Tag Archives: general election 2019

The most frustrating thing about Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson was on Sophy Ridge this morning, setting out very clearly that every single Liberal Democrat MP elected on Thursday would be absolutely focused on stopping Brexit.

She emphasised that Liberal Democrats could stop Boris Johnson getting a majority.

She also defended our policy of revoking Article 50 if the Liberal Democrats won a majority, saying that it was the most popular option amongst remainers, including Labour remainers. She could have mentioned that 6 million people signed a petition to do just that just a few months ago so the idea clearly has support.

Here are her highlights:

Sophy Ridge asked her about …

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Santa Rennie delivers festive lump of coal to SNP

It wouldn’t be an election without Willie Rennie doing something eye-catching.

And today, he took part in a Santa dash in Glasgow.

 

He placed the SNP firmly on the Naughty List for the decline in public services since they have been in government and suggested that they’d be getting a lump of coal on Christmas morning.

The only reason that the SNP want to talk about Brexit is because their domestic agenda is truly abysmal.

Hundreds of children are waiting far too long for mental health treatment, the third Police Authority chair in three years has resigned and we are falling down the international education rankings.

This Christmas the SNP deserve a lump of coal for the way they’ve mishandled these services. Our teachers, nurses and police officers are working hard day in day out but they don’t get the support they deserve from an SNP government which has independence on the brain.

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How YOU can help the Lib Dems get more MPs this week

There’s just five campaigning days left in the General Election. All of a sudden you seem to go from “Oh yikes, how the hell will I survive 5 weeks of this?” to “Oh Yikes, there’s only five days to do all this?”

What matters to us all on Friday morning is the number of Lib Dem MPs we have. Noble third places count for nothing.

If you are not in one of the seats we hope to win on Thursday, please either get to your nearest one, or make phone calls from your own home into it. The party has set up a nice tool to let you know which one you should go to.

I have always done this. Sometimes, my local party where I live has not been happy about this. I remember the horror in the West Lothian local party in my first election when I moved there when I said I was heading to Edinburgh South. We didn’t win there in that election, but we were a top target and laid the groundwork for wining the Scottish Parliament seat two years later.

When I lived in the East Midlands, I worked in the target seat of Chesterfield which we  won in 2001.

At this stage of the campaign, we need to make sure that the target seats win. What you have done already will have helped you build for next time. And it can be hard, when you have put lots of effort into your local campaign to leave it and head elsewhere.

But if you can be part of winning a brighter prospect, that will also help you in more ways than one. Firstly, a good result for the party helps us all. More MPs = more influence in Parliament. For the country that is a good thing because it gives us the chance to stop Brexit.

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The Lib Dem pitch to the rural left

Those of us who are left of centre in rural areas are often completely missed from political discourse, despite our long history of distinctive political belief.  Rural people are, obviously, spread out both geographically and economically. We live in smaller communities and have much smaller workplaces. The result of this is a more individualistic yet supportive community where people rely on themselves first and their neighbours second. Liberal philosophy is ideally placed to appeal to these rural values, giving a hand up when needed while getting out the way when not.

How can our liberal message best appeal to the many areas of the country that are represented by the Conservatives yet badly let down by their safe seat apathy?

Our economic message must fit both rural reality and rural values. We must build a framework that allows small and micro businesses to thrive by busting monopolies that are especially damaging in rural areas. Across the country, monopoly power is costing ordinary people billions. The uncompetitiveness of the energy market costs the country £1.7bn but the renewable revolution allows us to rebuild the energy market around communities and their needs, returning the profits of relatively small-scale renewables to the areas in which they are based. A new model of distributive rather than concentrative markets must be built, in which ownership and control are shared widely through mutuals, cooperatives and small enterprise.

We must also build the infrastructure rural areas need to succeed. Our support for universal high-speed broadband as well as better public transport is vital to helping fledgeling businesses to survive, while we also need to be building affordable and social housing to ensure we can halt the rural brain drain. I, myself, am an example of that drain, moving from the village I grew up in to the nearby city of Lincoln for work and to study.

