Jo: If you want a future in the EU, you need to vote Liberal Democrat

Jo Swinson went on The Andrew Marr Show today to give an unequivocal message that a vote for the Liberal Democrats was a vote to stop Brexit.

In contrast, she warned that a vote for Labour was a vote for Brexit.

She also said that it was a shame that pro Remain parties weren’t voting together in the European elections, but she emphasised that they would continue to work together in Parliament for a People’s Vote to ensure we could stay in the EU.

Jo faced some challenging questions from Mishal Hussein. The very first one was about austerity and its effect on local government and how that squared with our local elections campaign.

Jo answered that one as well as she could, pointing out the effectiveness of Liberal Democrat councils and councillors in delivering for their communities but acknowledging the cuts and the economic crisis at the time when the Coalition Government came to power and highlighting how much worse the Conservatives got when we left Government.

She performed really well and did what she needed to do – hammer home the “Vote for Lib Dems is a vote to stop Brexit” message and talk about our excellent prospects in the local elections. She was very clear on both of these points.

She wasn’t put off course by the technical problems that delayed the start of the programme. Jo explains what happened here.

Watch the whole thing here from 18:42

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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48 Comments

  • Bernard Aris 28th Apr '19 - 3:26pm

    I thought Jo was briljant too, but the “Brexit in the media”context sure helped too:

    1) the piece in The Observer today of a Labour activist’s revolt (including pressure on the Monumentum people on the NEC) about putting the Second Referendum pledge in the EP manifesto and the EP campaign folders; coupled with the news on the Guardian website from Labour negotiator (with the May Government) Rebecca Long-Baily MP, that Labour is willing to dump the Referendum bit in order to get a stitchup deal with May;
    2) The iffing and butting of Labours campaign manager on the same Marr show about that Referendum pledge in the EP campaign;
    3) The Labour council re-opening a local coal mine just when Corbyn seeks to distract attention from the civil war in his party (by all of a sudden declaring a “Climate Emergency”); and
    4) the litany of complaining Tory Activsts being demoralised the Tory party charman was confronted with (see the LDV posting about that below).

  • Peter Martin 28th Apr '19 - 3:50pm

    “A vote for Labour is a vote for Brexit”

    As, no doubt, is a vote for the Tories, UKIP, and the Brexit Party.

    Ms Swinson doesn’t seem to have much foresight in pushing this argument. What is she going to say after the results are all known ? Is she then going to acknowledge that the total vote for Brexit was much higher that the total vote for Remain?

  • John Marriott 28th Apr '19 - 4:20pm

    Where was Andrew? Come back, all is forgiven. Not the greatest ‘Marr’, what with the ‘technical problems’, which forced a change of channel and an overly aggressive Mishal Husain. Quite frankly, the politicians on display were, to a man (and woman) less than impressive. Which makes me reckon that the turnout next Thursday will be poor. Mind you, given the number of people with postal votes that won’t be that surprising!

    As for Ms Swinson’s saying it was “a shame that Pro Remain parties weren’t voting together” in the Euro Elections, I’d call that a disaster. I’m sure that that bit of iPhone posted ore interview was well intentioned; but it makes her sound like an excited schoolgirl, who can’t quite believe where she is. God, I really hate social media. But again, I am 75 and my views don’t really count any more in this brave new world of instant communication. Ah well, back to Jurassic Park, then.

  • Peter Martin
    My guess is it will be more of the “it was a protest vote against the Tories/people were confused/revoke article 50” stuff.

  • Paul Barker 28th Apr '19 - 4:57pm

    Right now we are saying that a Vote for Labour will probably make Brexit more likely, given Corbyns long-standing opposition to The EU, that seems reasonable.
    When it comes to counting up the Votes we have to recognise that most Voters pay almost no attention to Politics & that Labour have run a very “Clever” campaign to convince both Leavers & Remainers that they are really on their side. It makes no sense to put all Labour Voters or all Consevatives in in one camp or the other.

