Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson is currently trying to convince Britain that her party – and not Jeremy Corbyn’s – is the ‘progressive one in town’. But with basic scrutiny, her attempts crash and burn like a Lib Dem tuition fees pledge.
Lib Dems? ‘Fair and inclusive’? Lol.
On 15 September, Swinson spoke to the BBC‘s Andrew Marr. And she lumped Corbyn into the same bag as Boris Johnson, saying:
I want to build an open, inclusive, and fair society – and they do not.
Firstly, Johnson is doing his best to push through a potentially disastrous no-deal Brexit (which was not on the referendum ballot in 2016). And he’s trying to ignore a large chunk of parliament and the British population in the process. So on top of his hard-right government’s elitist policies, it’s clear that inclusivity and fairness aren’t on his agenda.
But Corbyn? Well, his message has long been precisely what Swinson spoke about: openness, inclusivity, and fairness. And his plan to offer UK voters a second referendum – to choose between a Brexit deal or Remain – could hardly be clearer in its effort to bring people together via democracy rather than dividing them by siding completely with one camp.
Swinson’s Lib Dems, meanwhile, only seem to be ‘fair and inclusive’ of anyone who strongly opposes Brexit. Because they’ve promised to revoke Article 50 and just ignore voters who opted to leave the EU. At the same, they’re welcoming Tories into their party with open arms as long as they back this anti-Brexit mission. And many people have suggested that Swinson is prioritising opposition to Brexit over any kind of commitment to inclusivity or fairness in British society:
I think we’ve worked out the Liberal Democrats aren’t particularly democratic. But it’s fair to say they’re exceptionally liberal when it comes to welcoming bigots, warmongers, austerity lovers, big business backers and any other MP with a shameful anti-social voting record.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) September 15, 2019
To join the Lib Dem’s you just need to be anti Brexit. You can be pro austerity, a racist or a homophobe… all perfectly acceptable as long as you are anti Brexit.
— Marc Green (@jazzblogz) September 14, 2019
Last 4 MPs to defect to Lib Dems
• One is a homophobe
• One tried to criminalise homelessness
• One voted Bedroom Tax & cuts against disabled
• One called folk of ethnic minority a ‘funny tinge’
We know LDs aren’t very democratic but seems they ain’t very liberal either
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) September 15, 2019
Lib Dems have had a bad week:
1. Agreeing a Election Pact with the Scottish Tories
2. Accepting homophobe MP into the party
3. Passing a resolution to block voters from getting any say on Brexit
Undemocratic & Intolerant. The illiberal undemocrats #illiberalundemocrats
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) September 15, 2019
As a case in point, new Lib Dem MP Sam Gyimah has a terrible voting record, opposing “equality and human rights” laws, higher taxes for the super-rich, and climate action – all while backing privatisation, welfare cuts, and military interventions abroad. In short, he’s Tory through and through. (Note also that Swinson has a similarly poor record on most of these issues.)
So easy for young former investment bankers to accidentally work for a Conservative thinktank, then join the Tories and get elected as an MP. Before you know it, you're a Tory minister and find yourself consistently voting to make people's lives worse! Tale as old as time pic.twitter.com/p5aijdgLXi
— RopesToInfinity (@RopesToInfinity) September 15, 2019
As people pointed out, meanwhile, Gyimah once sabotaged an effort to get justice for gay men:
The Lib Dems are becoming the David Cameron Tory party: pro-market dogma, pro-cuts, but claiming to be socially liberal.
Except even that claim is dubious: one recent defector didn't back equal marriage, this one sabotaged an effort to pardon gay men convicted by anti-gay laws. https://t.co/j1Z9NE8KHx
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) September 14, 2019
Here’s Sam Gyimah, the latest Lib Dem recruit, being heckled as MPs shout ‘shame’ because he is talking for as long as possible to ensure legislation automatically pardon living gay people convicted under now abolished sexual offences could not pass. pic.twitter.com/6pOqLL8FGV
— Liam Young (@liamyoung) September 14, 2019
Just two months ago Sam Gyimah wanted to lead the Conservative Party. Today he joined the Liberal Democrats. This says so much.. There really is very little difference between the two. #YellowTories
— Cat (@CatAldgate) September 14, 2019
There’ll soon be more Tories than Lib Dems in the Lib Dems https://t.co/AWtmG7qHsP
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) September 14, 2019
Statistics show that around half of the British population don’t feel strongly about either Leave or Remain and prioritise other issues instead. Yet the Conservatives and Lib Dems seem to be basing their entire strategies around hardline Brexit positions.
If anyone is trying to be inclusive and fair to all voters, meanwhile, it’s Jeremy Corbyn. And that’s why Swinson’s shameless attacks on him keep falling flat on their face.
- Firstly, join the fight against the root causes of today’s problems – austerity, cuts, exploitation, and inequality. Join a union, activist group, and/or political party to make your voice heard.
- Join or support a co-operative (for why, see here). Also find out more about the ‘solidarity economy‘ – “a grassroots economy built by the people, for the people, and the planet” which “embodies the values of economic and social justice, diversity and pluralism, co-operation, self-management, and ecological sustainability”. And read about how one region is currently building such an economy in the middle of a war zone.
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