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 her personal poll ratings which show a surprising level of hostility towards her, asking if some of that criticism was sexist:

And this is where we get to the most frustrating thing. Jo Swinson speaks with honesty, with compassion, with clarity. She has a record of competence. She leads a party with the most redistributive, most credible economic plans. She leads a party that will put more into our social security system than Labour. She has the humility to show how she has learned from past mistakes. Leadership qualities for sure.  Yet we are much lower than we should be in the polls.

In contrast, Jeremy Corbyn won’t say where he stands on the most important issue not just of the day but of our lifetime and has spectacularly failed to deal properly with allegations of anti-semitism in his party. You can actually contrast that with the way Jo has spent most of her political life trying to drag this party into the 21st century.

Corbyn’s  manifesto promises to nationalise anything that sits still for more than five seconds and makes hugely expensive plans which won’t deliver the improvements our public services so desperately need.

And Boris Johnson is even worse. He categorically told Sophy Ridge this morning that there would be no checks on goods between GB and Northern Ireland – only to say seconds later that there would be some checks. My friend’s six year old picked up that contradiction. He told her, after much faffing, that the naughtiest thing he had done was cycle on pavements. It didn’t take Ed Davey long to come up with ten things he had done that were much worse:

  1. Lied to the Queen
  2. Lied about Brexit
  3. Lied about hospitals
  4. Lied about Northern Ireland
  5. Used racist language
  6. Used sexist language
  7. Used homophobic language
  8. Conspired to have a journalist beaten up
  9. Insulted single mothers
  10. Contributed to the imprisonment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Ed said:

From lying to the queen to insulting single mothers, Boris Johnson has done far naughtier things than cycling on the pavement. He has tried to laugh off his dismal track record of lying to the public and attacking women and minority groups. But this is no joke.

Boris Johnson’s stumbling answer on Sky’s Sophy Ridge gave an insight into his mindset: dodging, ducking, and diving. He is not fit to be Prime Minister.

This election is a chance to get rid of Boris Johnson, stop Brexit and build a brighter future, by voting for the Liberal Democrats.

If the worst thing you can find to say about Jo Swinson is that she comes across a bit like a head girl, then you really should have a wee word with yourself. The word “strident” is often used to describe her – a word often used disproportionately on women who have an opinion where a man would be described as authentic or passionate.

She is exactly what this country needs. What you see is what you get. She is absolutely clear about what she stands for. She has a strong record of working collaboratively with everyone from Andrea Leadsom to Caroline Lucas to bring about positive change.

I set out last month why I think she would be a fabulous Prime Minister, challenging the established way of doing things and bringing the country together.

This country is suffering because we have a Prime Minister and a Leader of the Opposition who play up fear and division. Britain needs a leader who can cut through the noise and grab people in the heart, highlighting the best of us, not the worst. We need someone to inspire us to be for each other, not against each other. Jo Swinson is that leader.

She was right to present herself as being in the running for that role. If Nigel Farage hadn’t come to Boris Johnson’s rescue, and if she had been allowed into the Leaders’ Debates, she’d have been a refreshing contrast to both Corbyn and Johnson.

She was the only leader to emerge unscathed from the Andrew Neil interrogation – of those who had the guts to face him, of course. Jeremy Corbyn fell apart on anti-Semitism and the economy. Nicola Sturgeon fell apart when her independence plans came under forensic scrutiny. And Nigel Farage just looked like the charlatan he is.

We could not have asked more from Jo in this election. She’s been brave, clear, focused, determined and very genuine. Our offer to the country has been shown to be consistent with our aim to create a fair, free and open society.

The country has a very clear choice – division and despair with Labour, Conservatives or the SNP in Scotland – or a chance to make this country fairer, more inclusive and kinder with the Liberal Democrats.  Let’s do all we can over the next few days to make sure it’s the latter.

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

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43 Comments

  • Paul Barker 8th Dec '19 - 4:09pm

    I really have no idea how many Seats we will get on Thursday but unless The Polls are all wrong we will get around 13% of the Votes. Its worth reminding ourselves that in Summer 2017 we were averaging 6% & that there will be more Elections in 6 Months time.
    Even if its a Tory majority it could well blow up in their faces over the next Year.