  • David Evans 28th Apr '19 - 5:05pm

    Bernard, you need to be careful in what you believe. As Gwyn Williams says “The Council is not reopening a coal mine. Cumbria Council as Mineral Planning Authority has approved an application from West Cumbria Mining to mine metallurgical or coking coal,” but in addition, Cumbria is controlled by a joint Labour and Lib Dem administration and the vote was unanimous with all councillors of all parties on the committee (including Lib Dems) voting in favour.

  • Richard O'Neill 28th Apr '19 - 8:54pm

    Again, MEPs have no power to stop Brexit. It is misleading to tell people that a vote for the party’s candidates in this specific election will stop it. Rightly we go after Farage and his kind when they peddle misinformation on the workings of the EU, and then turn round and do the same.

    Beyond that, the party is pledging to support a second referendum. There is no garuntee that this will lead to a remain vote. It could even lead to a Hard Brexit if that ends up on the ballot paper.

    I understand the need to pursue votes short-term but making bold promises that can’t be delivered is unwise.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Apr '19 - 1:13am

    I would be keen if our excellent team put the whole of these types of interview, I missed it and now have to muck about with passwords to get into the wretched i player, my how I dislike what the BBC has got itself into, I can access Sky online in seconds, but pay a tv licence which I detest but have to spin hoops to see it.

    Form all her recent appearances, unlike commentators here , after this, or online in comments about the interview, I both would like Jo to not stop moving her hands around, but continue the moving them, and it is becoming my view she is best for next leader.

    I think her hands , like her voice , and personality , and character are why I like her.

    I disagree with some of her modern emphasises, just over a decade her senior in age, I am not as keen on identity politics or modern parlance related to this.

    I do not start any sentence with “so!”

    But her views, like the qualities I mention, are on the whole very mainstream and sensible.

    She has what Sir Vince lacks, energy of personality.

    I am not a great admirer of this interviewers approach, but from the extracts here, think our deputy did very well, her expressiveness her finest attribute.

  • Martin Land 29th Apr '19 - 6:50am

    @david raw
    And that, in a nutshell is why Jo should not be our next leader. The coalition will be thrown at her time and again. Our new leader must be unblemished, untainted by the coalition.

  • John Marriott 29th Apr '19 - 8:06am

    “If you want a future in the EU, you need to vote Liberal Democrat”. Why not Green or Change UK? Or, if they promise another Referendum, even Labour. Surely that’s the problem. I am reminded of Lincoln’s Springfield address in 1858, where he said; “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.

    If Remain parties intend to use the Euro Elections as a quasi referendum on EU membership they might be in for an unpleasant surprise.

  • Jayne Mansfield 29th Apr '19 - 8:44am

    It looks very much that the Euro elections will be a two horse race between Labour and UKIP.

    A vote for Labour the Greens and any other party that is not the Liberal Democrats is not a vote against remaining in the EU. It should not be interpreted as such.

    I would not wish for the results for the Liberal Democrats in elections to be used to signify the strength of feeling of those of us who wish to remain in the EU.

  • I have the Lib Dems has coming second in the EU elections. Yougov had a three way tie between Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems for second if Labour don’t promise a confirmatory referendum in their manifesto and apparently, according to the BBC, he has the numbers on their NEC to prevent it.

    By Saturday therefore we will have two civil wars going on in the Labour and Conservative parties as the Tories meltdown in and after the locals. All we need do is give it a push by working hard for the locals this week!

  • William Wallace 29th Apr '19 - 10:32am

    While we are worrying about coal mines don’t forget that those involved with preserved railways have pointed out that if every coal mine in the UK is closed they will be in difficulties in firing up their steam engines. It’s a difficult issue for those of us who care about the environment, but also share nostalgia for steam railways. I enjoyed watching the Union of South Africa pulling an excursion through Saltaire on Saturday, on its way to the Settle-Carlisle line.

  • John Marriott 29th Apr '19 - 10:58am

    @Michael 1
    “I have the Lib Dems has(sic) coming second in the EU elections”. You have more confidence in psephology and its practitioners than I do. Well, we can, of course, dream.

