The Unprincipled – and Potentially Racist – Lib Dems 267

One might hope the role of the monarchy in the prorogation plot, and then Theresa May’s cronies getting honours in her resignation list, might do enough to undermine public confidence in some of the systems that define the British establishment. But the honours list will shortly be further devalued by political muck as Jo Swinson’s office is proffering peerages and knighthoods in the dissolution honours to candidates and their constituency chairmen in winnable seats, if they are willing to make way for Blairite entryists like Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger.

The difficulty is that a Lib Dem candidate in South West London or South West England has a very good chance of becoming an MP in the next election. It is not obvious to many why they should make way for a right wing war hawk with no connection to liberalism who has only just joined the party. Swinson sees the certainty of the Lords in exchange for a prospect of the Commons as a fair offer. Many ordinary party members would see this as beyond words sordid.

One person not being offered a peerage is Clareine Enderby, the Lib Dem candidate for the normally no LibDem hope seat of Finchley and Golders Green. There has been massive media speculation that she will stand down for Luciana Berger to replace her, and to be fair, Ms Enderby has been making plain that, so far as she is concerned, there is no vacancy.

As the Jewish Chronicle points out, it is by no means certain that Berger would want to stand in Finchley as opposed to a more normally winnable Lib Dem target, if Swinson can promise to boot an incumbent candidate into the Lords to make way for her.

The entire shenanigans leave an extremely bad taste in the mouth. Abuse of the honours system and pandering to the desires of the most unprincipled career politicians in the country are just the start of it. The Blairites repeatedly justified their hostility to Corbyn by saying that they had a personal mandate from their constituents. Yet at the first opportunity they are running like rabbits from the judgement of their constituents in the hope of finding more malleable ones.

If Ms Enderby is indeed replaced by Luciana Berger she will be a victim of racism, as the sole grounds on which Ms Berger is being touted as preferable for that particular constituency is her ethnicity. Victims of racism do not always themselves wish to complain due to societal or personal pressures. But I should certainly be entering a formal complaint about it.


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267 thoughts on “The Unprincipled – and Potentially Racist – Lib Dems

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  • syntax_error

    Swinson/Stewart coalition. Worth a punt. He’s their next man and they’ll need others on the right like the Lib Dems to help them. It’s been obvious for a while. She’s been lining it up for months now.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    The Black poet did spurn Her Royal Highness’s OBE ( Other Bugger’s Effort) honour.

    The point, I believe, is that there is a British hierarchy with Royalty at the pinnacle, which got there not by way of hard effort and accomplishments – but by way of hereditary privilege. Once a society buys into that type of ‘accomplishment’ then ascribed status takes precedence over achieved accomplishments. It is the ascribed Queen and the supportive establishment which continues to recruit others for national perpetuation of that mindset.

    At least – that is the mind-set – as I see it.

    P.S. Check this out:-

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Benjamin Zephaniah’s name appears on the standard list of British American Project alumni. This is presumably some sort of cover for the BAP and is entirely unjust for Benjamin. He was invited to attend a BAP conference. The conference that year was in San Francisco where he had friends. He sensible took the plane tickets and hotel room and gave the conference a dizzy. He never attended another conference. Still THEY got their cover story I suppose.

      • Courtenay Barnett


        Interesting – thanks for informing.

        I went on Google to find out more. May very well be a CIA funded operation ( who knows – not beyond the realms of probabiity). Maybe Pilger sums it up accurately:-

        ” The leftwing journalist John Pilger, who has been uncovering American manipulation of other countries’ politics for decades, has described BAP as a “casual freemasonry” and “by far the most influential transatlantic network of politicians, journalists and academics”.

        As a child, I recall my mother reading the ‘Readers Digest’ and, no doubt, believed all of the observations and opinions expressed therein, without questioning the ‘editorial line’ and from whence said came.

        In Zephaniah’s case – he was invited; he came; he saw; he understood – and he left ( permanently).

        As I heard as a child:-

        God made them high and low and ordered their estate.

        So too with hegemonic politics in the modern world:-

        US makes UK high or low and seeks to order the worldly estate.

        And so we must always be appreciative, without question, then, as children sing – ‘All things bright and beautiful’. After three now…

        • Old Mark

          In Zephaniah’s case – he was invited; he came; he saw; he understood – and he left

          More likely he just felt like a complete fish out of water at the time; if he’s picked up bits & pieces about BAP since then he’s probably glad he acted on his gut feeling.

          • Courtenay Barnett

            Old Mark,

            Either way – intuitively – or – direct knowledge based – he figured out that BAP was not his thing.

            So – we agree.

  • TFS

    1. I’d like to see the law changed to make only people who have lived in a constitunecy for a length of time are allowed to seek election in that area. No parachuting people in.
    2. I’d also like a law introduced to make MPs have automatic reselection if there resign from their Party.

