Swinson: Selling the Remain cause short

We know that Boris Johnson is a liar. How many examples do you need? The Daily Telegraph which paid him a quarter of a million a year has just apologised for blatant untruths in three columns this year.

We know he’s the enemy in the current battle. Only preventing a Conservative majority can stop Johnson from delivering his disastrous Brexit.

Sadly, the party leader who should be our ally in the Remain cause, Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats, is outdoing the Tory leader on the mendacity front.

Swinson is putting party before country. That was her obvious motive for abandoning the People’s Vote common front amongst opposition parties.

It led her to collude with Johnson on calling an early election. Lest we forget the Commons had blocked him from rushing through his deal and there was a good chance of a majority for a People’s Vote to break the Brexit deadlock.

Swinson’s spurious justification was that a handful of Labour MPs had given initial approval to Boris Johnson’s “deal”. Most, however, had made it clear they wouldn’t support it through to the end without attaching a confirmatory referendum.

Jo Swinson’s biggest con is her signature policy of revoking article 50 without a People’s Vote. She claims she will have a mandate if she’s elected Prime Minister as the leader of a majority government. That is a total fantasy.

She would need well over 300 seats to achieve that. Let’s look at what she would need to do to get halfway there. To take 150 seats she would need to gain seats such as Redcar, Edinburgh North and Leith and Maidenhead, requiring swings of more than 26%.    

Former leader Vince Cable isn’t going along with the Swinson fantasy.

Sky’s Lewis Goodall reports: “Sir Vince Cable tells me he expects the Lib Dems to win between 45-85 seats at the election. They’d be doing very well to get the lower end of that range.”

And Sky’s Sophie Ridge delivered a “must watch” demolition of Swinson’s record as a minister in the Cameron-Clegg coalition. 

By spending more time attacking Labour than attacking the Conservatives, Swinson is

  •       helping the Tories defeat sitting Labour MPs in marginal seats
  •       damaging the chances of a People’s Vote on any Brexit outcome
  •       playing into the hands of the Tory Brexiteers.

Many Liberal Democrats get it. If they are a real Remainer they will do all they can to reign in their tribal leader.

By Don Brind - Former BBC political correspondent and Labour Press officer