    Your ‘final push’ theory “in the locals” is wildly optimistic, especially in Lincolnshire, where I live, where all seven District councils are up for grabs, and where, with the exception of Lincoln City, it’s the Lib Dems who appear to be the ‘endangered species’!

  • @John Marriott

    🙂 !

    With all due respect to Lincolnshire which I am sure is a very fine place, it wasn’t the last time I looked the whole of the country even if you would like it to be!

    So vast tracks of the country will be like Lincolnshire but not all of it and the Tories may well win 50% of the seats (this cycle is mainly fought in the Tory districts with London, Wales and Scotland taken out and ward in the cities much bigger and so few of them) but that would be 10% down – some 850+ losses.

    If that happens or anything close (more than 400 losses) then imagine what Tory MPs will do egged on by all those former councillors in their constituencies who have lost a nice little earner (or fearful they might) for sitting on the backsides and going on council jollies (as we all know Tory councillor don’t do any work). There will be blood on the carpet come Monday morning and it won’t be a pretty sight!

    Rallings and Thrasher on Sky News has the Tories on 400 losses but that assumes a 35% vote share which you would have thought they might achieve if you are looking at the share before April 1st which they were (their analysis is based on by-elections since November – all but a handful of which occurred before April 1st and their poll rating has plummeted from the high 30s to the mid-20s).

    My prediction for vote share is
    Tories 25%-30% – most likely 29% (against 35% equivalent in 2015)
    Labour 28%-34% – most likely 30% (against 29%)
    Lib Dems 14%-20% – most likely 18% (against 11%)

    A big wildcard is the parties not standing in the locals that together have a sizeable poll rating between them and most have Labour around 34% – I can’t see it and am more pessimistic for them than that. As to seats who knows but it could easily unwind against the Tories as the better you do under FPTP the more you win proportionately and the worse… and last time the Tories won 60% of the seats on 36% of the vote.

    Anyway go to Lincoln on Thursday and do some telling (or more) and take your tablet or laptop and you can moan at the same time about how wrong I am on everything and kill two birds with one stone 🙂 !

  • John Marriott 29th Apr '19 - 1:11pm

    @Michael 1
    As Reagan famously said to President Jimmy Carter in the second US Presidential debate in 1980; “There you go again”! (I think he repeated it to opponent, Walter Mondale, four years later)

    Let’s just see what actually happens if or when the results are counted. If you go back to what I actually said you will see that I was referring to your comment about the EU Parliamentary Elections, NOT the local elections.

    As far as my going “to Lincoln on Thursday”, I have to tell that I have done my share of late night counts on Election nights over the past forty odd years. They are now way past my bedtime and, in any case, I can be pretty certain where my former party will end up in each of the wards it is contesting.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 29th Apr '19 - 1:39pm

    I feel very uneasy about this message that “A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit”.
    This seems to be going much further than the official party policy, voted on by Conference, of holding a “second referendum”, or “referendum on the deal”. It no longer seems to be “let the people have the final say”. Just “Stop Brexit”.
    I feel especially uneasy about the fact that the ballot paper will actually say “Liberal Democrats – to stop Brexit”.
    Some people who voted Leave do still vote Lib Dem, because they support to party on other issues. There are also plenty of Lib Dem voters who voted Remain but believe the referendum result should be respected. How can they be expected to vote Lib Dem if it means actually placing an X beside the words “to stop Brexit”?

  • David Becket 29th Apr '19 - 1:51pm

    @Catherine
    I can see the reasoning behind this, with no agreement with Change or Green this is an attempt to put us at front of the strongly remain list. If it works we could get up to 20% of the vote, which will give us more seats than last time.

    However Lib Dems who support remain or believe the referendum should be honoured will walk away and not vote for us.

    The unknown question is “How many of them if we had said Vote Lib Dem for the Peoples Vote?” would have supported us

    Difficult! We would have been in the same field as Change and, hopefully, the Labour Party. This is indeed a rock and hard place.

    The party might have made the right decision, but only might.

  • @John Marriott

    LOL!

    There YOU go again!!!!

