Jo Swinson is impressive under the Andrew Neil grilling

Jo Swinson gave a very impressive performance under the grilling of Andrew Neil this evening on primetime BBC1. (You can view it here).

She was confident, offering contrition on the mistakes of the coalition and outlining the Liberal Democrat positions clearly.

There are plenty of past examples of car crash interviews with Andrew Neil at the helm. Jo did very well under his forensic questioning.

Here’s a selection of tweets reacting to tonight’s programme:

Isabel Hardman, assistant editor of The Spectator commented:

Brendan May, chair of the Robertsbridge global sustainability advisory firm, tweeted:

FT OpEd editor Miranda Green:

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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13 Comments

  • Nicholas M Cotter 4th Dec '19 - 11:06pm

    Jo was excellent – but guess what none of the Interview was shown on the BBC 10 o’clock news tonight …

  • Agreed. Jo did really well. I watched Neil’s interview with Tim Farron in the 2017 GE – that one was a car crash interview unfortunately for Tim.

  • David Allen 5th Dec '19 - 12:43am

    In all fairness, this was a very strong performance, Seinson’s best to date. Pity more people won’t be watching. Come on Boris, bite the bullet!

  • Indeed, Jo did well during the Andrew Neil interview, even if she didn’t always answer his questions. However, I was disappointed that she didn’t state austerity was the wrong policy, but defended austerity. (Even the IMF now recognise that austerity was the wrong policy https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2016/06/ostry.htm.) Hopefully by the time of the next general election our leader will be able to state that austerity was the wrong policy in 2010 and that we now recognise that when the economy is weak following an economic crash the correct policy is to stimulate the economy and not austerity which reduces demand and output. According to the IMF governments should “live with (increased) debt” and “allow the debt ratio to decline organically through growth”.

  • This is the Jo we need to see more often. The pivot from Revoke to PV was well executed and seemed to be a weight lifted from her shoulders. The “Look, this is what I believe and I think you should stand up for what you believe” attitude is clearly the real Jo. More of the same please.

  • Bernard Aris 5th Dec '19 - 1:56am

    Having watched election campaigns on TV from the 1970’s, and thus tons of campaign interviews, I was mesmerized and sat, as time went on, hopping on my seat from enthusiasm. This is the LibDem way, telling it like it was and is.

    In this election campaign, with
    *) Corbyn sitting on his fence and adding 58 billion to WASPI women OUTSIDE HIS “GREYBOOK” PLATFORM ACCOUNTING, on top of tens of nationalizations ;

    *) and Boris promising everybody everything, knowing Britain will be poorer after Brexit, so he won’t be able to pay all that;

    truth and honesty is our Unique Selling Point.

  • Bill le Breton 5th Dec '19 - 8:34am

    We owe Jo a huge debt of gratitude for fronting this campaign as leader. It is impossible to deny that much of the criticism she has received has been super-charged by misogyny. She also did a very strong interview with Jeremy Vine.

  • John Marriott 5th Dec '19 - 10:29am

    Just watched it. Yes, she was good, certainly better than JC. One thing, though. In this talk about another referendum, does it HAVE to be a binary choice again? If not, why not have No Deal v Deal v Remain, with voters putting them in order of preference? You probably know the rest.

  • Jo did do very well, and it reminds me how much poorer our political coverage is now that This Week has been repacked with the facile Brexitcast. I think Jo is weighted down a bit, by misogyny, yes, but also by a dislike of Scots leaders south of the border (which is what happened to Gordon Brown).

    More generally, I hope that Jo and everyone else learn not to give Boris what he wants in future, ie an election to get Brexit done when he had in fact just managed that. I hope we also learn that behind the shuffling shambles is a quite keen reactionary brain, and that we don’t underestimate him again.

  • Paul Barker 5th Dec '19 - 2:52pm

    Does anyone know what the Audience was or how often clips have been replayed ?

  • Thanks Michael BG for the useful url. Another on similar lines, saying clear things about “neoliberalism”, is by the author of The Joy of Taxes (qv), Richard Murphy, in a response to a Guardian editorial. I believe too many well-meaning Lib Dems have been bamboozled by the term ‘neoliberalism’, to the detriment of the whole kingdom. Murphy’s response illuminates the dodginess of the claim to reliable independence of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the IFS.

    But come on, chaps — let’s not gloat too much at Andrew Neil’s discomfiture: generally he’s doing a good job, and we shouldn’t expect him to win ’em all!

    https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2019/11/23/the-institute-for-fiscal-studies-is-a-reactionary-force-in-economics/

  • Peter Hirst 5th Dec '19 - 3:32pm

    She was impressive, lively, energetic, responsive and also getting our message across. She was very clear and perhaps too clear for this specific event; a few nuances might have pushed the interview earlier in her favour. She was also warm, something sadly lacking amongst most of the other candidates.

  • Anthony Acton 5th Dec '19 - 4:49pm

    We need to remember where we are coming from to appreciate the challenge Jo Swinson faces in this election. She is leading a party which by 2015 had ceased to exist as a political force in many parts of the UK. While we have recovered impressively in some places we are still almost non-existent across swathes of the country. Overall the party has been too weak to mount an effective national campaign. That is not Jo Swinson’s fault. Her resilience in the face of eg the BBC Question Time stitch up has been impressive. But within a year from now the electorate will surely see the true extent of Johnson’s deceptions, most notably “Get Brexit Done”, and take a terrible revenge on the Tories. Labour will remain unelectable, chained to Momentum and the hard left. The LibDems will then have a golden opportunity to rebuild the local power bases from which national elections are won.

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