Jo’s Day – 28 June 2019

Friday started with an endorsement for Jo (£) from the Independent:

Sir Ed trumpets his greater experience, which would serve the party well in such troubled times for the country. But we think Ms Swinson’s instincts on the critical issue of relations with other parties make her the right choice for Lib Dem members.

And a message on the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

The G20 needs to fix the world’s broken social contract, argued Jo in a piece for Wired:

We need a hopeful vision for the future, powered by a strong, liberal voice that understands that the new economy can neither be left to its own devices or be overly-managed by the state. Rather, it must be harnessed for the benefit of everyone. And it must take the public with us, building trust by placing liberal values of privacy, accountability, and transparency at its core.

The UK can and must be at the forefront of this change, leading the G20 and the world in creating an ethical tech-led economy centred on social well-being and environmental sustainability. That means overhauling how our society works, valuing the strengths of empathy, passion, and resilience that make us human, while embracing technology as an indispensable ally in meeting our biggest challenges.

In fairness to Ed, we do have to put a massive health warning before the next item. YouGov did a poll to determine the outcome of the next election around various scenarios of potential Labour Party policies.

They only tested Jo as leader, not Ed. And there is no suggestion that the result would be any different if they had, but it certainly shows the potential for the Liberal Democrats in general.  We could be on for winning a General Election and Labour could come fourth. With 17%. This happens if Labour does what it’s doing just now and sits on its hands to enable a Tory Brexit.

Thanking the Greens for stepping aside in Brecon and Radnorshire:

And, finally, on to the hustings in Cambridge.


Jo’s website is here and you can follow her on Twitter here.

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This entry was posted in Leadership Election and News.


  • Yeovil Yokel 30th Jun '19 - 8:56pm

    After tonight we will be able to choose Vince’s successor, and I’m still not sure who to vote for. Which one can best unite and lead the party in all its facets and shades of opinion, which one has the best-prepared policy ideas and can articulate them, which one can perform best under close media questioning, and which one will appeal more to the wider electorate? There is no such thing as a perfect candidate (for any job or role), so which of these two combines the best mixture of these and other attributes? Hmmm. My head says Ed, but my heart says Jo………

  • Yeovil Yokel 30th Jun '19 - 11:56pm

    Ruth, I am well aware of the paucity of women representatives in both UK and global politics. Of the top of my head I believe that the UK’s first female MP was in 1919, the first female party leader was in 1975, and Labour have never had a female leader (although I think that Margaret Beckett was Acting Leader for a short time after John Smith’s death in 1994); internationally the first female PM was Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka in 1960, and Israel’s Golda Meir followed later that decade.
    However, to choose a person for a political leader’s job on the basis of their gender alone, or because it’s Jo’s ‘turn’ (which is what you seem to be suggesting) would surely be wrong?
    Much as I would love for the Lib Dem’s to have a woman party leader (I would have voted for Shirley Williams in a flash if she’d been a candidate in the 80’s or 90’s), if I vote for Jo it will be because she satisfies more of the crude criteria I set out in my original post than Ed.

  • Ruth Bright 1st Jul '19 - 9:58am

    At the LSE hustings my impression was that for many people this is a finely balanced decision and therefore it would be reasonable for gender to be the deciding factor.

    How long do women have to be told to sit quietly, wait and hope to get there in the end?

    My grandmother was a Liberal Party/Lib Dem voter all her life. 1916-2001. Not a whiff of a leader of her own party of her own gender in her lifetime. I was born in 1967 and my daughter in 2003 at the present rate neither of us will see gender balance in parliament in our life times. How many more centuries do you think we have before this is sorted out?

  • Nonconformistradical 1st Jul '19 - 11:13am

    Ruth – this particular female member will not be casting her vote on the basis that gender should be the deciding factor.

    I will decide my own priority of criteria thank you. And gender will not be at the top of the list.

  • Sue Sutherland 1st Jul '19 - 12:21pm

    I disagree with Yeovil Yokel about the Leader needing to have the best prepared policy ideas. This could be a disaster if the Leader and members disagree. I don’t want to see a repeat of the Coalition when the leadership went off on their own and ignored the members leading to the tuition fees debacle. We need a leader who will assimilate agreed party policy and articulate it to the wider population and hopefully involve members more in the policy making process. We’re Lib Dems and I believe the recent elections showed us at our best because local activists, new and old, were tireless in their campaigning when it was difficult for our leaders to get any attention at all. It was the grass roots who won so many seats that people outside the party are now interested in who our new leader will be.

  • Paul Barker 1st Jul '19 - 2:19pm

    I voted for Jo & while her gender was a factor in my decision it wasn’t top of the list. For me the decisive thing was Joss’s greater openess to working closely with other Parties.

    For those who really can’t make up their minds its worth noting that there is an option to Vote & Abstain. The point is that your Vote would be counted in the turnout. Since our Election & The Tory one are running in parallel the media will have the chance to compare actual Voting figures for both Parties; if ours are higher than the Conservatives that would be a very useful boost.

  • Ruth – point of information, your list of leaders misses out Ming Campbell (betwn Kennedy and Clegg).

  • Richard Underhill 2nd Jul '19 - 9:37am

    Both candidates were on Channel 4 News on 1/7/19. Both were ready with one word answers. Neither has taken cocaine.
    I voted for one of them as first preference, not saying which, and for the other as second preference.
    The third box for registering abstention seems pointless.
    It is still possible to spoil a ballot, but why would anyone want to with two such reasonable candidates?
    So unlike the Tories.
    Two Tory MPs spoilt their ballots.
    Rory Stewart could be challenged and might say.