  • Tony Greaves 8th Dec '19 - 4:20pm

    This is a very good post. We will have to think very hard after this election why our average poll ratings has gone from 18-20% to 13% in five weeks. It’s certainly not our fault and much of the media has been a disgrace, led by the BBC.

    The same media are already starting to talk about a leadership challenge in our party. We need to stamp on this very firmly indeed and any Liberal Democrats who go along with the idea need to be firmly told to shut up.

    There are lots of lessons to be learned and I have some ideas why the election has not exactly gone our way. But I’ll save them for Friday!

  • I am proud to have Jo Swinson as our leader and candidate for future Prime Minister. None of the rest of them deserve my vote or support. Politics for me isn’t only about winning – how you win is important too.

  • I agree with all of this. But it’s not over yet! Every one of us can all still make a difference in this campaign. 4 days left. In terms of winning over the undecideds and turning the probable voters into definites, this is the most important week of the campaign. To all those reading this who have never campaigned before, this is it. We need you to do something this week in your nearest target seat. Whether you’re a member or not, doesn’t matter. What we need from you now is a few hours, delivering leaflets, making phone calls, knocking on doors. You choose which – but DO something. Go to https://www.libdems.org.uk/volunteer and take it from there. (We lost North East Fife by 2 votes last time. Don’t believe your effort won’t matter).

  • Boris Johnson’s record goes much further ythan that listed by Ed Davey (bad as it is). His record also includes pouring public money into projects following rigged procurement rules – such as the Garden Bridge. He wasted public money on water cannon in London. He also wasted public money on his fantasy of a four runway airport built on an island in the Thames. He was probably the worst Foreign Secretary this country has had – he was an appalling Mayor of London as well.

  • nigel hunter 8th Dec '19 - 5:55pm

    Has Sturgeon been ‘got at’ or is it just Jo? If it is she is classed as a threat to the status quo of the 2 big boys..
    We are the party that others love to hate. We are different do not talk about ‘the other’ in divisive terms.
    Farage. I hear he is disbanding BXP and going ‘Reform’. Is this cos he now realises how unfair the system is or is it to further divide remain voters from other parties to keep his right wing coalition with Tories on top?

  • Well said.

    Of course it’s frustrating when polling figures dip, but I’m sure it’s just as obvious to journalists as it is to us that a substantial portion of that shift is because people who would like to vote for us have decided to vote tactically for someone else in the hope of preventing Johnson from getting a majority. And of course there has been some movement in the other direction, but Labour always were going to be the party with most to gain from people voting tactically, especially as in some cases people are looking only at the 2017 result, which was heavily influenced by people voting tactically based on the 2015 result.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t other issues at play that we need to consider, even if they aren’t all within our control. Being denied a fair share of coverage is a considerable factor, and while I think it’s reasonable to challenge us on past performance, so much of social media has gone beyond party political posturing, through spin to outright lies. There are clearly a lot of people who sincerely believe that lies said of the party and Swinson are true and therefore think they are fighting the good fight as they spread them further, and who assume that any counter statement is itself spin, which makes it very hard to counter without getting into a drawn out, often counter-productive debate that takes us away from getting our message out there. Which I suspect is often the primary objective of those who invent these outright lies and half truths.

    And sadly, sexism has a huge part to play. Often from people who I know are normally much better than that, and would normally take more care with their language. I’ve been very disappointed by some people I follow on social media who seem to have forgotten their normal high standards when it’s an election and there’s an opportunity for a cheap dig at a rival.

  • In my opinion the main reason for the gradual drop in % support in UK wide polls is that as you get closer to election day many voters will choose a candidate who is clearly in contention in that constituency. The LDs run strong campaigns in at most 20% of constituencies. In the >80% we don’t many potential LD voters pick an alternative as the election date looms. Deliberate tactical voting on top of this compounds this effect on the polls.

  • I have no idea how anything that Farage does or doesn’t do can affect the LD vote.

    Lib Dem leader, @joswinson claims the “stitch up” between Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson makes things more difficult for her party. #Ridge #GE2019

    How does that work? She was never likely to pick up Brexit votes.