    I’d like to see Watson out by Galloway but…..

    • N_

      I’d also like a law introduced to make MPs have automatic reselection if there resign from their Party.

      ?? Reselection as what?

      • Shatnersrug

        I think he means obligatory byelection – if an MO quits their party they are as good as deselected

  • Merkin Scot

    Ms Swinson is a truly odious character.
    However, a friend in her constituency did tell me that she was running about like a blue-arsed fly in the weeks before the election. She canvassed where other parties did not appear to be interested. She got his vote as a result.

    • michael norton

      Does anybody know what Jo Swinson stands for.
      I know she does not want a General Election.
      I know she does not want Jeremy Corbyn as even a temporary Prime minister.
      I know she does not want to leave the European Union.

      What will her course be, if the LibDems become the dominant party in the next Parliament?

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      My mother lives in East Dumbartonshire, she was inundated with leaflets for the LidDems but every one of them was delivered by the Post Office. Not a LibDem canvasser in sight for the duration of the campaign. The constituency party is widely referred to a tiny. Its Facebook page has 215 likes.
      According to a recent Private Eye membership of LibDems in Sheffield has diminished to the point where constituency parties were dissolved and a city wide party convened. Its accounts for 2018 show income from membership fees at £399. From the LibDem website, “you can join the LibDems from as little as £1 / month”. That’s a maximum membership for the city of Sheffield of 33.
      Pure AstroTurf, big donations and no grassroots.
      People like Alex Cole-Hamilton have a distinctly spook tinge to them.
      Perhaps the State Department sees the LibDems as a viable entryist vehicle? Is a new iteration of the British American Project in play?

      • Tony

        Did she get any from the other parties? I suspect not.

        An article on Wings over Scotland dealt with this just after the last general election.
        The writer got 13 leaflets by post from the Liberal Democrats and none at all from the other parties.
        Clearly, a tacit alliance against the SNP.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          The constituency boundaries are defined in bad faith. Gerrymandering in action. There is no public transport between Bishopbriggs and the Bearsden / Milingavie conurbation. Logical Bishopbriggs would be lumped in with Kirkintilloch and Kilsyth but these are lumped in with Cumbernauld.
          In 2017 the Tories took 14.6% in a seat they previously held when it was called Strathkelvin and Bearsden, so yes, obviously a fit up.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          I am afraid political anoraks fail to discern that 95% of the population are not wonks who read 40 leafletsin one election campaign. I did some campaigning for Libdems back in Kennedys day and I was told by a resident that they were sick and tired of daily leaflets from each party. I informed HQ, but so obsessed were they with SOV that they took no notice.

          My view is simple and it is that if you ask a girl out three times and she says no three times, go ask domeone else. Same in politics. If you cannot get your message across in three viewings, the time is not ripe for that message. It may be ripe by the next election, but not this one.

          Three leaflets through the door, three local newspaper articles, three local radio interviews, three local TV, three walk abouts, three public meetings, three candidate debates.

          It all adds up. But it is not stale regurgitation of tired repetitive messages.

  • Old Mark

    The entire shenanigans leave an extremely bad taste in the mouth.

    They do indeed Craig- if Berger gets the LibDem nomination in Finchley it is more evidence that, to win certain seats in London, membership of a vocal ethnic/religious minority,or the relevant non white ethnic majority ( there are several of these in London and elsewhere) is a sine qua non for shortlisting- regardless of party label.

    And now for something completely different- Craig your thoughts please on this outrageous decision by District judge Vanessa Baraitser in London today. The talk is all about JA absconding because he ‘faces charges in the US’ – no mention at all of the honeytrap Swedish charges he originally faced, and which precipitated, his original breaching of ‘bail conditions’.

    Aren’t our judges wonderful ? Utterly impervious to political pressure !

  • Sharp Ears

    Perhaps Ms Swinson and Ms Berger could sign up to the LDFoI lobby group. Lord Monroe Palmer could do with a few new members.

    There are 775! members of the House of Lords. 94 are LD.

    Any of them who clock in, not necessarily contributing to a debate, can collect £305 per day. That could be before or after partaking of the offerings of the several subsidized restaurants and bars.

    ‘Members of the House of Lords are not salaried. They can opt to receive a £305 per day attendance allowance, plus travel expenses and subsidised restaurant facilities. Peers may also choose to receive a reduced attendance allowance of £150 per day instead.

    The British political is bust, broken, out of date. Clear it out and replace it.

    PS Never forgetting what the LDs did to Jenny Tonge and David Ward.

  • CasualObserver

    Any LibDem constituencies that are close to being able to win will likely have prospective candidates who have been working the patch for some while. So its difficult to see how any could be convinced to throw away their efforts in order for the party to effectively virtue signal.

