into the discussion at all suggests an agenda (as does your handle). While I don’t disagree that the Lib Dem leadership of the time handled coalition badly (as I have often opined here), this should not distract us from the reality that after the 2015GE we had a Tory-only (or Tory+DUP, because Lib Dems refused to prop up Theresa May after she lost her majority in 2017) government. And regardless of how we arrived at that, it means that what happened since then is the sole responsibility of the Tories. Fighting yesterday’s battles, such as over the coalition, is a characteristic of the far left. Most voters have moved on; the thing about partisan grievances (especially historical ones) is that you have to be partisan yourself to be exercised by them.

  • @Alex Macfie you might be right about all of that, but still the people you call the partisan and embittered sectarian far-left all have votes! And more seriously you can think those people (and their moderate counterparts) are wrong but still want to understand why they think the way they do, not least so you can counter the perceptions and win votes. The alternative is retreating to a cocooon of smug superiority.

    There’s a difference between fighting yesterday’s battles and learning the lessons of them. Even after the specific details of policies have been forgotten, the voters retain perceptions of leaders and parties (Labour will take us back to the 70s, Thatcher the milk snatcher, Blair the warmonger, the Lib Dems can’t be trusted). I think you are just in denial of that.

    Yes I certainly do have an agenda. I’d be surprised to see anyone on a political commentary site who doesn’t.

  • @Alex Macfie
    “ this should not distract us from the reality that after the 2015GE we had a Tory-only … government. … it means that what happened since then is the sole responsibility of the Tories”

    I would go further, we’ve had 45 years of modern Tory governments and policy (New Labour was Tory-lite, the coalition was Tory restrained), the mess the country finds itself in, I suggest, can wholly be laid at the door of Tory beliefs…

  • Hi Chris,

    While agreeing with your sentiment when you say “No party owns any issue. Everything is contestable.” Indeed it is true and in an ideal world it would be quite easy.

    However, in the real world we live in and bearing in mind the tiny amount of resources we have compared to Labour to put into it, how much money, activist hours and focus delivering would it need and how many decades of effort would it take to even put a moderate dent in that simple truth James Fowler put forward?

    I really wish things could be that easy, but confirmation bias is a massively strong human trait.

    All the best to you in whatever campaigning you are carrying out.

    David

  • Alex Macfie 29th May '24 - 2:25pm

    @Former Dem: Whenever anyone brings up the Coalition my answer is to point out the following:
    * the party has categorically ruled out any kind of deal with the Tories after the next General Election;
    * (as I wrote here) the coalition was conducted badly on our side, but the leadership team who were responsible for it have long left active UK politics and we certainly do not intend to make the same sort of mistakes again;
    * Since 2015GE the Lib Dems have not been in government with the Tories, and therefore the Tories bear sole responsibility for what happened;
    * Lib Dems refused to prop up Theresa May in 2017;
    * If anyone has been in bed with the Tories lately it’s Labour, as Labour MPs supported Johnson’s Brexit deal, which Lib Dems voted against.

    Anyone who still thinks it an issue after that is probably not interested in listening to us at all, meaning that they are partisan anti-Lib Dems.

    The point is that we *have* learnt the lessons from the past; errors from 2010 right up to 2019 feed into the party’s current strategy. Constantly bringing them up does not encourage lesson learning; it is intended simply to smear the party by defining it primiarily in terms of the past errors, similarly tho how the Tories continued to attack Labour over the Winter of Discontent and “longest suicide note” under Blair when the party had long moved on from those episodes.

  • @Alex Macfie Thank you for the polite response, I’m enjoying this discussion. I think you are right about many things, but in a sense it doesn’t matter. Many people from my generation, for example, will look at your claim that “the party has categorically ruled out any kind of deal with the Tories after the next General Election” with a hollow laugh at the idea of a Lib Dem categorical promise being taken seriously. That’s not fair I suppose, because as you say things have moved on by 14 years, but it is a common reaction.

    I have to defend Labour on the Brexit front. “If anyone has been in bed with the Tories lately it’s Labour, as Labour MPs supported Johnson’s Brexit deal, which Lib Dems voted against.” If you are talking about after the 2019 election, Johnson had a clear-cut mandate for his Brexit deal, having won a majority in parliament. (And of course the lib dems claimed a majority would be a mandate to revoke article 50, so sauce for the goose and all that.)