    With respect your second paragraph (of two and the longest) WAS about local elections. Of course political predictions are a mug’s game especially with First Past the Post. But there is a high-ish possibility that events will be approximately as I outline.

    PART of the issue with the Lib Dem poll rating is the classic catch-22 in that people say they won’t support us until people support us… This MAY be (partly) solved IF we are seen to do well on Thursday. If so we move into a clear lead of the “pack” of Remain parties – Lib Dem, Green, CHUK and that in turn leads to more support…

    On the other side you may see carnage. If the Tory losses are “bad” you will see calls for the immediate resignation of May, more calls for a no-deal Brexit, others countering that. Tory MPs calling for people to vote for the Brexit party and keeping their Tory membership etc. etc.

    Labour will probably more unified if only because of the Tories disunity. If they make losses (which is unlikely or under a 100 gains) there might be more calls for Labour to back a confirmatory referendum (the NEC looks likely to back their current fudge).

    That I was being “dreaming” about the Euros needs this explanation of what MIGHT happen in the locals and aftermath. That Yougov has Lib Dems, Tories, Labour tied with Labour not backing a confirmatory referendum is fact but enough may think Labour have gone far enough to satisfy them. I think us on 14%+ (and 9+ MEPs) is more than likely.

    I am of course optimistic about the party I am a member of and support but I do try and be relatively objective.

    I am though as you know the “Mystic Mike” of political predictions!!!!!

  • Alex Macfie 29th Apr '19 - 3:09pm

    Martin Land: The Coalition will be “thrown at us time and again” whoever is leader. Yes, even if that is Layla, or someone else with no connection to that era. The Tories were reminding voters of “the last Labour government” and its failures right up to their 1997 defeat, even though Tony Blair was first elected to Parliament in 1983. Having the past thrown back at you is a normal part of politics — there’s nothing special about the Lib Dems and the Coalition. But the law of diminishing returns applies, so just as the Winter of Discontent did not resonate with voters in 1997, so Tuition Fees and all the rest of it will resonate less and less with voters as time goes by. Already it’s becoming history and being overtaken by events. It’s a bit of a cheek for Labour to go on about it when their leader J Ramsay MacCorbyn is talking to the Tories.

  • Alex Macfie 29th Apr '19 - 3:11pm

    “There are also plenty of Lib Dem voters who voted Remain but believe the referendum result should be respected.”

    This argument makes no sense at all. It’s like a Lib Dem voting Tory or DUP because the 2017 general election result “should be respected”.

  • @Catherine Jane Crosland

    As it happens, although it was mooted “Liberal Democrats – to stop Brexit” is not one of our descriptions on the Electoral Commission website (no new descriptions have recently been approved by the electoral commission recently for us and “Liberal Democrats” is what appears in the statement of persons nominated by the returning officers) – whether a good or bad thing.

    http://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/English/Registrations/PP90

    On the wider point there are some issues where “triangulation” as Blair and Clinton would have it and compromise may have some merit.

    I would venture this is not one and boldness and clarity is what is needed – especially for us and there is at least virtually no downside for us! How much upside there is we will see but at least a third of voters (shown by our, CHUK and Green and a portion of Labour’s poll ratings and the millions that signed the Revoke Article 50 petition) are “hard” remainers and personally I would settle for 33% in the Euros! And we are in competition for that vote.

    That we are pleasant people who see the pros and cons in any proposal and the only (main) party with democratic policymaking where we have to compromise somewhat between ourselves has great merits and may lead us to good policies but sadly ones that can lack clarity with the public.

    On official party policy we agreed at the Spring Conference to call for the revocation of Article 50 (stop Brexit) if a deal hadn’t been agreed by March 29th.