  • Ross McLean 8th Dec '19 - 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 seats. Yesterday there was a poll showing us ahead of the Tories by 1% in Winchester. We need to trust that our campaign hi-heejuns know what they are doing and are directing resources to seats we can win. And TonyH is of course right: everybody get yourself to a target seat this week and help us win it on Thursday!

  • 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 real scandal of this election. How blatantly the broadcast media was able to create self fulfilling prophecies and to continue to repeat them. If you mention something long enough and loud enough lo and behold it’ll happen. We need a thorough overhaul of political and election coverage in this country so that all parties standing in the majority of seats get fair (unspun) coverage. This happened in the recent Canadian General Election, why not here? The broadcasters need to stop making up the rules on coverage too. They change like the wind. We need clarity and real fairness otherwise the duopoly will never be challenged. In addition we need to work with greens, SNP and others to make sure we get proportional representation. It’s now so important to the future of this country.

  • David Becket 8th Dec '19 - 8:33pm

    @Peter
    Think it through.
    If Farage and Johnson fight it out in a seat then they will split the Brexit vote and we could come through the middle and win. Simples

  • Paul Barker 8th Dec '19 - 9:12pm

    Our support peaked in early October at between 20% & 21%, there was a steady fall from then on until about 2 Weeks ago when we stabilised at around 13%. We can never know why our ratings go up or down but the obvious explanation for the fall from October is simply the passing of time since May, the big surprise was that it didnt happen sooner.
    The effect of The Election Campaign is unclear, since we have have, for now, stopped falling it could be that was a positive effect of our Campaign.
    Even at 13% we are 3% higher than we were just before our sucess in May, we have every reason to look forward to next May.

  • I really don’t see how the BBC and other broadcasters can get away with not declaring their party air-time policy when covering the elections. By all means give Con/Lab 80+% of the coverage but say why that is and where the viewers can find what other parties have to say on a particular issue.

    Often viewers must assume the Lib Dems have nothing to say or the Greens have taken a week off! Even during the broadcast ban on Sinn Fein in the late 80’s the BBC made an announcement!

  • Galen Milne 8th Dec '19 - 9:26pm

    I agree with Tony Greaves (again). I believe we all learned so much, with hindsight, between 2010 and 2015 including those MPs who did not survive in 2015 and 2017.

  • The Channel 4 debate tonight was another example of unfairness. The Tories decided not to show up, which was disgraceful, but it meant that Labour, SNP, Plaid, Greens, the presenter and the audience all directed their austerity criticisms at Jo. She was also constantly interrupted by the Labour person. I’m afraid it wasn’t her finest hour of the campaign.
    Then, inexplicably, the presenter chose to react to the Tory and Brexit party no-shows by actually reading out bits of their manifestos during each segment of the debate. Johnson must be laughing his head off. Free publicity for his key pledges without having to get off his fat arse and face any actual scrutiny.
    If we are to have these debates in the future (an open question IMHO) then there needs to be a commission of some kind which sets out the rules for all broadcasters and parties to abide by. The current free-for-all is hopeless, and damaging to the election process.

  • Phil Beesley 8th Dec '19 - 11:38pm

    @Peter: “Lib Dem leader, @joswinson claims the “stitch up” between Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson makes things more difficult for her party.”

    Lib Dem election strategy appears to have been established in September or so when the party had 18% share in the polls and the Brexit Party held a decent wallop. The Brexit Party poll share in Conservative held seats gave the Lib Dems a chance there. The Brexit Party’s withdrawal from challenging Conservatives wiped out opportunity in many seats relying on a split Brexit vote.

    The “stitch up” is little different from the tactical Remain withdrawal in Brecon and Radnorshire at the pre-General Election by-election. Or other withdrawals by Lib Dems to give way to PC or Green candidates.

    So you are right, Peter, that it isn’t about Farage. Brexit-split-assumption will be an element of the post-mortem post-election, no doubt.

  • @Peter I have no idea how anything that Farage does or doesn’t do can affect the LD vote. Lib Dem leader, @joswinson claims the “stitch up” between Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson makes things more difficult for her party. #Ridge #GE2019
    How does that work? She was never likely to pick up Brexit votes.
    No, but the Brexit party’s withdrawal from standing in Tory-held seats means their votes are likely to go to the Tories, making it harder for us (or Labour) to win those seats. That’s the whole reason why Farage withdrew them. On Friday I suspect there will be quite a list of Tory holds where we (or Labour) come within a few thousand, which we may have been able to take had the Brexit party stood there.

