Video: last 4 LibDem leaders campaigned for FIRST referendum – including Swinson

LibDem leaders’ referendum history suggests expedient u-turns are not new phenomenon
Four LibDem leaders who campaigned for an EU referendum long before there was one

LibDem leader Jo Swinson has been criticised for cynical manoeuvring after the party performed a screeching u-turn on a new referendum – and welcomed yet another Tory into the party.

The LibDems now say that if they get the opportunity they will cancel Brexit altogether by revoking Article 50 outright – now that most opposition parties say they will support the referendum the LibDems have spent the last two years demanding.

The move has opened a huge ‘sanity gap’, with Boris Johnson’s Tories doing everything they can to engineer a no-deal Brexit and the LibDems wanting to stop Brexit without the UK’s voters having a say.

But the history of LibDem leaders suggests that screeching u-turns form part of their basic training – because the last four all campaigned for an EU referendum long before there was one.

Former leaders Nick Clegg and Tim Farron both campaigned in 2008 for the public to be given a vote on the UK’s EU membership – while Swinson’s immediate successor Vince Cable beat them to it by a year or so:

And video has emerged today of current leader Jo Swinson, also in 2008, on the LibDems’ front bench telling the House of Commons that the whole party wanted an in-out referendum:

It’s highly unlikely that Swinson will be challenged on this by the so-called ‘mainstream’ media, but the LibDems are hypocritical political chancers. Oh dear oh dear.

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  1. It’s hard to see why anybody would vote LD when their ambition to revoke Article 50 will never happen and they refuse to cooperate with anybody else in securing a compromise. Labour will now occupy the Centre ground and as voters realise what a Johnson 5 year term would do to the country the imperative is in stopping him and only Corbyn can do that.

  2. Well … mmm … “interesting”. Because Chuckup – if I heard correctly (forgive me if my ears weren’t hanging on his every turd) – at the end of his WatO interview seemed *still* to be talking about having a referendum.

    .. a sort sick-it-up then suck-it-up.

    The insert from John Curtice on the ConDems polling chances was interesting, given their attempt to go after the Tory vote.

  3. The Lib Dems are shameless opportunists and this u-turn is just an example of how they are prepared to sacrifice principle for power.
    I noted Jo Swinson ruled out going into a coalition with Boris Johnson but NOT with the Tories knowing very well he is unlikely to be leader post the next election. Therefore if there is a hung parliament expect another Tory LibDem coalition.
    Also given her ex labour colleagues have egos the size of a house there will be a lot of jockeying for position in the event of a coalition. Our ex MPs are expert in the art of back stabbing and undermining their leader as Jo will soon find out to her cost. I don’t fancy her chances of surviving 12 months in any circumstances.

    1. I agree Swinson is very obviously not up to the job and when everything goes wrong (collapsing support) I’d put money on Chukka giving it a go. Remember when still wet behind the ears he had a go for the Leadership of the Labour Party and then threw the towel in when he realised he was going to lose spectacularly. I seem to remember he blamed a nervous girlfriend for pulling out. A thoroughly dishonest ego maniac. Watch out Swinson, you are far more vulnerable than Corbyn has ever been.

      1. I agree with you,particularly about Umunna He’ll be doing his best to oust Swinson and take over the part if the Lib Dems do anyway well.
        However the liklihood is the Lib Dems will be finished after the next election so he’ll probably transfer his”loyalties” to the Tories – lucky Tories LOL

  4. And these tossers have the cheek to say the Labour Partys Brexit position is unclear .. say one thing then do the opposite ( tuition fees ? )
    Lets hope that the undermining of her will soon gather pace with those devious tw@ts lucianander Berkager and Chukkauppa now on board

  5. “Hypocritical political chancers”. Of Course they will NOT be challenged by the main-stream media. The LibDems enabled and supported their Austerity, a political choice to sustain an economically counterproductive and socially divisive neoLIBERALISM.

    Austerity is their baby, just adopted by the Conservatives to further their class war.

  6. If the Lib Dems are humbugs, our Party are humbugs too. Our Labour MPs were part of the 85 per cent of the MPs elected on a promise of respecting the Referendum result. Corbyn then decides over the summer to capitulate to the Party’s right wing, dump the commitment to respect the result – and kick the voters in the teeth by supporting a Second Referendum in which Labour will support Remain. The working class voters are treated with contempt and we will pay the price in the heartlands and in the leave-voting target seats.

    1. stop it Danny. I’m working class and I want to remain. The leader of my wonderful Labour party simply recognises that leaving the EU on the wrong terms will harm people, our labour and consumer rights, will help that horrendous economic system that necessarily exploits everyone and everything: workers, customers the planet. Moreover, it will REWARD dirty money and the near-criminal use it was put to by the Right to affect its narrow, unexpected and completely undeserved victory.