  • Paul Barker 29th Apr '19 - 3:22pm

    As the venerable Mark Pack has pointed out, small Parties can either (with a lot of repetition) be known for one thing, or not known for anything. Its our opposition to Brexit or nothing.
    Both Polling & the results of Local by-elections suggest we can be hopeful about Thursday.
    For the European Elections we have no idea. The last 3 Polls are fairly consistent about Us, putting us at 7-8% but both Change & The Greens vary between 4% & 10%.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 29th Apr '19 - 3:26pm

    Michael 1, I had heard that the party had applied to the electoral commission to have “Liberal Democrats – to stop Brexit” on the ballot paper, and I had seen it stated as a fact a few times on Lib Dem Voice that this would be appearing on the ballot paper. But perhaps the electoral commission did not approve it – I don’t know. Certainly putting it on the ballot paper would have made it quite impossible for many people to vote Lib Dem.

  • OnceALibDem 29th Apr '19 - 3:29pm

    “As it happens, although it was mooted “Liberal Democrats – to stop Brexit” is not one of our descriptions on the Electoral Commission website”

    This was – according to Mark Pack – something that was planned:
    https://www.markpack.org.uk/158396/liberal-democrat-ballot-paper-description/

    But it doesn’t seem to have happened which (IMO) is a bit of an omission

    https://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/EU%20Election%202019/YandH%20Statement%20of%20Parties%20and%20Individual%20Candidates%20Nominated.pdf

  • @David Raw

    No, of course you are right I am a mug 🙂 !

    Apart from that it is interesting and somewhat fascinating. I would venture that there is also no candidate who hasn’t analysed their canvass returns to try and divine whether they would win or football fan on their and the opposing side’s form and whether they will win. So few if any that take an interest in politics and certainly support one side will not want to know who will win or what will happen or try and make our own guesses (known as well informed estimates!). If that is not the case then many thousands of hours of TV been broadcast and trees felled for newspapers talking to no-one. (Most of which along with football punditry is absolute tosh!)

    I think also you wouldn’t set out on a journey without some knowledge of the current lie of the land and looking at a map! Forecasts and the data on which they are based are our map and tell us the current lie of the land. They can tell us whether it is best to bring hiking boots for a mountain or waders to cross a river. Indeed even if we encounter a river where we were expecting a mountain then it shows our understanding of the terrain was wrong which is in itself useful for the future journey.

  • @Catherine Jane Crosland – “A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit”

    Usually people complain that we don’t have simple, punchy messages for the electorate! The truth may be more nuanced, but we need to capitalise on the chaos in the Tory party and the desperate attempts by the Labour leadership to avoid anything resembling a clear policy, so I’m happy to see us run messages like that.

    Hardcore Leavers won’t vote for us anyway, and there are a growing number of disenchanted Remainers looking for a home for their protest vote.

    My preference is “No ifs, no buts, no Brexit”.

  • Jayne Mansfield 29th Apr '19 - 5:56pm

    @ Michael 1,

    ‘No, of course you are right, I am a mug!

    There’s nothing wrong with a bit of enthusiasm Michael, but sometimes one has to get a handle on it.

    I wouldn’t like to make predictions about the outcome of either of the two upcoming elections. I am unsure of the benefits of analysing polling results at this time of unprecedented turmoil, it won’t change anything. Instead one just has to use the available time attempting to persuade others to one’s particular cause.

  • @Catherine Jane Crosland

    No, you are right – this was the reporting. In fact “Liberal Democrats – to stop Brexit” is a pending description at the Electoral Commission but not yet approved. There is the opportunity, I believe for the public to comment on proposed descriptions and the Commission has to decide whether it meets their guidelines so it takes a little time and didn’t make it through before close of nominations for the Euro. If approved it obv. will be an option for future parliamentary by-elections and an option (not compulsory!) for council candidates if and when approved

    https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/party-or-campaigner/guidance-for-political-parties/pending-registration-applications/current-applications

  • @Jayne Mansfield

    I appreciate the point and of course you are right – to a degree. A slight criticism of local Lib Dem campaigners – myself included is that they don’t consider the (national) environment they are operating in enough. It is advantageous to consider what is happening for targeting strategies and messages to win EXTRA seats. I lost my seat by 20 votes when we had a local targeting strategy that viewed my seat as relatively safe. I was happy for that and people to work in other wards because while most of the time targeting strategies while they never get it completely right mean winning more seats. If we had thought more about the national picture we would have realised that it was a relatively good year for the Tories especially among the demographic in my ward. And equally we could have saved a few seats in my area if we had realised that it was a very good year for UKIP five years ago

    This year – it is a certainty (virtually) that we will make a minimum of 400 gains and the Tories 400 losses. They will be at least 5% down on their 2015 vote above this. Local campaigners can risk a SLIGHTLY more expansive targeting strategy against the Tories. Labour needs to be watched though as they might be up.