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Jo Swinson shines in Andrew Neil interview

Jo Swinson was 3 when Jeremy Corbyn became an MP in 1983. That longer experience did not help him when he faced Andrew Neil last week. He was tin-eared, evasive and failed to connect with the audience.

Boris Johnson can’t even be bothered to show up.

In contrast, Jo was amazing tonight. Neil didn’t hold back, asking her some very tough questions. She answered every single one with clarity, competence and candour. She was very clear that she hadn’t got it right on everything  in the coalition and said the word that politicians so rarely use – sorry.

At the same time, she articulated a proper, liberal, internationalist message, showing how we are open, generous spirited and inclusive.

I have known Jo for long enough to know that she never gives up. Our election campaign has not seen the rise in the polls we deserve, given that we have a manifesto that is more redistributive than Labour’s, is the most economically competent and is much better on social justice than anyone else’s. A lesser leader could have turned their face to the wall. That is not Jo’s style. She and we will keep fighting for every single vote right up until 10pm next Thursday night.

Here are her best bits:

And we can stop Brexit We did it twice and we can do it for good:

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Dom Joly: I’m backing Lib Dem Max Wilkinson in Cheltenham

Dom Joly, the TV comedian, is throwing his support behind the Lib Dem candidate in Cheltenham, Max Wilkinson:

For so long, due to our ridiculously unfair first-past-the-post electoral system, my vote has meant nothing when cast in a constituency with a massive majority for the sitting MP.

This is why I’m so excited, having just moved to Cheltenham, to feel that my vote really can make a difference in this Lib-Dem/Tory marginal. I am putting all my support behind the Lib-Dem candidate, Max Wilkinson, as I think he will make a superb local MP.

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Jo’s best bits from the BBC Debate

Seven leading figures from the various parties competing in the election took part in a televised debate from the National Assembly of Wales.

We are a site made up of Lib Dem supporters. Of course we are going to back our leader. But she surpassed even our expectations.

Her opening statement offered hope, and a country where everyone is valued regardless of religion, who they love or the colour of their skin, working with our closest friends to save the planet, nurturing the bonds in our family of nations, protecting the vulnerable.  A proper liberal vision.

She had the line of the debate.

She didn’t mention that it was a horror show, though…

And here’s her closing statement:

She highlighted why Lib Dem spending plans were not only effective, but added up.

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Election Diary 3: Into the final stretch

Harold Wilson stated more than fifty years ago that a week was a long time in politics, and in a general election campaign this is especially true. There are just under two weeks left until the country goes to the polls, and a huge proportion is still up for grabs in this most divisive election. It is also the most important since Margaret Thatcher’s election in 1979, which fundamentally changed Britain, for better or worse. 

It is therefore little surprise that two main parties have recently shifted their focus going into the final weeks and days of the campaign. Labour, despite Jeremy Corbyn’s increased poll ratings, has not garnered enough support to pose a real threat to Boris Johnson’s plans for majority rule. His party has now focused its attempts on retaining its Northern Leave-voting seats, which could give the Lib Dems an opportunity to heavily target previously Labour-supporting Remainers. The huge spending pledges have not caught the public’s imagination as much as Corbyn and Seumas Milne would have wanted, nor have their plans for large-scale renationalization. Or, for that matter, the party’s disgraceful failure to combat, let alone admit to, its anti-Semitism. 

A new poll, employing a method that accurately predicted the 2017 election result claims that the Lib Dems are on course for thirteen MPs if the election were held today. If true, this would a disastrous. After the recent successes in European and local elections, such a poor showing would mean that the Remain voice would have virtually no voice in Parliament, and would, I fear, mean the final failure of the Remain campaign as a whole. 

The party’s pledge to revoke Article 50 is one of the main reasons for this slump. Speaking to even the most ardent Europhiles, I have found a disquiet about the policy. For Jo Swinson to succeed, she needs to position herself as the moderate, opposing both the extremes of Corbyn and Johnson. Supporting revoking does exactly the opposite. It presents the Liberal Democrats as un-democratic, ignoring the first vote and not allowing even a second. Much anger in the public at this extreme turn has meant that a rethink is needed if the current poll figures are to be reversed. 