    Clearly Berger stands no chance in the constituency that Emilys Parachute landed her in, having struck her Labour colours. And her persona is such that its hard to see her getting elected other than in a patch that has a blue or red vote colour coded into it, something she had, but chose to discard.

    There’s always the upper chamber of course, but as any upcoming government will either be Labour, or have Labour as its biggest element, its hard to see a sideways move not being blackballed.

    In a logical world, Luciana would be rewarded by the Conservatives for all her efforts in attempting to put spokes in the wheels of the Labour Party, but I rather suspect she is about to find out how anti Semitism really works in the UK, rather discreetly as opposed to flags and marches.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I have to say that the thought of Luciana Berger not finding a winnable seat does not make me wish to burst into tears….

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      That is very revealing and depresses one down to ones bootsoles to see that politics UK is such a contemptible charade.I would legislate for two terms or 8 years with compulsory resignation.

      • bevin

        Why not annual elections? These have been a core demand of radical reformers for centuries. It is no accident that of the Six Points of the People’s Charter the one that would have meant a regular audit of the representative’s performance has never come close to being implemented.
        Unlike term limits annual elections allows the relatively few really good local MPs to be rewarded.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Disagree. Annual elections means you can never do anything meaningful. How do you set policy if you may be gone by Christmas? You are guaranteed to elect idiots who promise much but deliver little. Not to mention the cost of elections, endlessly new Cabinets and civil servants being even more powerful than they already are.

  • Hatuey

    I’m predicting that the Liberals will be pulverised in the next General Election. Labour’s constructive ambiguity was never intended as an election winning strategy — it was always about standing back and letting their arch rivals tear themselves to pieces over Brexit.

    If Labour had come down on one side or the other, they’d have involved themselves unnecessarily in the fight and taken blows that would otherwise have been landed on their opponents. Constructive ambiguity has worked for Labour.

    When the general election comes, though, Labour will bite the bullet and champion the Remain cause without any ambiguity. When they do that, anyone who really wants to Remain will vote Labour rather than Liberal because a Labour victory is plausible and could lead to Brexit being called off.

    Voting Liberal, in the circumstances I describe here, will represent nothing more than a protest vote. I don’t think people will view the next election as a battle between competing Brexit and Remain parties. I think it’s too important to be left to chance and they’ll vote along traditional lines (for The Conservatives if they want Brexit and Labour if they want to remain).

    • N_

      When the general election comes, though, Labour will bite the bullet and champion the Remain cause without any ambiguity. When they do that, anyone who really wants to Remain will vote Labour rather than Liberal because a Labour victory is plausible and could lead to Brexit being called off.

      If Britain is still in the EU at the time of the general election, Labour won’t champion the Remain cause. They should do, because it’s right to. But they won’t, because they’ll lose votes if they do. They may win some of the votes that went to the LibDems in the EU election anyway, because a smaller proportion of voters will vote LibDem in an election they view as more serious – partly because turnout will be higher, and partly because, well, it’s serious. (I confidently predict the Snots won’t reach the 12% they got in May either.)

      If at the time of the general election Britain is no longer a member of the EU, it’s a whole different ballgame. The right wing may not get very far with their “stop whingeing, you losers” line when food is short, there’s no fuel, people who have become addicted to prescribed painkillers can’t get them, and a few teensy-weensy little places of only a few hundred thousand people (as depicted in Yellowhammer) can’t get clean water.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        You really are an idiot saying food will run out.

        We already imprt food from outside the EU with no trouble whatever. Israel, Turkey, Chile, New Zealand, Morocco, just to name five.

        Just use the same system for EU we already use for non EU.

  • M.J.

    I just looked at the latest Honours list. No mention of Swinson or any of the ”victims” above. I suppose they will be standing for their Lib Dem seats after all. 🙂

    • craig Post author

      That is because the dissolution honours list hasn’t happened yet. I think the article is fairly plain that this is something which is happening now, not something which has happened.

      • Roger Mexico

        So they’re giving Jonathan Fryer a peerage? – well they could do worse when you look at some of the people they’ve put in the Lords over the last decade. But of course that’s assuming that there will be a dissolution honours – there weren’t in 2017 after all (which in turn means more people hanging about expectantly).

  • Xavi

    Likewise Chukka Umunna — four times he said you couldn’t trust or forgive the Lib Dems. Both of them remain revered figures among Westminster.lobby journalists.

    • michael norton

      Then there is the turncoat
      Dr. Phillip Lee, my M.P.
      what a shyster, almost nobody in the Bracknell constituency will vote for him and his Remainer nonsense.
      He knows better than his constituents, they should do what he tells them.

  • John A

    Maybe, the first step in an English revolution would be to storm the prison where Julian Assange is to remain incarcerated after his bail skipping sentence expires, according to the BBC.