    To any Lib Dem winning on Thursday – remember it is not down to the brilliance of you and your campaign. The election is a start not an end. You need to run hard as they will be out to get you next time and remember the council is irrelevant to being a councillor and not somewhere to park your backside. Anyone not back out in the ward on Friday (well OK – Saturday at the latest) will risk losing next time. And for those that lose, it is also just a start – go and get them next time – recruit, surprise the electorate by still being there for them, practice community politics. It is what I am sure the great Liberal councillors that built this great party of ours such as Tony Greaves and John Marriott and David Raw of this parish did!

    Remember – win or lose being elected on to the council is actually totally irrelevant to being a councillor.

  • @David Raw

    “I just heard a scream and a great big splash just now…..”

    From Number 10?

    Yes – it is a treacherous terrain for us political adventurers that want to reach the promised land! We may well have to part seas and climb mountains with only a Focus leaflet in hand! And sometimes, as you no doubt will point out we get shafted by our own side. But folks it is worth it – to leave this country, this planet a little better than when we entered it, in our short time here.

    But let’s have a dream. As we clamber out of bed before dawn to deliver the good morning leaflets. As we collapse exhausted – may be disappointed – after the count. As we go and knock on doors on Friday! For only those that have a dream reach the promised land! The rest don’t even start on the journey. And those that don’t dream don’t have the determination to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and start again when they meet an obstacle. They fall by the wayside. And those don’t dream, don’t run the extra mile and speed up even when winning but certainly when losing. They never reach the promised land as it is further away than it seems.

    Good luck to everyone in the trek to the promised land!

  • Andrew Tampion 29th Apr '19 - 10:56pm

    If a vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop then the Liberal Democrats have just lost my vote.

  • Matthew Huntbach 30th Apr '19 - 10:39am

    What we REALLY need to be doing is working to get the votes of those who voted Leave.

    We should be showing sympathy and understanding of why they did that – and give a proper explanation of why Leaving the EU will lead to the opposite of what they thought they were voting for.

    This really shouldn’t be difficult. A large proportion of those who vote Leave did so because they are unhappy with the way our economy has been pushed by every government since that of Margaret Thatcher, to an ever more extreme “free market” which in practice means control by international billionaires. They thought the EU was all about this.

    But are the leadng Brexiteers, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg the leading opposition to this. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are the leading supporters of it, and want to leave the EU to push it even further that way.

    So why can’t we say that? We’ll win the votes of many who voted Leave if we did – and keep the votes of those who voted Remain.

  • Peter Watson 30th Apr '19 - 11:08am

    @Matthew Huntbach “What we REALLY need to be doing is working to get the votes of those who voted Leave.”
    I completely agree.
    To me it appears that the Lib Dem strategy since the 2016 referendum has been counter-productive. It seems to have prioritised chasing the votes of the 48% who voted to remain in the EU and risks contributing to Brexit by failing to persuade the 52% who voted to leave the EU to change their minds.

  • Peter Martin 30th Apr '19 - 11:25am

    @ Matthew Huntbach,

    “We should be showing sympathy and understanding of why they did that – and give a proper explanation…. ”

    This is another manifestation of the elitist argument ‘ We’re sorry that things haven’t worked out too well for you, but we educated people really do know best. Let us have another try at explaining as follows…..”

    If you are so smart, why didn’t you make sure that things worked out better in the first place? Why did you impose austerity economics when there was no need for it? Not just in the UK but in the rest of the EU and eurozone too, where it was an even more stupid policy than it has been in the UK.