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Dan Snow and Deborah Meaden back the Lib Dems

Two well kent faces from the world of television have backed the Liberal Democrats in the General Election.

Historian and broadcaster Dan Snow says:

And Dragon’s Den’s Deborah Meaden is also voting for us this time:

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James Gurling writes…What should Liberal Democrats learn from the MRP?

Every General Election campaign has a ‘hold your nerve’ moment.

And last night’s YouGov MRP polling announcement is one such moment.

It’s a wake-up call for anyone who doesn’t want to see a Tory Brexit being delivered in two weeks’ time.  And we can’t pretend it doesn’t have challenges for our position.

But the situation is always more complicated for Liberal Democrats. Our national seat campaigns are being rolled out in a heavily focused way.

We can see from recent seat polls in places like Finchley & Golders Green and Wimbledon that, when voters in those specific constituencies are asked how they are voting, we are doing much better than this model suggests.

Because our target seat campaigns are so focused in key areas, it makes it hard for data modelling like MRP to pick up our activity. What is clear is that our local seat activity is shifting significantly more votes our way in these seats than across the UK as a whole. And we know from 2017 that the number of doorstep conversations is the greatest indicator of electoral success.

A General Election isn’t a single UK-wide poll. It’s 650 separate races, and modelling like MRP will not necessarily identify the differences in what is going on in communities up and down the country, where people are struggling to decide how best to simultaneously stop Brexit, avoid a Corbyn Government and deny Johnson a working majority.

Voting choices that seem obvious in one seat are anathema in another.

MRP data modelling is very different in character to traditional polling which we tend to be more familiar with.

Multiple Regression and Post-stratification modelling is an extremely clever way of producing estimates of opinion for defined geographic areas by combining information from huge national samples (but very small constituency samples) with authoritative data from sources such as ONS and the Census.

The MRP authors themselves attach a significant caveat to their report stating “Our sample is large enough that we can identify patterns that occur across relatively small numbers of constituencies, but the largest model errors are likely to occur in constituencies with very atypical patterns of voting.  Some examples of these are seats where there is a high profile independent candidate (e.g. Beaconsfield) or where there appears to be a new pattern of local competition in this election (e.g. Kensington)”.

In short, to work properly MRP requires a high degree of interpretation by professional analysts.  And assumptions at the margins, can make huge differences when extrapolated out across a national position.

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What’s in a (Net Zero) date?

One of the questions that’s likely to be asked in tonight’s Channel 4 environment leader’s debate is about the target date by which the UK should reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions. In the summer the government legislated for 2050. In September Liberal Democrat conference voted for our policy paper Tackling the Climate Emergency, which argued for 2045. The Labour conference voted for 2030 (though that’s not in their manifesto). The Green Party has gone for 2030, and Extinction Rebellion campaigns for 2025. 

Against these targets, our policy can look rather cautious. 2045 seems like a long way away; doesn’t that mean that government will do nothing until a few years beforehand and then rush to hit it? I’m sure Lib Dem Voice readers know what’s wrong with that argument – although this was the approach that a Conservative minister genuinely suggested to Ed Davey when we were in government.

Arguing over the net zero target date in isolation is simplistic and misleading. In reality, reaching net zero will require enormous effort, stretching over decades and affecting all sectors of the economy; it’s not something you can leave to the last moment. The real debate we need to have is over how we plan to meet the target; what’s the policy programme that cuts emissions fast where we know how to, and lays the foundations for progress where we don’t yet know the right solutions? And when you start to think about what’s needed for electricity, heating, transport, aviation, industry, farming and land use – and how you persuade people to change the way they live their lives, because it isn’t only about government action – you start to understand why near-term targets like 2025 or 2030 are an unrealisable fantasy.