    Let Belmarsh resonate as loudly round the world as the Bastille did!

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      @John A
      Trying to write an equal to “And shall Assange be sent to fry,Here’s 50000 Cornishmen will know the reason why”..,for a march on London.Something on that scale is needed

  • Northern

    I wish even one member of the media would put these invertebrate’s on the spot about their unprincipled opportunism. Jo Swinson should be forcibly reminded of the irony of her party’s actions in respect of their name at every turn. I just want to watch them squirm a bit, is that too much to ask?

    • Hatuey

      No, Swinson will unravel fast. We’ve seen hundreds of these self-hating Scots with fake accents trying their hands over the years.

      The middle classes in England, generally speaking, more than any other demographic, absolutely despise Scottish people. They love Scotland, that is to say, they love lording it in Scotland where property and rooms are cheap etc., but they hate us.

      It’s worth bearing in mind that people like Gordon Brown and Swinson only get these jobs because they demonstrate hatred of their own people, the SNP, and independence movement. That’s a pre-condition. The BBC and media generally is full of these types.

      There’s a ceiling on how far they can go because at the end of the day they’re Scottish and even if they devote every utterance to venting on Scotland, with or without a fake pompous accent, it’s never enough.

      The indy movement naturally despises these sell-outs but it’s worth bearing in mind that the Swinsons and Browns of the world probably don’t want to do this. It’s just one of many hoops that Scottish people must jump through if they want a certain type of job. The hoops are Made in Engerland.

      • RandomComment

        The middle classes in England, generally speaking, more than any other demographic, absolutely despise Scottish people. They love Scotland, that is to say, they love lording it in Scotland where property and rooms are cheap etc., but they hate us.

        But didn’t you despise them first? It’s kind of human nature to hate people who hate you.

        • RandomComment

          Look, know why you said that Hatuey, and with some fair justification. I’m not a fan of the mind-set you stereotype (but I have seen it, oh yes), but they don’t generally hate you. At this point, they are more incensed with their own political class than the Scots 😉

          • Pope Alexander

            It always seems to me that the people in England hate anyone who isn’t English. A sneering contempt towards all other people is what lays at the root of all English history. The path from a bunch of island pirates to world imperialist empire is all built on an attitude that an Englishman is far, far better than anyone else, anywhere, anytime. I can’t really judge from a distance as to whether the Scots or higher or lower on the English’s “we hate you” scale, but they certainly are not alone on the list. But I suppose that being unfortunate enough to live next door the English, they were one of the first names on the list.

            To me, the grand joke of Brexit is watching the English shoot themselves in the foot all because they are angry that they have to live in the same city as a Polish plumber, and they can’t stand the thought of a superior Englishman having to do that, thus its worth anything for an end to freedom of movement. Even if they have to limp around on crutches after they do it.

          • RandomComment

            Are you English Pope? Do you think I hate you for not being so? You’re off to a good start with your hate rant.

          • bevin

            “It always seems to me that the people in England hate anyone who isn’t English. A sneering contempt towards all other people is what lays at the root of all English history. ”
            You don’t get out much do you? At least you don’t meet many ordinary English people if you do. And what you know about history makes your knowledge of English character appear fairly comprehensive.

          • Hatuey

            I’m not criticising English people. I mean it sincerely when I say that I think they are amongst the most fair and generous people on earth. I’ve been on the receiving end of English altruism many times and I’ll never forsake them.

            I think of ordinary people in England falling for this Brexit stuff and building their hopes up and it fills me with nothing but sympathy. They’ve been let down badly. I blame New Labour.

            And I blame the English middle classes for Thatcher, New Labour, austerity, the destruction of what was once a very civilised society, and a thousand other things all inspired by greed. I hope Brexit hurts them badly and many of them need to go through the indignity of queuing outside food banks.

          • RandomComment

            I know where you are coming from. Let me ask you this: could Corbyn even implement his re-nationalization pledges under EU law? And is austerity a UK-only program in the face of Eu policy?

          • Hatuey

            The EU couldn’t stop Corbyn’s plans which frankly are very conservative.

            Just about every country in the EU has a car industry that has been propped up in one way or another over decades. The CAP was a monument to state aid when you think about it. I could go on and on.

            The fact is the U.K. spending levels right now on railways break the rules, not that anyone takes the rules very seriously.

            When it comes to the free market dogma, inside and outside Europe, it is more or less a truism that the rules are only imposed on small, weaker countries.

            A lot of the puritanical laissez faire stuff in the EU rule book, on finance and banking in particular, is only there because of British insistence and influence.

            That’s one of the strangest parts of all this… the Europeans bowed to Britain when it came to establishing the single market. Thatcher was a key player. They generally respected Britain on this sort of stuff.

