The big Lib Dem mistake was not to focus on the Tories
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
A series of spectacularly bad choices from Jo Swinson and the Lib Dem leadership sealed our fate.
Capitulating to Boris Johnson's demand for an early election was the first folly. Abandoning the wider Remain Alliance and the People's Vote movement was the second, betraying all prospect of a second referendum.
Following it up with a gratuitous smack in the teeth to Labour Remainers by ruling out any deal to support a Corbyn government was the third. Like many Lib Dems, I would have infinitely preferred a Corbyn-led minority Government to the disaster we now have. At least Corbyn would have given us a referendum!
Finally, having comprehensively thrown away the cause of a People's Vote, Swinson formed her campaign around Brexit, while failing to articulate a single positive reason why we should stay in the EU. If the general election was to be her substitute for a second referendum, with Labour on the sidelines, what excuse did she have for making the campaign even more fatally uninspiring than 2016?
There was nothing intrinsically wrong or unconstitutional in declaring she would withdraw Article 50, but why did she need to say it? It was a legitimate programme aim, but it exposed a fatal weakness; she was forced to admit that it would only happen if there was a Lib Dem majority in parliament, and she was the only one who believed that could happen. Her credibility never recovered.
You may also want to watch:
Why campaign against Labour Remainers? It was ridiculous from the start. It gained us nothing and cost them dearly. Now we are all the losers.
- 1 These are the 322 Tory MPs who voted against extending free school meals to children
- 2 Question Time: Ex-Tory minister accused of making 'sickening' comment about free schools meals row
- 3 Betty Boothroyd delivers scathing assessment of Boris Johnson's government
- 4 Downing Street withholds praise for business and local authorities offering free meals to hungry children
- 5 Priti Patel bullying inquiry may never be released, hints Boris Johnson's new civil service boss
- 6 House of Lords defies No 10 and votes to heavily defeat Boris Johnson's Brexit bill
- 7 Priti Patel set to hand private firms £28 million in government contracts to deport asylum seekers from UK
- 8 Boris Johnson 'plans to resign' in six months because he can't live on £150k salary
- 9 German MEP tells Boris Johnson he 'owes' Britons a Brexit deal as she urged a return to EU trade talks
- 10 At the upcoming US election, Donald Trump really is toast
- Send your letters for publication in the next edition of The New European to email@example.com
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.