Jo on Today: This election is the chance to stop Brexit and deliver a positive, liberal future

Jo Swinson gave her first interview of the election campaign to the Radio 4 Today programme.

She said that neither Jeremy Corbyn nor Boris Johnson were fit to lead the country. Brexit would damage our public services and our economy and people now have the opportunity to stop it and the way to do that is to vote for the Liberal Democrats.

She highlighted how we are winning all over the country in places which voted to remain and to leave. In May we beat both Conservatives and Labour. She says that Leave voters respect the fact that we stand up for what we believe in.

She said that hundreds of seats are within range for us, even those with massive majorities. She pointed out that in 2015, the SNP overturned massive Labour majorities.

Both Labour and Conservative parties are offering different versions of Brexit while the Lib Dems offer a positive, liberal vision for the country.

I’ve known Jo for 15 years now, and I’ve seen how she is by nature a very collaborative person. She has always worked across parties. I remember catching up with her in her Westminster office just after she became a minister.  While we chatted, she signed a huge pile of letters to every MP saying that her door was open to them, writing personal messages on many of them. Her first instinct was to reach out across Parliament – even though by that stage the atmosphere there was deeply tribal.

She is a generous spirited, open, compassionate person and these are the values she would bring to the office of Prime Minister. We need someone with the skills and attitude to bring the country together. Jo is that person. She is the Prime Minister we need right now.

The segment started with a report from Cheltenham, highlighting the threat we pose to the Conservatives in these areas. One voter said that he would vote for whoever would resolve Brexit quickest. Well that has to be us. Labour and Tories would have us spend the 2020s renegotiating trade deals and facing the possibility of a no deal cliff edge at the end of the transition period with the EU at t he end of 2020.

Let’s get out there and make that happen. It’s going to be cold, it’s going to be dark, but we have a positive message that we all believe in with all our hearts and can feel very confident taking to people’s doorsteps.

 

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

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3 Comments

  • Bill le Breton 30th Oct '19 - 8:49am

    Jo connects well with people and is already connecting.

    Also we have a neat slogan Stop Brexit, which can work with Stop Brexit for … (add prosperity and fair taxes and better services and better NHS to save Blogton’s bus service ) so our comms are straightforward and easily ‘localised’.

    We can expect a high volume of electronic collateral from HQ. But are we free and able and guided in its use?

    Our target audience is steeped in communicating electronically.

    Surely, once a day, every Lib Dem that wants to make a difference can ping to their address books on each of their platforms a message, a cartoon, a photo, something personal and local.

    Sometimes political forums remind me of badly organised committee rooms on election day. Crowded and chatty and warm. Good committee rooms have no-one in them. People returning are spun round immediately with another task, paired up or teamed up and kicked out of the door before they know what’s happened to them.

    Be busy. Demand a job. Get on with making our own wall of Lib Dem communication and connection.

    Have fun and win.

  • Sue Sutherland 30th Oct '19 - 1:18pm

    Thank you for your positivity Caron. I agree with you and I think we must emphasise that voting Brexit now means endless trade negotiations and Brexit debates into the distant future, as you say. The only way to stop Brexit is to revoke Article 50. If people are fed up with it all and wish we’d never had a referendum in the first place ( and many do feel like that) this could be a winning argument.

  • Richard Underhill. 30th Oct '19 - 8:32pm

    Lib Dems have a candidate for PM, previously Vince Cable, previously Roy Jenkins.
    What she needs is a lot of supporting MPs.

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