          • N_

            FFS, @Pope, what percentage of English people do you think held positions in the “imperialist empire”? (I don’t know what other kinds of empires there are than imperialist ones.)

            It is true there is a lot of hatred in the English caste system, coming down from the top. It is also true that it is one of its distinguishing characteristics. Working class people are basically viewed as non-human animals. There is no respect for example for working class families, for working class parents who raise their children or who look after each other, who love each other, who mourn friends and family when they die, and so on. In most of the rest of Europe, in Ireland, in Latin America, in the Arab world, there is far more respect for people. In England, working class people are all viewed as disgusting pieces of muck that do not deserve to be considered as human beings.

            But no way does this hatred favour English or white English plumbers or working class people against non-English or non-white ones. In the minds of those in the superior castes, both groups are scum. If any are worth being kept alive, it’s those who work longest hours on lowest wages and don’t expect to live under roofs that don’t leak water onto their heads. That kind of attitude is viewed as presumptuous and parasitic. Who do they think they are? Some white middle-class tossers are even so stupid and scared of thinking for themselves as to believe that middle class people do all the work while working class people sit on their arses. They are about as far as anybody could possibly be from analysing how inherited wealth works. The term “natives” can be used, as if England were Africa. The build-up is towards a massive cull.

            As for Scotland, independencism is mainly Brexit-thought in a kilt.

          • kathy

            “It always seems to me that the people in England hate anyone who isn’t English.”

            While not disagreeing with you, it also strikes me that they also hate each other. While living abroad, I had a chance to closely observe some English migrants or expats as they call themselves and noticed – among the women anyway – a peculiar but widespread mannerism which I had never come across before in Scotland and which puzzled me quite a bit. When two English strangers first meet each other they have a habit of sticking their noses up in the air in some sort of display of superiority. (I am not joking). I didn’t really notice until I overheard a conversation which went something like this; “She stuck her nose up in the air so (laughing) I stuck my nose up in the air too. I could hardly believe this until I decided to try and spot this strange habit for myself and much to my surprise, found it to be true.

            Some anthropologist should really do a study of English people.

          • Bayard

            “Some anthropologist should really do a study of English people.”

            They have. I recommend reading “Watching the English” by Kate Fox.

        • kathy

          “But didn’t you despise them first?”

          Only when they invaded our country, slaughtered our people and looted our national treasures. Perfectly natural reaction I would say.

      • Wikikettle

        Hatuey. I have a problem. I can call myself British, and even be accepted as such by people despite my colour. If the Union falls apart and the cosmopolitan shield ‘British’ offers me disappears what then ? I cant call myself English, nor will be I accepted as such by many despite being brought up in England since 1966. Born in Kenya 1959 to Zoroastrian parents, I cant say I am African, Indian (where they were born) or Persian, where we originally came from. I sound English but look ….in many peoples eyes as still a foreigner. The correct desire to be self governing, I fear will have consequences for people like me, especially when things start falling apart….

        • RandomComment

          Most people will love you for who you are, as long as you don’t come across as a concern troll 😉

        • Hatuey

          Wiki, you have nothing to fear. Normal service will be resuming shortly in England, whatever happens. The pendulum swings.

          I remember the dire state of affairs in the 1970s. Racists were everywhere. I was a kid but I remember it well. Then the pendulum swung back and for around 30 years the racists had to go back to whispering in dark corners.

          These trends are largely driven by economics. There’s studies that prove that. It’s predictable too, you can model for it. A couple of German academics made a name for themselves with this stuff, I forget their names. Basically, the harder the recession, the more racism you get.

          I guess people turn to extremes when they are poor. They want to blame someone. It’s crap being poor, I’ll say that, but I’ve never considered blaming anyone other than myself. People in the UK don’t really know what poverty is.

          Anyway, when I read your question I was inclined to say the mistake you are making is to think defining yourself as British is a solution. It isn’t. If it gives you comfort, that’s maybe a good thing but take my word for it, the racists won’t let that get in the way of persecuting you.

          But we have progressed. In the 1970s, it was socially acceptable to be racist. They had racists in sitcoms and everything. We are a million miles away from that. And when the pendulum swings back, we will make further progress. It’s painfully slow-moving but it’s moving.

          The thing that annoys me most actually is the anti-Islamic stuff. It’s totally programmed for a very obvious reason — oil. If instead of being Muslims they worshipped the moon we’d be talking about the dangers of lunar fundamentalism.

          People like Dawkins and Hitchens and other academics who pandered to the anti-Islamic stuff let themselves down badly. It’s unforgivable.

          • N_

            It’s crap being poor, I’ll say that, but I’ve never considered blaming anyone other than myself.

            What a Thatcherite attitude that is.

            People in the UK don’t really know what poverty is.

