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?
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