Liberal Democrats set out, in our policy paper and in the manifesto, how we can make rapid progress in cutting emissions from power generation, through accelerating the uptake of renewables, and in heat in buildings, through a massive energy efficiency programme. Between them we think we can cut UK emissions by more than half over ten years.

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What can we take from the MRP seat projections?

13 seats.

That’s what the  You Gov MRP seat projection says we’re going to get.

Not what we wanted to hear.  YouGov only spoke to a small number of people in each seat. Our campaign teams on the ground will have spoken to thousands more people over the last few weeks. They are likely to have a much more accurate idea of what is going on and I think that they will find these projections surprising.

But note the caveat from YouGov

The idea behind MRP is that we use the poll data from the preceding seven days to estimate a model that relates interview date, constituency, voter demographics, past voting behaviour, and other respondent profile variables to their current voting intentions. This model is then used to estimate the probability that a voter with specified characteristics will vote Conservative, Labour, or some other party.

This is a Brexit election though. Brexit is an issue which has split the country into Leave and Remain voters. Traditional patterns of voting for each party may well not apply.

I’m grateful to Morgan Griffith-David for doing this work for me so I don’t have to, but the poll only gives us 13 seats, it puts us in touching distance in another 23. This should concentrate the minds of pro-Remain voters. For example, Brecon and Radnorshire is projected as Conservative 49%, Lib Dem 35%, Labour 14%. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what Labour voters need to do to stop the Tories, whose vote is not split by the Brexit party this time.

These, and others, are the seats where Remainers really need to get behind the Lib Dems to stop Boris Johnson getting a majority which will enable him to inflict Brexit hell on the country.

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Restoring the benefit cuts – a look at our manifesto and the Labour Party’s manifesto

In 2017 we proposed spending more than the Labour Party on reversing some of the benefit cuts since 2010. This year the Institute for Fiscal Studies after looking at both of our manifestos concluded, that while we both increase benefit spending “to around its 2010 level … this money doesn’t go as far as it used to, because of underlying pressures pushing up benefits spending, including rising housing costs and a bigger population. Taking these into account, these pledges would only reverse around a quarter of discretionary cuts to benefits since 2010.”

According to the Labour Party’s costings they plan to increase spending on working-age social security by £8.4 billion by 2023/24 (page 4). (They just give a total without breaking the figures down.) In their manifesto they state they will scrap the benefit cap and the two-child limit, they will split benefit payments for couples, and they will restore fortnightly payments and paying the housing element directly to landlords (page 73).They will also end the ‘digital only’ approach for claiming benefits. All these reforms were suggested by Philip Alston the UN Rapporteur on extreme poverty in his report this year. Furthermore, they will scrap the bedroom tax and increase the Local Housing Allowance by an unspecified amount, end Work Capability and PIP Assessments and make sure these are done “in-house”. They will restore the extra money for those in the Work-Related Activity Group receiving Employment and Support Allowance cut by the Conservatives.

The Labour Party claim that they “will eradicate in-work poverty in our first term by tackling the structural causes of poverty and inequality, such as low pay and high living costs, while raising the floor provided by our social safety net” (page 59 of their manifesto). I couldn’t find in their manifesto what they would increase benefit levels to. I believe for a couple, one of which works 16 hours a week on Labour’s new National Living Wage of £10 an hour, for their income to reach the poverty line the couple’s benefit level would need to be increased by just over £46 a week (about 40%) even assuming work allowances were restored to their 2015 level for people without children. I estimate this would cost in the region of £11 billion a year.

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Greg Dyke: Why I’m backing the Lib Dems

Greg Dyke, the broadcaster and former Director-General of the BBC is endorsing the Liberal Democrats in the General Election:

This is the most important general election in living memory. As a staunch remainer I’ll be supporting the Liberal Democrats partly because they are the leading anti-Brexit party but also because they have a progressive, centre-left, business friendly agenda. There is no way in a million years I could bring myself to support a party led by Boris Johnson, a man no-one should trust, or a party led by Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong anti-European pretending he’s not. This is our last chance to stay in the EU.

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Michael Heseltine: Reject Boris Johnson and vote Lib Dem

It’s been a weekend of high profile endorsements of the Lib Dems.