            Talk for yourself.

        • N_

          I have a British friend of Sri Lankan parentage who lives in London and, like you, considers himself British and not English. This is assuming you are talking about how you feel when you say “I can” and “I can’t”. Many English people would be happy to accept you as English if that’s how you were to say you felt. They wouldn’t exclude a person from recognition just because he wasn’t brought up knowing about corn dollies and stuff. I know many would exclude you; I’m just adding that many would not. Of course 99% of those who voted Leave would. Leave voters are a f***ing disgrace to whichever of the home countries they come from.

          Jazmin Sawyers sings the English anthem – and she gets the words right too, rather than singing the filthy alteration introduced by Tory scumbag Hubert Parry.

          • RandomComment

            N_, a lot of them didn’t come from the home counties. They came from all the forgotten corners of the Island

          • N_

            @Random – I wrote “home countries”, meaning the four constituent countries of modern Britain. Maybe I should stop using the term.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            I am afraid you are a disgrace to the Remain voters. You and your kind keep blethering nonsense that all Leave voters are racist insular haters of Johnny Foreigner. It is a complete lie. I am sure there are some who are like that, just as there are some men hating feminazis who voted Remain.

            The majority voted to leave because the EU is antidemocratic, controlled entirely by EC apparatchiks who can never be voted out of office. The voted to leave because forty years proved that reform from within was impossible. They voted to leave because Ever Closer Union was not their desire.

            Why are you not foaming at the mouth at Olly Robbins getting a million plus salary from GS for ensuring Brext failed?

            He is the greatest disgrace to national sovereignty since the Civil War…..

          • Tony

            There are also people with a racist agenda amongst the remain campaign Rhys. They would much prefer white European immigration than brown or black-skinned migrants. I have argued with them on assorted message boards. I try to point out to them that we have nothing in common, other than skin colour, with Latvians, etc, but we have a huge shared culture with Commonwealth countries (notwithstanding our rather dark past with said countries). But said racist remainers don’t want to listen. Maybe it’s time to start calling remainers ‘gammons’. Some of them certainly deserve it.

        • Old Mark


          Why do you think being English after the dissolution of the UK would be difficult for you ? Freddy Mercury aka Farrukh Bulsara sounded like a typically camp Englishman, and his slightly foreign physiog and complexion was no barrier to this transformation into an English ‘type’. Why should you encounter more problems in the 2020s than Bulsara did in the 1970s? Despite what some of the Scottish commentators regurgitate here, we English tolerate our foreign born neighbours pretty well- except of course in those areas (now growing in number) where we are the vanishing minority- the latter being a phenomenon completely absent in Scotland.

        • kathy

          “The correct desire to be self governing, I fear will have consequences for people like me,”

          No need to worry…we are quite civilized in Scotland…we even have “Brown” people in our Government!

          Contrast Scotland with racist England where race attacks have rocketed since Brexit. On the other hand, Scotland has just the same number as usual and it is pretty low in the first place. If I were you, I would worry more about living in England and want to get the hell out of it while I still can.

          • Old Mark


            Brown people in government eh… how civilised!.. not like across the border; but wait, who are these people ??..Patel?… Javid?…Cleverley ?

            Lecture me on the racist sins of my countrymen when Scotland has multiple municipalities where the Scots are reduced to a 20% remnant or less of of the current inhabitants – as in Newham, Brent, and elsewhere outside London. And I’m not talking about dead and alive holes with a few hundred residents shivering under leaden highland skies- but say a place similar in size to Craig’s old stamping ground, Dundee. Wow!… Dundee three quarters non white and 80% non Scots. That would be something to behold, and really get your anti racist juices going, wouldn’t it ?

          • Rhys Jaggar

            Do you count Rangers-Celtic violence as racist? It is based on religious bigotry after all, which is just the same as racism….do Rangers fans still sing ‘I’d rather be a nigger than a Tim’?

      • N_

        @Hatuey – You really ought to mind where you’re going with that “self-hating Scots” idea that you’ve got about your Scottish opponents.

        As for your belief that “The middle classes in England, generally speaking, more than any other demographic, absolutely despise Scottish people”, that is rubbish. Mostly they don’t give a toss about Scotland, a totally different attitude. But I doubt you care much about the truth, given your preconception that race is right and race is truth.

        God help us if you lot get yourselves a failed putsch and a blood flag.

          • N_

            Calling someone a self-hating Scot because they disagree with your nationalist view on independence (and wanting national independence is nationalist, despite you having said otherwise) is racist. Why should a person’s Scottish ethnicity mean they have to be an independence supporting nationalist like you? You’re saying your political views are truer to your race than theirs are. You are saying Scottish unionists are race traitors.