      Facts matter and our Referendum pledge will help the British people acknowledge this.

    2. “The working class voters are treated with contempt ”

      Half of working class voters are Tories. The majority of working class *Labour* voters voted ‘Remain’.

      Get in touch with the reality of Planet Earth.

      1. RH…You really don’t like the working class do you….?to ouote half the working class are torys!?…Where do you get these numbers from?…The working classes formed the Labour party and are still the backbone of the Labour socialist movement and people like me are proud to be socialist and working class Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it RH.!…come on down comrade

      2. One can define ‘working class’ in different ways.
        It’s not unreasonable to define it as ‘anyone who would be poor without a job’ which includes many people factory workers might not consider to be working class.
        The likelihood of poverty has historically been less for the better educated but that’s changing soon.
        They’ll have more in common with us than they do with the rich when they see how remote the possibility of becoming rich themselves really is in AI-world.
        Lots of people vote in line with their hopes of future wealth rather than their present circumstances.
        I’ve known more than a few who let it be known they vote Tory in hopes the boss will promote them over the socialist who’s twice as good at the job.
        As the opportunities to climb the greasy pole disappear with AI middle class political sympathies will inevitably shift to the left.
        Lord Sumption thinks prorogation is a matter for government and not the courts.
        Presumably he’d have argued the same in respect of the 1939 Enabling Act.
        The point’s been made that a future PM could prorogue parliament the day after one election until the day before the next election – once the precedent’s been set.

      3. Utterly unfounded BOLLOCKS again from rh.

        You, sir, are naught but a fantasist who thinks he’s something of an ‘authority’ on class.

        Therefore, kindly refrain from pontificating to anybody on ‘reality’.

  7. The last two Question Times showed that Labour has lost a lot of credibility, when the Labour representatives from the front bench said that regardless of Corbyn getting a good deal, which would allow the “Transformative Manifesto” to be carried out, they would still campaign to remain. Their position at the moment, makes no sense and is a betrayal of their pledge to honour the referendum result. It makes it hard to believe them on anything.
    the lack of action in tackling the behaviour of people like Tom Watson etc., has made them look weak.

    1. You say “they” will campaign for Remain but that is individuals, Emily T for example. But Cor un intends to follow Harold Wilson’s idea of having a free vote on such an important issue. Labour is the sensible Centre party for once. There is no point in adopting an extremist position like the Tories and LibDems, it will only get you so far. None Labourites seems to have forgotten their old adage that in Britain the Centre wins.

      1. Paul I agree with some of what you are saying but your last few words IN Britain the centre wins?….That makes my blood run cold…I hope you are wrong!

      2. Centrist is not a nice word I agree but this is strictly confined to Brexit, nothing else, on the contrary success in Brexit will open the door to radical reform that Corbyn promises. The imperative must be to stop a 5 year term for Johnson which would change the character of the country. Being Centrist over Brexit seems a price worth paying.

      3. Paul, I suggest picking a different word to describe a non-extreme position on Brexit than ‘centrist’.
        Too many connotations, too many unnecessary arguments – unnecessary if you’re not of the Blair persuasion – which “in Britain the Centre wins” suggests might be a forlorn hope.

        The ‘centre’ must either explain the ‘moderate’ policy measures it plans to adopt which will prevent the 1% continuing to increase the wealth gap until it owns 100% of everything – the most EXTREME result conceivable – or concede that centrists are the lapdogs of the extremist Tories.

        Moderately fewer austerity cuts?
        Moderately lower tax breaks for the 1%?
        Moderately lower tax increases for the poor?
        Moderately fewer trillions for the banks when they crash the world’s economies AGAIN next year?

        Nothing ‘moderate’ will do more than SLIGHTLY SLOW the rise of the super-rich and the guaranteed outcome is that they own everything and whichever of your descendants survive will pay rent for everything and eat what they’re given.

        “Centrism” that makes Tories look less extreme is as responsible for the totalitarian rule of the super-rich as the Tories.
        Left Labour, alone among the parties, desires to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people by the most direct means – that is the only truly moderate position in politics.
        “Trickle down theory,” as accepted by ALL other parties, has had centuries to work yet the rich grow richer than ever – and we’re poorer now than fifty years ago.

      4. It only applies to Brexit not austerity etc in the way I’m using the word. . The two contending parties have shot themselves in the foot by adopting extremist positions and have left the door open for more pragmatic solutions. Maybe that’s the word, pragmatic?

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