First, Alastair Campbell went canvassing with our Luciana Berger in Finchley and Golders Green:

Then Dominic Raab’s predecessor as Conservative MP for Esher and Walton backed Lib Dem Monica Harding.

From the Surrey Comet:

In a dramatic twist in the race for his old seat, Mr Taylor urged residents not to vote Conservative and said the Lib Dem’s candidate Monica Harding was “worthy of support” instead.

Monica welcomed Ian Taylor’s endorsement:

And last night, Michael Heseltine, always on the left of the Tory Party until he was ejected from it for saying he was voting for us during the Euros, announced he was doing the same again. 

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LISTEN: to Sarah Wollaston on Any Questions

Sarah Wollaston has been another wonderful addition to the Liberal Democrats. A former GP, whose passion for the NHS is matched by her knowledge and authority on it, she’s fighting to retain her Totnes seat as a Liberal Democrat.

She was on Any Questions? on Friday night.

Listen here. 

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Two things we learned from last night’s Question Time

Jo Swinson had the hardest job out of all the leaders on the BBC Question Time special last night.

First of all, the audience was stacked against her:

While all the leaders took some tough questioning, at least Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn had somewhere in the vicinity of a third of the audience backing them. For some reason UK audiences seem to like Nicola Sturgeon, but they don’t have to live with her chaotic government’s neglect of pubic services. Trust me, the grass is not greener up here.

The audience was never going to back Jo – but people watching would have seen a leader who was absolutely crystal clear about her position. And, uniquely, she was also prepared to admit where we and she had got it wrong in the past. Compare that to Corbyn’s failure to acknowledge that he had failed to tackle anti-semitism in his own party and Johnson’s failure to accept the consequences of the casual racism with which he peppers so much of his writing.

So it’s hardly surprising that much of the right and left wing press are using up their column inches attacking Jo instead of promoting their own candidate.

Jo was very clear that she was the Remain candidate on the ballot paper.

The first thing we learned last night, if we didn’t know it already, is that Labour is not a remain party. Jeremy Corbyn announced he would stay neutral on this deal that he’s going to negotiate. That is an astounding failure of leadership. By refusing to take a position, he lets everybody down.

The second thing we learned is that Jo Swinson shows grace, candour and passion under pressure. She has the hardest job last night and answered with kindness, empathy and clarity.  She made sure that she is the unequivocal voice of remain in this election.

Her performance will go down very well in the seats we hope to gain to deprive Boris Johnson of a majority. Don’t just take my word for it:

Diamonds are formed under pressure. Our Lib Dem diamond did us proud by going into that fire pit and handling the tough questioning much better than anyone else.

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Some interesting features of Lib Dem ad targeting

I have not had one single ad on Facebook encouraging me to vote for the Liberal Democrats. Not one.

But, when you think about it, what a waste of money it would be if I had.

Let’s face it, my vote for the party was never in doubt, and this one will be the proudest I have ever cast for the Liberal Democrats. Not only are we right on the biggest issue of our time, I’ve learned over 15 years’ acquaintance that Jo Swinson is ideally suited to be our Prime Minister. 

Yesterday the BBC’s Rory Cellan Jones offered an insight into how we were targeting our ads in individual seats:

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Election Diary No 2: The third week

It would be accurate to say that this mid-point is destined to be the hardest part of the election campaign for the Liberal Democrats. After being blocked off the head-to-head leaders’ debates, they have seen the avaricious spending pledges of the two main parties taking much of the headlines. Labour are trying to capitalise on the issues of the NHS, and the Tories on how much money they plan to spend. It leaves Jo Swinson in a difficult position, before the crucial issues of Brexit, on which the party is strong, and the image of a brighter future, come to the fore in the days before December 12th. Or, at least that is what many will hope for. 

