Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson is trying to convince the UK that her party is “doing all we can” to stop a no-deal Brexit. But prominent Conservative Party MP Ken Clarke humiliated her by doing something she’s been refusing to do; he has backed a temporary Corbyn-led government to stop Boris Johnson from pushing through the most toxic form of Brexit.
‘Doing all you can’, Swinson? Really?
Swinson and her party have long been arguing that “all the evidence is that Jeremy Corbyn does not have the support of enough Conservative MPs” to lead a caretaker government to stop a no-deal Brexit, have a general election, and hold a second referendum. They even proposed Clarke himself as an alternative prime minister instead (despite him not backing a second referendum). But with Clarke now getting behind a temporary Corbyn-led government (along with other Tory MPs), that leaves Swinson and co in a very awkward position:
Ken Clarke MP has just said he will back Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister. This is the 5th Tory MP to express interest in this outcome. If only the Lib Dems weren’t too posh to let the workers in. https://t.co/WirstUND3U
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) August 29, 2019
With this in mind, some people wondered what Swinson and her “doing all we can” Lib Dem colleagues were waiting for:
The FT support Corbyn as PM over no-deal. Now Ken Clarke does.
— Michael Walker (@michaeljswalker) August 29, 2019
Time to choose – no-deal Brexit or a few weeks of unity?
The choice for many people is clear: a temporary government with Corbyn at the helm, or a devastating no-deal Brexit.
Corbyn leads the opposition party that is, by far, the biggest in parliament. It’s also the country’s biggest party, with over 500,000 members. And it has been rallying under Corbyn, gaining its biggest vote share increase since 1945 in the 2017 elections. While the Lib Dems continued to lose votes in 2017 (having propped up Tory austerity between 2010 and 2015), Labour received 12,877,918. So if anyone should be leading the charge to stop the Tories, it’s Corbyn’s Labour.
Jo Swinson, however, is focusing on attacking Corbyn and lying about him. This comes at a time when pro-Brexit voters appear more united than ever. But despite around 70% of Lib Dems preferring Corbyn’s plan over a no-deal Brexit, Swinson still seems intent on opposing him at all costs.
That’s hardly surprising, though. Because Swinson and her Lib Dem colleagues broke promises that got them elected in 2010 in order to join forces with the right and enable over 130,000 premature deaths by supporting austerity. And now, the Labour Party is much further to the left. So it makes sense that Lib Dem elites would still prefer to side with the right. As shadow chancellor John McDonnell said recently:
Jo Swinson was willing to work with the Tories, introduce some of the most savage austerity cuts that cost people their lives… But she won’t work with a Labour leader who opposed all those austerity measures.
Jo Swinson was always to the right of the FT and Ken Clarke. She was one of the most loyal ministers following the Tory whip in the Coalition. Bedroom tax, disability cuts, accepting fracking donations…. nothing seemed too right wing & extreme for her. https://t.co/lvS4oCtIz5
— JOHN NICOLSON (@MrJohnNicolson) August 30, 2019
Beware of centrist extremism
Britain’s centre-right establishment claims to worry about ‘left-wing extremism’ (i.e. funding the NHS properly, launching a Green Industrial Revolution, and stopping disastrous regime-change wars). But the real extremism we face today is on the right. And it seems Swinson and co – with their toxic centrist extremism – prefer to enable this in order to stop any chance of a popular democratic revolution under Corbyn.
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