  • Peter Martin 30th Apr ’19 – 11:25am
    “We should be showing sympathy and understanding of why they did that – and give a proper explanation…. ”
    This is another manifestation of the elitist argument ‘ We’re sorry that things haven’t worked out too well for you, but we educated people really do know best. Let us have another try at explaining as follows………………..

    Not at all. No-one, Remainer nor Leaver, can be happy with the way things have turned out.
    It is not patronising to suggest that “What we have is not what we expected” and that “With all the problems perhaps Leaving is not such a good deal”. The follow up is that, “Now we know the facts, a vote on whether to accept what’s on offer seems sensible”..

  • Peter Martin 30th Apr '19 - 1:39pm

    @ Expats

    ” No-one, Remainer nor Leaver, can be happy with the way things have turned out.”

    I don’t know about that! It’s looking a lot rosier for Remainers now than it was on 24th June 2016. We are still in the EU getting on for three years after we voted to leave.

    Parliament has rejected all imaginable leave options. It looks only a matter of time before Art 50 is revoked. Possibly, but unlikely IMO, there will be another referendum but with the two options of Remain and some variant of May’s WA as the basis of what everyone, Remainers and Leavers alike, agree is a very bad deal indeed. That will largely be boycotted by the Leave side giving Remain an easy win.

    So what’s not to like from where you’re sitting?

  • OnceALibDem 30th Apr '19 - 2:30pm

    People above seem to want to rewrite the party strategy 23 days before an election. It’s way too late to do that.

    The stop Brexit strategy is entirely consistent with party policy and policy passed at conference. If people don’t like that that is a perfectly reasonable position to have but you can’t have a party who’s policies you shape to your own individual wishes.

  • nvelope2003 30th Apr '19 - 3:19pm

    That is how things are fixed in the real world. Almost everybody tells lies so someone, usually those with the real power, has to sort out an answer. Your views are your opinion and no more likely to be true than anyone else’s. When I look back on all the rubbish I have had to listen to in my life I do not really believe anything from anybody.

  • Matthew Huntbach 1st May '19 - 12:20am

    Peter Martin

    If you are so smart, why didn’t you make sure that things worked out better in the first place? Why did you impose austerity economics when there was no need for it?

    What on earth are you on about? I didn’t impose austerity economics.

    If you don’t mean me, Matthew Huntbach, but instead mean the Liberal Democrats, I was actually very critical of the Liberal Democrat leadership during the time of the Coalition. And the point I was making above, where you accuse me of being an “elitist” was actually meant to be further criticism of the Liberal Democrats.

    Yes, I am still a member of the party, but I have been very unhappy about it since the economic right-winger and posh fool, Nick Clegg, took over its leadership.

  • Matthew Huntbach 1st May '19 - 12:39am

    @ Peter Martin

    Why like others do you call cutting taxes for the rich “austerity economics” when it is actually the opposite of what austerity really means?

    Austerity means living without luxury. So if one was REALLY being austere, one would tax the rich more since once they have had enough money to pay for their necessities, anything else is for luxury. True austerity economics would do that in order to be able to pay more for government things that are necessary for good lives, but not luxury, like better health care and so on.

    If what you are saying is meant not to be personal criticism of me, but rather criticism of the Liberal Democrats, you really do need to understand that the Liberal Democrats did not control the Coalition. With just one sixth of its MPs, and not enough Labour MPs to make an alternative coalition viable, the Liberal Democrats were not in a position to force the Conservatives to drop what was their main pledge, which was to keep taxes down, especially for rich people.

    If the Coalition was not formed, we would have been in a mess like we are now with Brexit, because no majority for anything would have occurred. So I think it was a sad necessity, and forced on us by the disproportional electoral system that pushed the Tories up in MPs and us down, so making the Tory dominated coalition the only possible government.

    But then we have people the chance to vote against that sort of thing, and they voted in the referendum on electoral reform to stick to the system that pushed the Tories up and so enabled them to dominate the government.

    I think the Liberal Democrats should have been much more clear in stating this. But when I am being highly critical of the Liberal Democrat leadership, why do you write things that seem to be making personal attacks on me, Matthew Huntbach, as if I supported everything the leadership said and did?

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