A recent poll suggested that voters like Swinson less as they see her in this campaign. This is extremely puzzling. On the one hand there are the extreme figures of Corbyn and Johnson, who have both spent their careers cosying up to shadowy, racist, and crooked figures, and are both highly establishment figures. On the other hand Swinson shows a new vision that is energetic and radical. Of course, any poll at election time should be taken with a large barrel of salt, but it is worrying news all the same. 

This leaves the party with a challenging question: how to cut through to voters angered at the disastrous policies of the right and left. When ‘Cleggmania’ erupted in 2010, it was the offer of an alternative to the two-party system that made the most traction, but the popular support did not transform into more seats in Parliament. Research has suggested that this time around Lib Dem support is more concentrated, and that offers hope that the archaic electoral system won’t hinder the real political gains possible.

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WATCH: Liberal Democrats Party Election Broadcast – She’s running again

Here is the Lib Dem election broadcast for the General Election.

I will admit to a wee tear at the start where Jo is talking about her Dad, who died last year. He would have been so proud to see her leading an election campaign as leader of the biggest and strongest Remain party.

It’s personal, hopeful, bright and clear about our aims about stopping Brexit and transforming the economy to make it work for people and planet.

And we have added Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston and Siobhan Benita, too.

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Broadcaster John Tusa backs the Lib Dems

The broadcaster and former Newsnight presenter John Tusa has declared his support for the Lib Dems…

I am British by citizenship, Czech by birth, European by culture, history and identity. The Lib Dems are the only party to believe in our continuing membership of the European Union. They are the only party not taken over by the extreme factions in national politics. They are the only non-sectarian party. They are the only party that puts the sovereignty of parliament at the heart of our representative democracy.

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WATCH: Jo Swinson launching the manifesto

Jo Swinson launched the Lib Dem manifesto today.

Here’s her speech:

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A defence of liberalism

“Socialism is the only ideology fit for the working class”

These were the words I was told the day after the 2017 General Election- and to an extent, they were true. For as far as the eye could see across South and West Yorkshire, the only real option voters had was to vote for Labour. ‘My patch’ was nothing more than a patchwork quilt of safe red seats, Trotskyist CLPs, and statist, unambitious, complacent Labour-run councils. As you may have imagined, I rejected this dogma. I saw nothing optimistic about Corbyn’s left-populism and his commitment to the growth of the state, whilst the arrogance of which my local Labour Party machinery had governed these one-party states had instilled in me a great suspicion of their supposed attachment to progressive politics.

Instead, I turned to liberalism. Ambitious, confident liberalism- an ideology that can enrich and empower the lives of all citizens. I’d be lying if I said I could remember the single event that tipped me into this decision, but the quiet dignity and humility of Nick Clegg’s concession speech ensured that days later, I was a signed-up member of the Liberal Democrats. By rejecting Labour’s state-socialism, I was committing myself to the fundamental values of freedom, liberty and democracy which can only ever be found in the Liberal Democrats. I was supporting a party that would stand up for individual rights and freedoms; that would radically transform our unfair, broken politics; that believed in free markets and free trade as a force for good; and that recognised the state can be used as a tool to ensure opportunity for all. Instinctively internationalist and green to its roots, the Liberal Democrats remain the true radicals of British politics, and the only credible alternative to the statism and small ‘c’ conservatism of Labour and the Tories.

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Jo’s ITV interview – the highlights

Here are the higlights of Jo’s ITV interview:

On uniting the country by tacking the issues that made Leave voters feel so dissatisfied in the first place:

And on tackling the climate emergency and how the EU helps us:

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Jo’s take on the #itvdebate

Jo Swinson has taken to Twitter to make her points in the Leaders’ debate from which she has been excluded. A shout out to the people who so quickly cut together excerpts from the debate and clips of Jo putting the alternative view for people to share on social media.

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You need to eat lunch and make mistakes

One of the lessons I try to convey to junior doctors (or in my case and after nearly a decade, more junior junior doctors) is the importance of getting lunch. If it’s 11am, the ward round has finished and you don’t have urgent jobs to do, I don’t care if it’s the morning – go and have your lunch. 