  • Alex Macfie 29th May '24 - 3:04pm

    @Former Dem: Since when were opposition MPs supposed to vote for the governing party’s manifesto pledges? That’s not how things work in a Parliamentary democracy. The government has a mandate to govern; the opposition has a mandate to oppose the government. The 2019 Lib Dem pledge to revoke Article 50 meant that if the party won a majority then that was what Lib Dem MPs would have voted for, but we would hardly have expected Tory or Labour MPs to join them. Their mandate is different.

    As for whether you take seriously the promise not to do a deal with the Tories, the best way to look at it is to ask yourself why the Castlemaine would we do it after we were skewered so thoroughly the last time around?

  • A mandate to oppose the government isn’t a requirement to oppose them on every single matter. After the public had voted in the referendum for brexit and in the election for Johnson’s specific deal, it was perfectly legitimate to vote for it.
    “As for whether you take seriously the promise not to do a deal with the Tories, the best way to look at it is to ask yourself why the Castlemaine would we do it after we were skewered so thoroughly the last time around?”

    OK bear with me here, I realise this is unlikely but I guess it shows how unwise making such categorical pledges can be. Suppose the election goes unexpectedly badly for Labour and well for the Lib Dems, and there’s a hung parliament. Either Labour or the Tories can form a majority only if they do a deal with the Lib Dems. The Tories (ever masters at political reinvention) offer a deal like, go into a coalition or confidence+supply with us and we’ll give you a referendum on rejoining the EU or the single market. Labour refuse to match the offer.

    Are you really telling me the Lib Dems would turn the Tories down? If not, then I guess the promise isn’t really completely categorical is it?

  • @Former Dem – “Are you really telling me the Lib Dems would turn the Tories down?”
    Yes. They shafted us last time. We won’t do that again.

  • @Former Dem I guess I can admire that if you are serious, but I don’t believe it! Turning down a chance to re-enter the single market, really?

  • Of course that should have been @Mary Reid!

  • Peter Watson 29th May '24 - 9:34pm

    @Former Dem “Turning down a chance to re-enter the single market, really?”
    In 2019, the best chance of stopping Brexit was a second referendum under Labour, but when push came to shove, the Lib Dems looked more strongly anti-Corbyn than anti-Brexit.

  • @Peter Watson ah yes I forgot about some of that! So much happened in so little time. I do remember how the party referred to the Labour leader as ‘Corbyn’ and the Tory leader as ‘Boris’. But to be fair the situation then was so confusing and a lot of mistakes were made an all sides. (Except perhaps by the EU, they played a blinder.)

  • I agree with @Former Dem that voting with the Government on a few issues is perfectly consistent with opposition and is not ‘getting into bed with’ the Tories. We would after all hope that opposition is constructive, and not mere opposition for the sake of opposing.

    @Mary Reid: How did the Tories shaft us last time? As far as I recall, they largely kept to the coalition agreement in spirit and in letter throughout that period. I would say that if any shafting happens, it was the LibDems’ own negotiating team shafting the party by agreeing to stuff that was obviously likely to go down badly with voters (notably tuition fees).

  • Why would we agree to a Tory deal involving a referendum when we were so thoroughly shafted over AV? In all likelihood they’d run the sort of campaign they did in that referendum as well as the 2016 Brexit referendum, win it for No to Rejoin / Remain Out and set the cause for Rejoin back another 20 years. People like @Former Dem say they don’t trust the Lib Dems because of the 2010–2015 Coalition, but here’s the thing: we don’t trust the Tories for the same reason.

    Apart from Corbyn being a wholly unsuitable leader of a “unity” government (it wasn’t just Lib Dems who couldn’t accept him, it was also the other defectors from both the larger parties (Gauke, Grieve &c and what was left of TIG for Change aka the Liquorice Allsorts party)), he was never a supporter of the EU. He was and still is a Socialism-in-One-Country Bennite, and he and his Marxist inner circle would have shafted us over any referendum.

  • Alex Macfie 30th May '24 - 1:08am

    Apropos the role of Opposition in a Parliamentary democracy, of course the Opposition might vote with the government on legislation wherer there is mutual agreement, but I don’t accept that the Opposition should be helping the party of Government to fulfill the mandate on which the Government was elected. In particular, while the Tories were elected in 2019 on a promise to “Get Brexit Done”, the Lib Dems were elected to “Stop Brexit”, and accordingly continued to vote against it in Parliament.

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