Fears over Lib Dem revoke pledge | Letters


As a Liberal Democrat supporter, I regret to say that if another election takes place the party is almost certain to limp home as a weak third, relying pathetically on disaffected members of the Tory and Labour parties for any improvement in its representation (Liberal Democrats pledge to scrap Brexit without another referendum, 16 September).

The problem is that Jo Swinson, like her predecessor, lacks basic political intelligence. Our party is the party of remain, she insists, and leaving or remaining will be the major issue in an election or a people’s vote. But neither she nor he have explained to the more and more befuddled public precisely what are the advantages to us of belonging to the EU (as well as the dangers and disadvantages of leaving). Noble assertions that she will campaign for “an open, inclusive and fair society” are useless.

We need clear reasons, memorable mantras and painted buses to counter the colourful, lying and bombastic assaults of Boris and co. This is not the time for intellectual and rhetorical blandness.
Prof Tom McAlindon
Kirk Ella, East Yorkshire

As a Lib Dem activist, I write to express unease about the pledge passed at conference to revoke article 50 in the event that the Lib Dems were to win the next election.

In the last few weeks, recruiting members and volunteers has been like pushing at an open door, but I worry now that potential supporters, from other parties or none, might be put off by this pledge. I hope the party will stress that it continues to campaign for another referendum – a more inclusive and less extreme position.

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There is a mismatch between the populist democracy of the referendum and the representative democracy of parliament. Given that the 2016 referendum got us into this mess, I think that there has to be another referendum giving a choice between a Brexit with a deal and a revocation of article 50. Of course, I would campaign as hard as I’m able for the latter result.
Susan Chesters
Winchester, Hampshire

As they plan to disregard the article 50 parliamentary vote and ignore the 2016 EU referendum result, should the Liberal Democrats rename themselves Liberal Totalitarians?
Terence Glover
Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire

As a lapsed member of the Labour party, disillusioned by its drift to the right and the Iraq war, I joined the Lib Dems in 2007 and was elected to our local council. In the 2010 general election, I was happy to campaign on the Lib Dems’ “fairer, greener” policies, including commitments to the NHS, education and improving life for families, women and disabled people.

I resigned the day after Nick Clegg did his coalition deal with David Cameron. Current members of the party questioning the voting records of high-profile incomers should be equally concerned about the leadership.

Without the support of their Lib Dem coalition colleagues, the Tories couldn’t have passed the disastrous Health and Social Care Act 2012, increased tuition fees, privatised the Royal Mail, etc. It was Lib Dem MPs’ votes that facilitated the austerity programme, which has had such a devastating impact on the most vulnerable sections of society and arguably created the conditions for the referendum result. It’s little wonder Swinson wants to rewrite history by scrapping Brexit and pretending the last few years never happened.
Karen Barratt
Winchester city council 2007-10

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