The nature of a hospital is that you never know what is round the corner. If you don’t eat now, you might not eat again until you leave and if it’s busy, that might not be until 7pm. That is bad for you and bad for your patients. It is a dereliction of your duty of care to them. 

It is just over 3 weeks until polling day. You need to ensure you, your candidate, your staff, your volunteers and everybody involved is healthy and not going hungry. It is bad for you and your campaign if you do not eat when you get the chance. It is a dereliction of your duty of care to it.

Imagine turning to current or former healthcare workers, paramedics, firefighters, police officers, members of the armed services, or members of the security services and saying “this is an emergency and lunch can’t wait”, about whatever it is you think can’t wait and imagine their reaction. I have told people their loved ones are not going to leave hospital, attended so many cardiac arrests that I have forgotten most of them, and have had adults and children literally die in my hands. Imagine telling me what you’re about to do is an emergency.

This doesn’t mean the committee room on polling day should turn into a place to have a conversation. It isn’t – go stand outside if you want to just have a chat and stop asking the people who are putting the data in “how’s it going?” (even if you’re the candidate). Let staff and volunteers do their work.

But if you’re a person with authority in the party, your volunteers and staff are going to make mistakes. Perhaps you think the best way to get things done is by shouting at people. Perhaps you don’t think people should be making mistakes. Perhaps you’re working full-time and nobody who works for you has admitted a mistake to you so far. If any of these are true, resign – you are incompetent and have no place in professional politics.

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WATCH: Jo Swinson’s speech to the CBI

Courtesy of the Guardian’s You Tube channel.

Jo talked about the Lib Dems being the party of business and set out our strategy:

The speech went down reasonably well. Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI head said afterwards:

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Sal Brinton: Our democracy should not be in the hands of invisible corporate structures

Tonight the Liberal Democrats and SNP lost their court bid for inclusion in the ITV Leaders’ debate tomorrow night.

Sal Brinton was at the Royal Courts of Justice and had this to say afterwards:

The Liberal Democrats’ position in this election and that of our leader is unique: Jo Swinson is the only leader of a national party fighting to stop brexit.

“Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn should not be allowed to sidestep debating the issue of Brexit with someone who wants to remain, and ITV should not give them the opportunity to do so.

“That is why this is an incredibly disappointing verdict. Not just for the Liberal Democrats but also for democracy in this country, and for every remainer who deserves to have a voice in this debate.

“It is worrying that the Ofcom guidance allows TV Executives, not the voters, to decide whether the biggest issues of the day are debated openly in the ITV Debate.

“This campaign is undeniably dominated by Brexit, the single biggest issue for our country, perhaps in the last 75 years.

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Election fun: Campaign Trail companions

Meet Tigger. He is helping Edinburgh North and Leith’s Elaine Ford write blue envelopes.

A cold, dark Winter election has its bright spots and many of them involve animals.

Alex Cole-Hamilton made a friend while out canvassing too..

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WATCH: Jo Swinson’s LBC interview with Iain Dale

Yesterday, Jo Swinson spoke to Iain Dale about the brighter future that the Liberal Democrats are offering to the British people on December 12th.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKeith Legg 9th Dec - 5:37am
    OK, to come back to the original point - I don't think the EVEL rules are necessarily a problem for a Labour / SNP coalition....
  • User Avatarfrankie 8th Dec - 11:30pm
    I often wondered how theologians in the middle ages would obsess about how many Angels could dance on the head on a pin. I laughed...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 8th Dec - 11:30pm
    Joseph, If a person rejects (S – I) + (M – X) = (G – T) then they have rejected C + S + T...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 8th Dec - 9:28pm
    Peter, yes, global assets and the financial value of claims against those assets will of course net to zero. However, we are talking about the...
  • User AvatarAshley 8th Dec - 8:27pm
    Jo has done and excellent job overall in a campaign which has been framed as all about two parties by the media. That is the...
  • User AvatarRoss McLean 8th Dec - 8:13pm
    @Mike Read yes this is definitely true that national polls don't pick up the extent of tactical voting - or intensive campaigning - in individual...
Tue 10th Dec 2019