In announcing her candidacy to be the new leader of the Liberal Democrat party, their deputy leader Jo Swinson somewhat self-servingly announced that the country was embracing Liberal values. By that one presumes she means a Liberal Democrat notion of what liberal values are, not actual liberal values in the sense I understand them to be. One of the most important characteristics of that underpins liberal values would, as I understand it anyway, be a respect for other peoples deeply held views. No matter how alien to your way of thinking on the same issue they may be, one should extend them the same tolerance you’d expect them to.
But any reader of this blog will know I am quite scathing about Liberal Democrats, considering them to be neither Liberal nor Democrats., at least in my understanding of those words. This is best illustrated in their support for a second referendum, which essentially sends a message to people who voted in the first referendum to leave were somehow mistaken, that the full implications of voting leave weren’t properly understood. And that they have a right to have something, which not heal but would further widen the divisions in this country. The first referendum comprised a simple question; leave or remain. There weren’t any caveats, no stipulation that might legally bind any leave decision to be confirmed once we knew the precise details of the negotiated settlement. It was a clear message from the British people – well as clear as 51.9% of 72.2%of votes cast can be. Whether or not that’s a sufficient winning margin or not is not the point. What is the point is that we are where we are, and the fact UK is still a member state of the EU can only be seen as a failure of the entire political class to deliver on the expressed will of the people.
Perhaps that’s why the Brexit party did so in the EU elections. Although thinking about it, any party that gains 32% share of a vote in which only 36.1% of the electorate voted is hardly a ringing endorsement. It shows exactly how dire our political landscape is that somehow this is seen as a resounding defeat for anyone other than democracy. How the Liberals can interpret their 18% share of the vote as anything other than average at best is beyond me but then they are the political equivalent of ‘The Gunning-Kruger Effect’.