Jo Swinson probably wishes she hadn’t posted that latest lie about Jeremy Corbyn
On 20 August, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson lied about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (again). But people were quick to call her out. And now, she probably wishes she hadn’t bothered.
Jeremy Corbyn didn’t fight to remain in 2016, and he won’t fight for remain now. He wants to deliver a Labour Brexit, because he is a Brexiteer. https://t.co/xJLpA0iCBB
— Jo Swinson (@joswinson) August 20, 2019
But as numerous Twitter users pointed out, that was “fake news“. In fact, many people pointed out just how ‘invisible’ Swinson and her party were during the 2016 referendum:
That is a provable lie. During the EU Referendum Campaign 7 May-22 June 2016, Corbyn, over 46 days, campaigned as follows:
• Traveled 5851km
• Spoke at 15 rallies
• Sent 100 Remain Tweets
• Achieved 33,760 retweets
• Received media exposure 120 times
You however did this: pic.twitter.com/anAm01ajnu
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) August 20, 2019
Jo, during the EU Ref Jeremy Corbyn made 123 media appearances, attended 15 rallies, posted 118 pro-Remain tweets.
By comparison, you were virtually invisible. Rallies? Can't find any. Media appearances? Can't find any. Tweets? A handful amongst mostly really trivial stuff. pic.twitter.com/8rcCmjcwiu
— Matt Thomas #JC4PM (@Trickyjabs) August 20, 2019
Like many socialists, I only voted Remain in 2016 because of Jeremy Corbyn. He convinced me the EU could be reformed. Jo Swinson, on the other hand, is partly responsible for Leave winning. After 5yrs of Tory/Lib Dem austerity, many felt they had nothing to lose by voting Leave.
— Chuka Umunna's Flip Flops (@WarmongerHodges) August 20, 2019
Jo, your claim is simply untrue & you should retract it. As someone who volunteered tirelessly in Birmingham for StrongerIN & LabourIN I can confirm Corbyn campaigned for Remain because I saw him doing it in my city. If you really oppose #NoDeal, co-operate with Labour & Corbyn.
— Liz Clements (@LizClements) August 20, 2019
Here you go, Jo. On the off chance you don't know what you're talking about: pic.twitter.com/xi3pUT1BjG
— Naomi Heller (@NayHeller) August 20, 2019
Indeed, as University of Manchester politics professor Andrew Russell wrote previously, “the most pro-European political party in Britain was nowhere to be seen” in the 2016 referendum. He continued by stressing that:
Structural problems caused the Liberal Democrats to go AWOL in the Referendum campaign.
This was partially because voters turned away from the Lib Dems en masse after they propped up Tory austerity for five years.
Swinson pushing us towards a no-deal Brexit
Some commentators, meanwhile, pointed out just how damaging Swinson’s cheap political smears could be:
This is a direct lie. It's a matter of public record that Jeremy Corbyn campaigned for Remain. But what really matters here is Jo Swinson's dishonest party politicking is going to fling this country into the abyss of No Deal. https://t.co/1Qlj9c4yaR
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) August 20, 2019
This woman is going to cause a ‘no deal’ Brexit.@JeremyCorbyn: work with me to stop a ‘no deal’ Brexit, bring about a GE & a Public Vote (which would include remain).@JoSwinson: no, you’re a Brexiteer so I’m going to enable ‘no deal’.
Does she think we’re all stupid? https://t.co/UJZz6QdAID
— James Foster (@JamesEFoster) August 20, 2019
Indeed, the Lib Dems’ anti-Corbyn efforts come at a time when Leave voters seem more united than ever. But despite Swinson’s apparent preference for Brexit over a Corbyn-led government, around 70% of Lib Dems would still prefer to back Corbyn over a potentially devastating no-deal Brexit.
The mainstream media, however, is failing to hold Swinson to account for her lies. In fact, it has long failed to give Britain political balance. For example, the New Statesman previously reported that UK broadcasters took 71.2% of their EU referendum political sources from the Conservative Party and only 18.4% from Labour.
The very Guardian article Swinson tweeted alongside her lie about Corbyn, meanwhile, really stretched the truth to its limits. Because the title – Labour may stay neutral if referendum is between its Brexit deal or remain – had little justification. There was no assertion from Corbyn that Labour would be neutral in such a situation. Instead, he simply stressed that the party would seek to offer the public a referendum choice “between a deal or remaining in the European Union”. And he insisted yet again that the country’s issues are much bigger than Brexit, saying:
However the Brexit crisis is resolved, the country faces a fundamental choice. Labour offers the real change of direction the country needs: a radical programme to rebuild and transform communities and public services, invest in the green jobs and high-tech industries of the future, and take action to tackle inequality and climate crisis.
But because Corbyn has consistently refused to give the EU blind support in everything it does (such as potential limits on nationalisations), some hardcore Remainers see Corbyn as the enemy, no matter how much he fought for Remain in 2016, or fights to give the public the final say today.
Maybe it’s not about Europe, though. Maybe it’s just that the centre-right establishment will do everything it can to stop Britain electing a democratic socialist government. But that couldn’t possibly be the reason, right?
Whenever you see Libs (yellow Tories) attacking Labour, ask yourself: why do Libs ALWAYS attack Labour and say NOTHING of Tory crimes?
— Plain Lincoln (@PlainLincoln) August 20, 2019
Featured image via YouTube – Good Morning Britain / Wikimedia – Sophie Brown
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