  • Kieran Seale 9th Dec '19 - 10:26am

    I agree. I remember that in David Steel’s day people used to talk about it taking “a couple of elections” before the public got used to a Lib Dem leader (!). While the world might move a bit quicker than those days, anyone takes time to settle in to a job. Jo has done a great job – and I am sure that she will keep getting better.

  • You cannot go from 360 lost deposits to power. Just not feasible. Hopefully we will be in a less disadvantageous position adter Thursday. You have to have a firm proper base from which to start, otherwise dreamland sets in.

  • Matt (Bristol) 9th Dec '19 - 11:07am

    Most of the things I, as a member, object to about Jo Swinson aren’t about Jo personally, they’re things I object to about the party as a whole and some of its strategic and policy choices.

    Jo is in that sense not to blame, as she embodies the party and its values and choices.

    Jo should hold steady in terms of her continued leadership and we should be very very sceptical of those who try to say that Jo is personally responsible for any perceived ‘Lib Dem collapse’.

    Jo was being asked to:
    – leapfrog from relative national obscurity (not to us, but to everyone else),
    – face down ageism and sexism
    – be the single messianic figurehead of our campaign
    – front up a manifesto that began gestation under Cable and (in some cases) Farron,
    – hold together a frontbench team stiched together over a short period of months including some very recent defections
    – cope with massive misunderstandings (inside and outside the party) about the differences in structures and voting system between last year’s Euro-election ‘triumph’ and a FPTP election with a massive 2-party tribal squeeze going on
    – continue rehabilitating the party in the eyes of centre left voters actively rejected by Clegg
    – pivot to accommodate centre-right voters pining for Cameron or Major
    – reconcile Cable’s ‘movement of moderates’ rhetoric with the grassroots’ desire for radicalism (eg revocation or LGBT or asylum or drugs policy)

    …and that’s before we start on external factors.

    Stay at it, Jo. It’s a harsh learning curve but in 3-5 years’ time Jo-the-veteran will win a hearing where the (partially mythical) Jo-the-neophyte can’t yet do so.

  • Ruth Coleman-Taylor 9th Dec '19 - 11:17am

    So much of the election news is personalised as if the only people who count are the leaders. So that’s how people tend to talk on the doorstep as well.
    I’m now convinced that when people say they don’t like Jo Swinson, this is code for “I’m a Leaver” rather than any specific criticism of Jo. So we need to respond to the political message they are giving rather than getting embroiled in a discussion about personalities.
    Remainers, and other people who support Lib Dem policies, have been saying that she has had a good campaign and keeps getting better.

  • Steve Comer 9th Dec '19 - 11:40am

    A an overseas voter these days, I rely on what I see on TV, read in the newspapers and what friends in the UK tell me, so don’t have the benefit of the doorstep experience that I had in every election for the previous 40 years, but given those caveats I would make the following observations.

    1) Every Liberal and Liberal Democrat Leader since the 1950s has had time in advance of a General Election to establish themselves, even then it has usually taken one General Election for them to become known to the public. Jo has only had a few weeks, and didn’t even have time to get her team together, having said that the decisions of some of them seem a bit questionable.

    2) I think the campaign has been too “Presidential” more so than any Liberal/Lib Dem campaign I can remember. Yes every Leader has to say they are the alternative Prime Minister, and that can cause problems (I’m old enough to remember 1983 and the ‘Ettrick Bridge summit’), but I’m not sure the large image on the side of the bus was a good idea. And we could of heard more from Lib Dem MPs who were not recent defectors.

    I just want us make some progress in terms of votes and seats this time, and I’m still clinging to the hope that a Tory overall majority can be prevented, even if that means some uncomfortable tactical voting decisions for some Liberal Democrats in the process.

  • Peter Watson 9th Dec '19 - 12:14pm

    @Ruth Coleman-Taylor “So much of the election news is personalised as if the only people who count are the leaders.”
    @Steve Comer “I think the campaign has been too “Presidential” more so than any Liberal/Lib Dem campaign I can remember.”

