The Lib Dems are refusing to back Jeremy Corbyn as caretaker prime minister in an alternative to Boris Johnson’s government. And should they stick to that position they’ll be remembered as the party that brought no-deal catastrophe and further austerity suffering to the UK. Clearly, this is something the British people will never forgive them for. Particularly when they realise the Lib Dems are putting their own political interests ahead of the British people.
Why we need an alternative government
As Johnson’s hard-right Conservative and DUP minority government appeared ready for a no-deal Brexit, opposition MPs decided to act. And in doing so, they supported the EU Withdrawal (No.2) Act, known as the Benn Act.
The Benn Act requires that:
If MPs haven’t approved a deal in a meaningful vote, or approved leaving the EU without a deal by 19 October, then the prime minister must send a letter (specifically worded in the Act) to the president of the European Council which seeks an extension to Article 50 until 31 January 2020. If the EU agrees to the date, then the prime minister should also agree.
But if Johnson decides to ignore the Benn Act, a caretaker government would become necessary.
Lib Dems bear the responsibility
If that government is necessary and the Lib Dems maintain their hard-line opposition to Corbyn, they’ll be remembered as the party that brought catastrophe to the UK. Such catastrophe could lead to shortages in food, medicine, and fuel as well as civil unrest. Jo Swinson would then go down in UK history as the politician who allowed all this to happen. So it seems quite an irrational position for her to take.
Lib Dem MP Chuka Umunna attempted to show that Corbyn didn’t have the numbers to become caretaker prime minister. But he was quickly reminded of the Lib Dems’ responsibility:
— The Daily Politik (@DailyPolitik) October 7, 2019
The real reason
If we look a little closer, it appears as if Swinson’s motives are in fact much more self-interested. Because it could be part of her strategy to take Tory seats at the next election. So, rejecting Corbyn might be an attempt to woo those Tory voters. After all, Swinson believes she can do the impossible at the next election.
Swinson gets called out
Labour MP Jon Trickett called her out on this:
Swinson's LibDems put more effort into preventing a socialist interim-Prime Minister than preventing no deal. This is not surprising- their top 100 target seats are largely Tory, and in the last election they did not win a single seat from Labour. 1/2https://t.co/flbSWtJ7lm
— Jon Trickett (@jon_trickett) October 7, 2019
And other people were quick to express their disgust and bewilderment:
Well they did help the Tories screw the poor and disabled , bunch of opportunists
— David Shaw (@DavidSh61239871) October 7, 2019
And some reminded us of what Swinson stands for:
— RD (@RPD_Bear) October 7, 2019
— Pam Ryan #JoSwinsonIsATory #CorbynOutrider (@1liesalot) October 7, 2019
Another person highlighted a more recent uncomfortable truth for Swinson:
— #helenwebackcorbyn (@helenhatessmear) October 7, 2019
They won’t get away with this
People are on to the Lib Dems, so they won’t get away with sacrificing the British people for their own political ends. In any case, the Lib Dems have been on a downward spiral since 2005. And the number of pro-austerity Tory defections to Swinson’s party, with a record of austerity, only underlines this.
So the choice is simple for Swinson and her party: back Corbyn and the British people or go down in history as the party that let the hard right bring chaos to the UK.
Since you're here ...
We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.