Welcome to my day: 20 August 2018 – a change of house style…

Time for the start of a new week, for those of us with weekday, nine to five jobs. Of course, with the rise of the gig economy, zero hour contracts, flexible working hours and self-employment, that represents fewer of us, and why is Monday seen as the start of a new week anyway?

Since I returned to the frontline of Liberal Democrat Voice, I’ve started most days with an opening piece, putting the day into context, but increasingly sense that it isn’t really working. So, I’m going to try something more… editorial, I guess. See what you think.

It’s been an interesting weekend. Boris Johnson has demonstrated that, if you make racist remarks, you attract the support of racists. Now, it isn’t the case that all supporters of Boris Johnson are racists, but it is probably true that a lot of racists support Boris Johnson. As a strategy for building support to win a General Election, it seems flawed but, combined with evident attempts to provoke such people to join the Conservative Party, he appears to believe that it might be the right way to become Leader. I hope that he’s wrong, for the sake of the country and for the Conservative Party.

Brexit rumbles on. It is increasingly apparent that those campaigning to ensure that Brexit means Brexit either have little understanding of how the World Trade Organisation works, or know but are willing to lie about it. Remind me who elects it, who runs it, how its rules are influenced? As Gavin Esler pithily puts it, our country suffers from truth decay.

It turns out that there was a third Parliamentarian at the now infamous Tunis Conference, Lord Andrew Phillips, now retired. One of the hazards of modern politics is that, in order to get a complete picture of a controversial topic, you may have to meet people who, in an ideal world, you might prefer not to. And, given that social media allows a lie, a misrepresentation, or even an honest but destructive error to travel around the world before the facts have their boots on, it probably pays to wait for the whole story to emerge before one rushes to condemn.

Sadly, that won’t help Jeremy Corbyn much, because what he is accused of in this instance is merely consistent with his own words and deeds over decades.

Interestingly, five Liberal Democrat Peers are celebrating birthdays this week. I’m a day late for Olly Grender, but it’s Lindsay Northover’s turn tomorrow, with Raymond Asquith and Brian Cotter on Friday, and our former Leader in the Lords, Jim Wallace, on Saturday. Happy birthday to them all!

Otherwise, enjoy the day ahead, and do join in with the discussion…

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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  • Innocent Bystander 20th Aug '18 - 4:28pm

    Just to explain why these attacks on Corbyn are having no effect on his poll rating is the eternal question “Who is a terrorist?”
    Consider the following which are terrorists and which freedom fighters?
    Stern Gang.
    Bear in mind some of us are old enough to remember Sgts Paice and Martin and the King David Hotel.

  • In 1940, the idea of the Final Solution was still “unthinkable”, and Stern believed that Hitler wanted to make Germany judenrein through emigration, as opposed to extermination.

  • Peter Hayes 20th Aug '18 - 5:24pm

    I agree with Martin, the summary is useful. If you read ConsevativeHome and LabourList BTL you see that our comments are relatively moderate! Labour has already enterists on the Corbyn side, the Conservatives have UKIP tendency supporters, I worry where politics is going.

  • Innocent Bystander 20th Aug ’18 – 4:28pm………………..Just to explain why these attacks on Corbyn are having no effect on his poll rating is the eternal question “Who is a terrorist?”……………

    May I add that, in 2006, at the 60th anniversary of the King David hotel bombing (in which almost 100 British servicemen and civilians were killed), Netanyahu attended with former terrorist members of the group that planted the bomb (Irgun) and blamed the deaths on the British ‘occupation authorities’.
    This caused a ‘diplomatic spat’ with the UK which has since been forgotten/forgiven; if only the UK media had as short a memory when it comes to Corbyn.

  • “Just to explain why these attacks on Corbyn are having no effect on his poll rating”

    Not convinced that’s true – the last ‘best PM’ poll I saw (9th Aug admitedly) had May up 4 to 36 and Corbyn down 3 to 22.

  • Innocent Bystander 22nd Aug '18 - 9:11am

    Labour are still neck and neck with the Tories and virtually unchanged. The winner of the best PM poll was “not sure”.

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