    The Lib Dems have certainly pandered to this. The side of the party’s battle bus for this election campaign announces “Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats” with a large photograph of Swinson.
    In comparison, Googling for images of the bus in previous election campaigns shows that in 2017 and 2015 there was no mention of the leader and in 2010 there were photos of the leadership team of Clegg and Cable (smaller and behind Clegg) but no names.

  • Lib Dems really should stop whingeing about the press and the media. It achieves nothing and may even encourage the opposite effect to that which is intended.

    Instead they should get smart about its ways and get some experienced and effective advice on how best to deal with the world as it is.

  • Matt (Bristol) 9th Dec '19 - 12:34pm

    Peter Watson, in defence of the leadership, they clearly decided that Boris and Corbyn were going to run very presidential election campaigns (or already had insane messianic cults being built round them) but are both people who actively turn-off many possible voters who previously were loyal to their respective parties.

    The leadership / campaigning gurus appear to have drawn the not illogical conclusion that we had to fight fire with fire, present a clear figurehead for the disinherited to cluster around.

    It was clear as far back as the ‘Cable’s hat’ election broadcast (pre-Boris) that this thinking was afoot, and the leadership election (which at times was rather collaborative and stage-managed, and appeared to be being used as a testing ground for messages that might appeal for the GE) showed that we were trying the idea on for size.

    Caron is entirely right where she points to ageism and sexism and media monopoly as the flies in this ointment. Whether we could / should have seen this coming, and whether we could / should have pandered to that in some way, is the subject of another long and rather depressing conversation.

  • It seems to me that we have been targeting Remain Tory voters. According to Joseph Bourke’s report of what John Curtice wrote in the Times – “By far the biggest source of Remain voters who switched to the Liberal Democrats during the summer were people who had voted Labour in 2017.” And “With Labour in favour of a second referendum, these voters arguably needed more than ‘Stop Brexit’ to keep them on board the Liberal Democrat train. “What they needed is a domestic policy platform they felt able to embrace and which would help neuter Labour’s repeated attacks on the Liberal Democrats’ record in the 2010-15 coalition.”

    Therefore it seems that our drop in the opinion polls is because Labour Remain voters have decided to vote Labour, because the Labour attacks on us over austerity were successful.

    I think we need to address this issue and have for the next general election policies to reverse austerity. This means restoring the cuts to local government, education, the police, the probation and prison services and all of the welfare cuts since 2010. Then we can say that now we recognise that austerity was the wrong policy in 2010 (but it was generally accepted at the time as the right policy) and we will reserve it and promise never to support it again. We need to drop the idea that we will have a budget surplus on the day-to-day government budget.

  • Sue Sutherland 9th Dec '19 - 3:51pm

    Jo and all our PPCs have faced a very hostile campaign , particularly from Labour who see us as splitting the anti Tory vote. Both main parties are afraid of us denying them a majority. The country is also divided because of Brexit which arouses even more ire against us from confirmed Brexiters even though a large majority of Remainers like our Revoke Article 50 Policy. We are still out moneyed by the Tories and out personned by Momentum and both of them seek to destroy our morale.
    In the middle of all this we have a Boudicca for a leader. She is making us heard, she is very clear about our message, she has apologised for things we got wrong in Coalition and stood up for things we got right. I expect the Romans thought Boudicca was strident. All we can do for the moment is work as hard as possible in target seats and encourage tactical voting to give us as many seats as possible, even though Labour are trying to muddy those waters as well.
    What we should not be doing is blaming our new leader for the political situation in which we are less powerful than the two old parties. If you need convincing of that look at the Greens. We are facing a terrifying future in which climate change will destroy life as we know it. You would expect the Greens to be at their highest ever in the polls. They aren’t.
    If we don’t grow the number of our MPs in this election, Brexit will carry on being the mess it is. There will be many opportunities to build our party as economic depression proves that we were right after all. I don’t want that future but we will carry on rebelling, especially if we stick with Jo.

  • @ Matt (Bristol) “Boris and Corbyn “…… I’m afraid the unconscious use of the diminutive and the hostile use of the surname…… give the game away to unbiased observers. It fuels the well established notion that Lib Dems are pale blue allies of the Tories…. Just as “Jeremy and Johnson” would do the same in reverse.