  • nvelope2003 2nd Jul '19 - 11:46am

    Lady Violet Bonham Carter might have been a good leader of the Liberals but despite several attempts she was unable to get a seat in the House of Commons because of our electoral system which has damaged the chances of others both male and female although there were women Liberal MPs, such as Margaret Wintringham, until Lady Megan Lloyd George lost her Anglesey seat and then joined the Labour party and later became Labour MP for Carmarthen.

  • I agree that voting for Jo only because she’s a woman would be dubious, but if you are someone who is overall happy that both are capable and confident they intend to represent your values, then it is legitimate to consider qualities that are more along the lines of ‘how does this make us look?’

    Our lack of female representation after the 2015 election wasn’t wholly our fault, but it was a stick with which to beat us, and whenever we challenge the Tories on their attitudes to equality, they quickly turn around and point out that they’ve had two female leaders whereas we, and Labour, have had none.

    On the other hand, I did see a member on twitter say that he didn’t have anything against a woman leader himself, but he thought that it would be easier for a man to be taken seriously at an international level, so thought it too soon for Jo. So don’t for a second think that there aren’t at least some people voting for the man because he’s a man.

    The way I see it, we talk about wanting to break the political mould, but if we have an excellent candidate who could become our first female leader, what does it say if we opt for the older, white bloke who went to private school then went to study PPE at Oxford? That particular demographic is already over-represented in Westminster. Ed will still play a very valuable role in the party regardless, but Jo is the one who lets us put our money where our mouth is.

    That’s not to say that those who definitely prefer Ed for all kinds of other excellent reasons shouldn’t vote for him, but I’ve been despairing at reading comments along the lines of Jo lacking the relevant experience (despite being deputy leader for the last two years) or the subconscious bias inherent within claims that a member likes both, but the older white public school educated man (with a Knighthood) comes across as more of a statesman than the well qualified and experienced younger woman who went to a comprehensive.

  • Sorry, I know it’s bad form to reply to yourself, but in the absence of an edit button, I feel I need to clarify that it’s not just about how our choice of leader looks to outsiders, but also to our own members. Ruth hits the nail on the head when she asks the question ‘how long do we need to wait?’

    Jo isn’t a candidate coming from no-where. She’s the current deputy leader and has spent the last couple of years putting in the hours for the party and learning the leadership ropes while Ed kept a lower profile. It would be wrong to vote only on gender, but missing out on an excellent opportunity to finally have a well qualified female leader would be a bad look for us.

  • @ Fiona “but the older white public school educated man (with a Knighthood) comes across as more of a statesman than the well qualified and experienced younger woman who went to a comprehensive”.

    1. He’s not that old – and she’s as white as he is.

    2. He won a free scholarship to a day school which historically has a strong liberal tradition.

    3. Agree on knighthoods. Guarantees a seat in a restaurant and that’s about it.

    4. The other one (the early middle aged white lady) became (at 35) a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)…… which as far as I know consists of the Falkands, the Pitcairns and a few odd tax havens. Not quite as posh as a knighthood but too young to be a Dame ?

    Sounds like a pretty even contest to me (despite the absurd baubles) though frankly a bit pedestrian compared to some of the Leaders I can remember.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 2nd Jul '19 - 4:37pm

    I like much of what both Ruth and Fiona say and David of course, especially as I am the same age as Ruth, in other words not a lot younger , a year or two, than Sir Ed, nice to be called, not that old!

    I do not call my beliefs feminist, or refer to me in that way. I support the goals of feminism as with all human rights and for equality for everyone.

    As a supporter of Jo, though, this for me, the label feminist, as a male supporter of those views, seems like appropriation rather than identity.

    Does that according to Jo.s view, make me, not a Liberal?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 2nd Jul '19 - 4:43pm


    Perhaps it is similar to being called a Zionist. I am not Jewish, but, as a staunch campaigning opponent of antisemitism, Jewish friends, colleagues, can see I have an understanding of the meaning in its truest form, of Zionism, as a liberation movement, going back to before Israel, and support it. Because I am not Jewish though, it might on this also, feel like appropriation, not identity to refer to myself as a Zionist, so, as with being a feminist, I , rather, say, I support the original goals of Zionism.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 2nd Jul '19 - 4:57pm

    I watched that Channel four interview yesterday too, Richard Underhill, where at the end both candidates were asked to give one word answers to a number of questions – and gave identical answers.
    I was distressed, but not entirely surprised, that in reply to the question “would you be prepared personally to press the nuclear button”, both, without hesitation, replied “yes”.
    I hope they were both lying. To be sure, it is wrong to lie to the public during an election campaign. But it is a good deal less morally wrong than being prepared to murder hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
    The course of action that both candidates claim to be prepared to take, would be the ultimate violation of human rights.
    This chilling claim contrasts strangely with both candidates’ condemnation of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt’s claim to be prepared to trigger a no deal Brexit. A no deal Brexit might be a disaster, but it would be a very minor one compared with the disaster our potential leaders are prepared to inflict on the world.
    And how can two candidates who have been promising to put “planet first”, apparently be prepared to unlease the ultimate threat to the planet?

  • Four cheers for, Lucy Bronze, the galactico from Berwick-upon-Tweed tonight when she and the Lionesses take on the U.S. of A.

    Berwick Rangers might have dropped out of the Scottish League in May, but Lucy has the genius to put Berwick back on the map again.

    Norway v England – FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ – YouTube
    Video for lucy bronze goal norway you youtube video▶ 2:1

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