            And one can substitute other words and arrive at other equally pertinent questions and statements. A Jew who is anti-Zionist is not a “self-hating Jew”, but that is exactly how they are viewed by Zionists. A German who was anti-Nazi was not a “self-hating German”.

            Most Scottish nationalists believe they were cheated against in the referendum. Maybe you should push for the voting age to be lowered to 12 next time?

          • Hatuey

            N_ please explain how calling someone a “self-hating Scot” is racist… you haven’t done so.

            Let me help you by pointing out that Scots isn’t a race.

            Now, please, your explanation…

      • Vercingetorix


        The English do not despise the Scottish. Scotland is a different country. That much is obvious when I (a southerner) go up there. But despise – no can’t see it. Also the ‘middle class’ is a rather large category.

        • Hatuey

          If you can tell me how to discuss class without generalising, I’d be impressed and extremely grateful.

          I’ve never said the English despised the Scots. Not ever. Try reading more carefully and responding to points that are made rather than things you imagine.

      • Mary Pau!

        No need to bother hating the Scots. Better candidates close to hand. We just wish they would stop feeling quite so sorry for themselves and telling us it is is our fault, while pocketing the Barnett formula.

        I wish them every success in their bid to become an independent vassal state of the EU. I would offer a note of caution, the EU won’t buy into the guilt trap you keep putting on the English.

        • kathy

          “while pocketing the Barnett formula.”

          Why shouldn’t we pocket the Barnett formula since we pay our fair share of it?

  • Antonym

    Already two parties which whom you don’t agree labeled “racist”. This is the old Guardian newspaper dirty tactic to cut off discussions on hot topics that has worn totally out.

    • Pope Alexander

      So, you think it is unfair to call people ‘racists’ when they openly try to say that this person should be a Member of Parliament and decide the course of the nation while another person should not get that voice …… all on the basis of the ethnicity of the two people? I’m not sure there is another accurate word for that.

      • Deb O'Nair

        Racism is generally regarded as discriminating *against* a person because of their race. The current LibDem candidate for Finchley is not (potentially) being discriminated against because of their race but rather they are the victims of political opportunism based on some dodgy thinking about how the large Jewish population of Finchley will vote. It is offensive to Jewish people to suggest that they will vote for a candidate based on either their religious or racial background. Finchley was Thatcher’s old seat and many Tory Jewish voters there are very unlikely to vote for a former Labour MP and friend of Blair – even if they happened to be the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem.

  • RandomComment

    The public’s confidence in [the systems that define] the establishment is severely undermined already. But not for the comparatively trivial reasons you suggest.

  • ReM

    Nonsense, out of the whole corrupt honours system, which, as a journalist once said, would be an embarrassment in Zimbabwe, you pick up for exemplification a few appointments made by the LibDems to some perfectly decent candidates and constituency chairmen. You don’t find sordid, however, the means by which Corbyn was installed and maintained at the helm of the Labour Party. I, personally, have been told, many times, that I had to put up with the thuggery of his cronies, because, you see, Corbyn’s leadership is in the national interest. I don’t know whom you call a ‘right wing war hawk’, but I find the idea that Corbyn alone, single-handedly, is able to stop Britain taking part in wars abroad quite ridiculous. He is indeed useful to the Tory party in helping to bring about Brexit and in leaving no credible alternative to a continued Tory regime.

    • Pope Alexander

      Part of me wants to be amazed that being a ‘decent candidate’ at the time qualifies someone for what is what Hollywood would call a “Lifetime Achievement Award”. Then I remember you guys hand these things out to soccer coaches and cricket players, so, what else is new?

    • bevin

      “You don’t find sordid, however, the means by which Corbyn was installed and maintained at the helm of the Labour Party. ”
      And there we were thinking that, despite flagrant abuse of the electoral register by his opponents, Jeremy had won two elections overwhelmingly, in the face of an unprecedented campaign of coordinated media abuse, fair and square.

  • Dave

    By casting themselves as the Remain party they gained advantage in the European elections but betrayed liberalism by turning themselves in an alter ego Brexit Party rather than a cross party liberal party appealing to remainers and leavers. Once you do that the assortment of bedfellows become normal.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Actually Liberalism should not find it possible to take on position on Brexit, as it is merely choosing where to deploy your primary governing firepower. Liberalism does not dictate where governance should occur, it merely seeks to optimise freedom of the individual….

  • Mike e

    Craig, you should know that it’s not possible to be racist to a white person nowadays. The modern left (intersectionalists) have redefined racism as systemic oppression which means white people can only be oppressors not oppressed. Please get with the programme

  • Gary

    They will no doubt retort with the fact that Berger is experienced and may appeal to Labour voters too. They will lead us to think that fielding a Jewish candidate in an area with a large Jewish community is just coincidence and that casting their existing choice aside has nothing to do with religion. ethnicity etc.