    @ Sue Sutherland Enjoyed your post. Hope you don’t mind…. hate to mention it but….. Boudicca lost…. at some cost….

    An estimated 70,000–80,000 Romans and British were then killed in the three cities by those following Boudicca, many by torture. It was a tad illiberal way to treat our southern European friends

    Suetonius, regrouped his forces and despite being heavily outnumbered, decisively defeated the Britons. The crisis caused Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from Britain, but Suetonius’ victory over Boudicca confirmed Roman control. Boudicca then either killed herself to avoid capture (according to Tacitus), or died of illness (according to Cassius Dio).

    After all these years I’ve finally come to appreciate the benefit of a classical education – and hope that history doesn’t repeat itself.

  • Yousuf Farah 9th Dec '19 - 8:45pm

    Whatever happens on Thursday night, she will have tried her best and that’s all that matters in the end of the day.

  • Matthew Campbell 9th Dec '19 - 11:11pm

    David Raw, I appreciate you shouting ‘Oh what a giveaway!’ like Eric Idle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but I fear what you have detected in my admittedly sloppy language is the unconscious emphasis of media commentators whose phrasing I have clearly absorbed, rather than my own pro-Tory bias.

    In truth, I would personally prefer a Corbyn government to a Johnson one, although I have grave doubts about the competence of either. In fact, I would go so far as to say I doubt there is a Conservative candidate standing at this election whom I would prefer to Corbyn.

    And certainly there are Labour MPs (not the member for Islington North) I would be quite happy with as leaders of a coalition containing this party, although I may be in a minority on that one.

    I agree entirely there is a ‘well established notion that Lib Dems are pale blue allies of the Tories’, which is poisonous to this party’s success, which of course certain Labour cheerleaders do their best to smear around as much as possible, because they seem to think it helps them, although I would say the jury’s out on that last point.

    I would say from personal experience that less people are prepared to believe it than 2 years ago, but obviously not enough.

    Incidentally, that situation would have been a whole lot worse had Ed Davey won the leadership, as he was clear in his personal language that he wanted to see the party campaign on the ‘positive’ aspects of the coalition legacy.

  • Jo Swinson should be given full credit for leading the party in this general election. She has stuck to her guns and been honest and clear in all that she has said. The results are not yet in whatever they maybe the aftermath should not include a degeneration of our leader. I can go as far back as 1971 and recall all the leaders of the Liberals/Liberal Alliance and Liberal Democrats. Jo has taken us back to being a party of principal not a party with a lust for power at all costs. She has stood by what we believe, she has had the humility to admit that in the past things have been done and said which went against both the parties principals and declared policies. Integrity and honesty in politics is a rare commodity. Our leader Jo and deputy leader Ed have both demonstrated they have the commodity. After the polling is over, all Liberal Democrats should pull together to work towards the next set of elections in whatever way we can.

  • Richard Underhill 11th Dec '19 - 11:42pm

    Jo Swinson was on the Peston show on ITV, first.
    Strong anti-Semitism, Corbyn failing, also strong on Trans rights, risk of suicides.

  • Richard Underhill 11th Dec '19 - 11:45pm

    The Peston show also shows Geek of the Week. Worth a look.
    Price (PC) a pluralist as well as a remainer.

  • Richard Underhill 12th Dec '19 - 5:58pm

    8th Dec ’19 – 4:20pm
    There should not be an inquest into what happened to our average opinion poll rating.
    What matters more is the number of MPs elected, particularly as the Labour Party and the Brexit Party want to abolish the House of Lords and the SNP want no part of it.

  • Tania Elliott 15th Dec '19 - 7:02pm

    I largely agree with Andrew Crawford.
    I voted for Jo Swinson in the leadership election because she seemed a fresh face and a dynamic one. During the GE Campaign, she certainly came across as believing what she said and was consistent in her determination to stop Brexit by any means. But that ‘by any means’ was her Achilles’ heel. What was lacking was a strategy to achieve the objective and it may not be the direct route, particularly in politics. There was an absence of sophistication both in manner and in the ability to take into account the many complex factors in the debate, the volatility of public opinion, the changes in public mood triggered by facile slogans.

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