Last week’s Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth have provided their new leader Jo Swinson with another platform to trawl her vacuous views in front of the dissident Tories who they hope to win over in time for the next general election.
In the old days the Liberals posed as a radical alternative to Labour. Their youth wing embraced the Palestinian cause and campaigned against the racist, apartheid South African regime while championing early calls for devolution in Scotland and Wales. But those days are long gone.
Nowadays the Liberal-Democrats are just a refuge for third-rate Blairite MPs looking for a new platform to prolong their political careers and a handful of Tory Remainers who jumped before being dumped by Boris Johnson. Chuka Umunna, an ambitious Labour turn-coat who joined them in February now claims that Jeremy Corbyn is “acting as an apologist for a hard-right Russian government that thinks it can poison people on British soil, lauding authoritarian regimes in Venezuela and Iran, failing to support the proscription of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation”. Others repeat Zionist smears about “anti-semitism” in the Labour Party while saying little or nothing about their dismal record in support of austerity as a junior partner in David Cameron’s coalition government.
The growth of the Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties has largely made the Liberal-Democrat take on devolution irrelevant while their self-serving demand for proportional representation has little appeal to the millions trying to live on bread-line wages or the miserable hand-outs of the benefits regime.
In Bournemouth Ms Swinson dumped their old demand for a “People’s Vote” and replaced it with a blatant call to revoke the withdrawal procedure and simply ignore the 2016 referendum.
These are the people that talk about a “fair, free and open society” while brushing aside the 17.4 million people who voted to Leave the European Union in 2016.These are the people who will be calling on Labour supporters to “tactically vote” in their favour at the next election. There’s nothing “liberal” about the Liberal-Democrats.