The annual Liberal Democrats party conference is this week. To promote the event MP Jo Swinson was interviewed by the decaying Guardian. In Swinson in Guardian, she had little to say other than hollow platitudes like “[Lib Dems need] radical solutions that might upset the apple cart” and “my experience in government is there is a whole host of unintended consequences you have to think through. I can’t un-know that, I find it harder now to offer simple solutions.”
The interview was the opposite of a confident rallying cry for support for a political party. One pair of sentences, intended as a declaration of the necessity for the Liberal Democrats to grab an opportunity, is an epitaph for the party’s demise and simultaneously a demonstration of the dishonesty that drives Lib Dem politics:
“There is this big yawning gap in the middle of British politics, the Conservative and Labour parties have gone to the edges. In this divided, polarised world, the pragmatic centre ground is a bit unloved,” opined Swinson.
These two sentences require some corrections to their (deliberate) errors and some peremptory analysis.
Correction 1: The Tories are a right-wing party of corporatism that will use bigotry, prejudice and division as tools to distract and con the public. That is, they are exactly where the Tories have always been, including during 2010-2015 when they were enabled by the Lib Dems. They have not moved to an “edge” or to anywhere else.
Correction 2: Labour is not on the edge of the political spectrum. Corbyn and his colleagues are attempting to shift Labour toward the left and make a genuine challenge to the wealth terrorists’ employees in the Tory party. Like the Progress mob and the centrist journalists at Guardian and New Statesman, Swinson has described Labour as far-left because she fears a future Labour government that is not a puppet of exploitative capitalism.
Correction 3: The centre of British politics, like the respective political centres of France, Germany, Spain, USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, Ireland, Brazil, etc., is not pragmatic. As anthropomorphosised by, for example, Clegg, Macron and Merkel, the centre in democratic capitalist countries is a pit of confidence trickery, lies and cowardice that is indistinguishable in effect from so-called conservative politics. The only difference between centrism and conservatism is that the former offers crumbs to the sappy liberals in order to dissuade them from leaning leftward. Liberal Democrat intent is not pragmatism; Liberal Democrat intent is perpetuation of the divisive status quo.
Correction 4: The “divided, polarised world” is the world we live in where international financial gangsters are fed free money and cheap labour by servants in governments, both democracies and dictatorships, while the vast majority are somewhere on a scale from getting by to surviving to dead. The “divided, polarised world” is maintained by obedient PR teams; for example, Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable is a willing gofer and PR guy for the financial gangsters. Swinson has seen that there is a challenge to the “divided, polarised world” and she is keen to put a stop to that challenge.
Swinson’s speech at the conference expanded on the spurious claim that liberals are the alternative to “populism.”
A rambling introduction to the speech included embellished memories from childhood wherein Swinson said “the cloud [that is, the possibility of nuclear war] had hung threateningly over the world, at times perilously close to disaster on an unimaginable scale.” The reality is that the cold war in the 70s and 80s was just posturing by various leaders; the real wars were in Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe, etc.
“We have enjoyed three decades with much reduced levels of nuclear threat, until now.” Until now? North Korea tested some missiles and some nuclear bombs and the US president uttered some dramatic comments. It’s a pantomime. Meanwhile thousands of people are dying in conflict in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Myanmar, Sudan and Ukraine without nuclear weapons being used.
Swinson extended her absurdist comparisons further by equating how (she chooses to imagine) Japanese people felt about a recent North Korean missile test that flew over Japan with how Londoners felt during German bombing in the second world war. That sounds like a sketch from The Day Today but it is what Swinson said. Two pertinent points about the missile test are:
- The test was designed so that the missile would fall harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean at the conclusion of the test; clearly, to reach the uninhabited ocean, the missile has to pass over Japan.
- The missile attained a height of over five hundred miles. Thus, it “flew over” Japan in the sense that a satellite flies over a country.
The speech lists attacks on humanity that exist in the world today including both military actions and environmental devastation as a possible result of climate change – (Swinson craftily sneaks Venezuela onto her list of state wrongdoers) – and follows the list with “we need new, 21st century, liberal solutions to all of these problems and more.” But, why “liberal” solutions and what would such solutions be? Swinson’s only answer to that question is to point at Trudeau and Macron. Trudeau and Macron are, respectively, not quite as bad as Harper and Le Pen; that is, the extent of Liberal Democrat ambition is pro-capitalist exploitation led by people with better manners than, say, Trump and who manage to keep most of their bigotry concealed.
The speech ended with a strange declaration:
“Creating the bold vision we need is bigger than any single political party. Indeed it’s bigger than party politics itself. We need to reach out and collaborate across society, with thinkers, activists, the young and the old, faith groups, trade unions, entrepreneurs – and with all of you who want to change the world. A considerate one. A fairer one. A loving one.”
At first glance that closing statement appears to be pseudo-religious claptrap that would elicit only ridicule. However, the intent is to try (desperately) to invent a purpose for the increasingly irrelevant Liberal Democrats while simultaneously dismissing the expanding popularity of Corbyn’s tendency toward socialism. Like all good Liberal democrats, Swinson fears socialism’s popularity much more than she fears her stated bogeymen such as Trump, Jong-Un, etc.
Swinson was (unintentionally) correct in one fragment of the comments quoted in the Guardian interview: “There is this big yawning gap in the middle of British politics.” Yes, there certainly is. A chasm has opened up and is swallowing all the useless, pointless, spurious, needless, vacuous nincompoops of the obstructive, duplicitous centre. They’ve been found out. The walking shadows and poor players strutted and fretted their hours upon the stage but, gradually, they are heard no more. The idiot’s tale, full of snide and flimsy, signified nothing. Out, out brief Cable.
Nick Clegg’s preference for old school tie allegiance in 2010 hastened the arrival of the expiration day of the Liberal Democrats. Swinson’s creative Unwinesque philosophies are just clumsy attempts to fart back at the ineluctable force of the annihilating gale.