Jo Swinson becomes first female Lib Dem leader – and intends to drag the party into obscurity

Bye bye: Jo Swinson waves at supporters as she prepares to take her party back into the political no-one’s land it has occupied since 2015.

Congratulations to Jo Swinson on becoming the first female leader of the Liberal Democrats.

What a shame she seems determined to lead her party back into the obscurity it has endured since the end of the Coalition government in 2015.

She has already said she won’t go into any political alliance with Jeremy Corbyn. She claimed he was a “danger to our country.”

She also claimed that Mr Corbyn is a “Brexiter”, in the face of the evidence that shows the Labour Party is more committed to supporting the will of the people than her own Liberal Democrats.

(The Lib Dems want to force remaining in the EU on the UK, in denial of the result of the democratic EU referendum vote of 2016. In contrast, Labour has acknowledged that the referendum did not propose the manner of our exit from the bloc, and will support another vote to allow the public to decide on the possible options – or to remain in the EU after all. That is not the behaviour of a “Brexiter”.)

But Ms Swinson has also said that she cannot stomach another coalition with the Conservatives, describing Boris Johnson as “unfit to be prime minister”.

But what of Ms Swinson’s own qualifications?

I wrote about this quite recently. Here’s what I found:

Ms Swinson is a dedicated Liberal Democrat and has supported her party in the vast majority of votes.

She has supported the Bedroom Tax, benefit cuts, the persecution of the sick and disabled, and cuts to local authority support for council taxpayers, among other things:

She voted to increase tuition fees to £9,000 per year after the Liberal Democrats promised to abolish them, to bring schools into private ownership, and to cut financial support for students.

Her environmental credentials are similarly appalling: She voted to sell our state-owned forests into the hands of developers and commercial profiteers, in support of the badger cull, against green energy, and for fracking. On climate change, her position is ambiguous.

Finally… Ms Swinson voted to privatise the Royal Mail, to cut legal aid – putting court action beyond the reach of most people, and to create secret courts – at which defendants were not to be told the charges against them or even any of the evidence.

These are all right-wing policies that would make many Conservatives proud – and may even be too extreme for some.

Now Ms Swinson is Liberal Democrat leader, these will be her policy positions – or she’ll be a hypocrite.

It’s not much of an incitement to support her, or her party, is it?

Source: Lib Dems: Jo Swinson becomes party’s first female leader – BBC News

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  1. Chris Lovett July 22, 2019 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    You’ve missed the boat sadly. Fence sitting doesn’t work – as Bevan said “We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down”.Part of Jo Swinson’s acceptance speech –

    “Tomorrow, Boris Johnson is likely to take the keys to Number 10 and set us on a path to a damaging no-deal Brexit. Stopping Boris, and stopping Brexit is my number one priority as leader.

    That job starts with winning the Brecon & Radnorshire by-election to bring Jane Dodds to Parliament, cut Johnson’s wafer-thin majority and take us a step closer to stopping Brexit.”

    • Mike Sivier July 23, 2019 at 9:57 am - Reply

      How does this part of her speech show that I’ve missed the boat? And what do you mean with your comment about fence-sitting?

      Ms Swinson isn’t sitting on the fence – she’s wandering away from it into her own dark little corner.

    • Zippi August 2, 2019 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      And how many other democratically made decisions is she seeking to overturn, or is it just those that she doesn’t like? Somebody once said that, being in a democracy means accepting the decisions that you don’t like. We voted, by majority, to leave the European Union. Imagine, for a moment, that result had gone the other way and all of this was going on, to overturn the result. What would you say to that? We don’t have to like the result but that’s the way that our democracy works. We knew the rules, before we played the game; we can’t change them in retrospect, because it didn’t turn out the way that we wanted.

  2. Simon Tucker July 23, 2019 at 9:51 am - Reply

    tbh, that rather explains why she wouldn’t consider coalition with Labour: she’s a yellow Tory

  3. Tony July 23, 2019 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    An article appeared in the Wings Over Scotland website in 2017. It was written by an independence activist who said he received 13 direct mail communications from the Liberal Democrats at the general election.

    He did not name the constituency but it is likely to have been the one re-captured by Jo Swinson. He also said he received nothing at all from Labour or the Conservatives and that he knew people who had a similar experience.

    Now that is not a party concentrating its efforts. That is collusion between the LDs, Conservatives and the Labour Party to defeat the SNP.

    The pattern seems to have been repeated in other constituencies. There are, for example, a number of constituencies which saw dramatic falls in the LD vote.

    The main beneficiaries were the Conservatives who picked up a crucial 12 seats.

    What do other readers think?

  4. aunty1960 July 23, 2019 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Jo Swinson also said she would never make a pact with the SNP.
    How the FK does she expect to win or get any influence in parliament or politics.
    What is the bloody point or game of her.

    Saw Brexit Party candidate for Brecon and Radnoshire.Looks good. Not the usual Brexit

    Politics is in such despair might as well sit back and enjoy the variety of fireworks including bangers and damp squibs

  5. aunty1960 July 23, 2019 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Oh Dear your constituency lies in the heart of Powys, the areea which got the largest majority of Brexit Party votes in 2017. I dont think you stand a hope.The people have spoken.

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