Remember when Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson proposed Kenneth Clarke as a possible leader of a “unity” government in what we now see as a desperate bid to avoid supporting a Jeremy Corbyn-led short-term government?
She said she had spoken to both Mr Clarke and Harriet Harman about the possibility. “I have been in touch with them because obviously you don’t just mention people’s names without checking that they’re OK with that,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
But Mr Clarke seems to be telling a different story.
According to The Guardian, he “told the BBC on Friday that he had been on holiday and had not followed the news closely about a potential unity government, said he was nevertheless willing to be considered as a potential leader of a unity government”.
So it seems to me that Ms Swinson was lying when she claimed to have spoken with Mr Clarke. She can’t be trusted to even say the right thing, let alone do it.
And people have noticed:
Anyone surprised JoS said she spoke to Kenneth Clarke but he was away and knew nothing about it. Are people still willing to trust her?
— C Sealy 🌹LABOUR FOREVER ✊ FOREVER LABOUR #JC4PM (@Corsea1) August 16, 2019
Some have tried to say that Ms Swinson called Mr Clarke while he was on holiday but this doesn’t match the evidence.
Besides – if she had spoken to him before putting his name forward, she would have known that he supports the “soft” Brexit that Jeremy Corbyn spent months trying to get Theresa May to accept, and wouldn’t help facilitate a second referendum at all:
Hilarious, if not tragic. Jo Swinson wants Ken Clarke to be next Prime Minister. Guess what? Ken Clarke is opposed to a second referendum. He prefers to negotiate a new Brexit Deal. In Umunna & Swinson blind hatred of Corbyn they’ve thrown their saddle on any old horse.
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) August 17, 2019
looks like jo swinson didn’t even bother to check ken clarke’s position 🥴 pic.twitter.com/iPtAbQWwAS
— ryan 🚩 (@ryxnf) August 16, 2019
It really screws up Ms Swinson’s whole narrative.
As the singer Billy Bragg tweeted: “While the #FBPE [mob] continue to dismiss Corbyn’s offer because “he’s a Brexiteer”, have they bothered to check out the position of their preferred PM Ken Clarke? Turns out he’s a Brexiteer!”
This is what happens when children try to do grown-up politics. I’ve taken to describing Lib Dem attitudes as “toddler politics” and it seems the sentiment is catching on.
“Will kiddy playing politics @joswinson be making a remix of Clegg’s Sorry?” asked Gracie Samuels on Twitter. “Like when she was in coalition with the Tories last time and she helped them push through the health and social care bill (now Act) that is now destroying the NHS and social care?”
In case anybody has forgotten that song, plenty of people have been tweeting the link to remind us. Here it is:
And people across the UK are clear about exactly who will be responsible for breaking the bid to stop Boris Johnson if BoJob gets away with his “no deal” Brexit plan:
The problem the Liberal Democrats have is the question: why were you willing to join a Government bent on extreme austerity for five years but not lend Parliamentary support to a caretaker Government to stop #nodeal #brexit for five weeks?
— Anthony Painter (@anthonypainter) August 15, 2019
There’s this from @xpressanny, direct to the Lib Dems: “Oh for goodness sake GROW UP! This is future of Great Britain you are deliberately messing around with. Either get involved with Tories, Green & SNP or be seen as Tory AND No Deal Brexit Enablers. Time to join the adults. Your choice.”
And ‘Monsignor it’s all Corbyn’s fault, proud crank” stated: “‘I won’t vote for him because they won’t vote for him because I won’t vote for him’ just isn’t a credible or honourable justification for not backing the only guaranteed way to stop no deal Brexit and convinces no one, least of all those who voted Lib Dem as an anti-Brexit party.”
The message is clear:
Any MP who wants to stop a No Deal Brexit has one chance & one chance only. Back Corbyn's call for a VONC. Form an interim government with Corbyn as PM so he can extend A50, call a general election & a referendum.
Any MP who doesn't dooms the country to a Tory No Deal! pic.twitter.com/QYYilVZkm6
— Bevan Boy (@mac123_m) August 16, 2019
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