    And that might hold true if she was a local girl, but she not, so there’s that…

    • Antonym

      Didn’t see a word here when British-Pakistani candidates were proposed (and elected) all over the UK in areas with many Muslims.

      • SA

        Fair point. Since you brought this up presumably you have done your research and can show that these candidates were not local and were parachuted in purely because the were Muslims and not that they were local people who happen to be representative of their local population.

  • Dungroanin

    The Groans articles today veer the path through the narrative control.
    The Snowden piece is notable for its lack of mention of Assange!
    The Swinson article is a love note for the LibDems.
    Gave up after that.

    I.I, all present and correct!

  • Pope Alexander

    I obviously have a reading disorder. Every time my eyes scan across the name “Luciana Berger”, my brain reads that as “Lucrezia Borgia”.

  • Athanasius

    Why do people care about these ridiculous titles and “honours” at all? What kind of mentality has the slightest concern about them?

    • bevin

      The problem is that these titles carry with them legislative office-votes in Parliament. That ought to be of concern to everyone.

    • N_

      @Athanasius – Honours work. Wherever there is hierarchical management, they work. The answer to your question is it’s the hierarchical manager’s mentality that cares.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      In the hierarchical subservient culture of the Establishment, it allows you to look down with disdain on underlings and demand actions based on your title.

    • RandomComment

      It’s probably more an indication of the internecine warfare occurring behind the curtain.

    • SA

      Excellent article Bevin. It reflects the ambivalence that characterises the true left’s attitude to the EU with good reasons. Both the EU and US I operate within the vicious neoliberal system and it is very clear that the no deal Brexiters are very keen to join the US camp.

  • FranzB

    I see the Labour Party candidate for Finchley and Golders Green at the last election was Jeremy Newmark. He was (is?) a member of the Jewish Labour Movement, who have been to the forefront of the fake anti-semitism witchhunt against the Labour Party. He’s fallen into disgrace because of fraud allegations.

    See also Tony Greenstein’s analysis of Newmark’s role in the witchhunt

    Interestingly, the new Labour candidate Sara Conway has recently stood down, because she was criticised for her remarks that the anti-semitism row had been weaponised to harm the Labour party. She, according to the JC, was (surprisingly) a member of the JLM.

  • Tony

    “The Blairites repeatedly justified their hostility to Corbyn by saying that they had a personal mandate from their constituents. Yet at the first opportunity they are running like rabbits from the judgement of their constituents in the hope of finding more malleable ones.”

    I agree Craig. Yet you tacitly support these scumbags wrt brexit.

    • SA

      This is the danger of what has become a polarised look at politics that treats Brexit as the only issue in U.K. politics.Any party taking an extreme view of Brexit or remain will be ignoring at least 48% of thier own overall electorate for the sake of whatever minority will tip the balance. The democratic answer to Brexit is not to ignore this but to reconcile the two views. In case you failed to notice this is what Corbyn has been trying to do because at the end of the day Brexit has become a major distraction from the rest of the huge other issues facing this country and Europe. Your attitude seems to indicate that you would rather follow the extremes such as a Johnson Government than look for other ways to achieve harmony in these divided lands.

      • Tony

        Whilst I will continue to argue pro-brexit, I intend to sacrifice this on the altar of Corbynism at the next general election for precisely the reason you argue above, SA.

    • N_

      So if everyone who has a view for or against Brexit “supports” everybody else who is on the same side of the argument, who do you support then, @Tony?

  • Goose

    Isn’t Swinson herself facing a difficult battle with the SNP? Apologies if someone has mentioned it already.

    Judging by audience reactions the Lib Dems (Swinson) may have pushed her one-upmanship a little too far with the most recent pledge to ‘revoke’ without a referendum. The consensus seems to be, you can only cancel one referendum with another, and any victory in an election built on a relative majority(never, in practice, absolute) under FPTP, simply isn’t enough.

    She’s been forced into this rather extreme remain position because people were rightly asking why can’t you cooperate with Labour? She needs an excuse. Swinson’s current position is absolutely ridiculous. It’s roughly as follows as I understand it : If after the next election Labour are the largest party and in need of Lib Dem support to form a govt ; to get their referendum with a ‘remain’ option through, Swinson is saying she’d rather let that opportunity fall and have another election, an election which could allow the Tories back in to implement no deal.

    I agree with everything you put about Chuka and Luciana, hollow careerist carpetbaggers of the worst kind.

    • SA

      Swinson, drunk with the results of the recent European Parliament elections thinks that this surge would continue into a U.K. GE leading to her holding the balance of power. Rather than force a second election, if this happens, she would probably be very happy to form another coalition government with Johnson in preference to Corbyn in order to ‘influence’ and ‘moderate’ the Tories as has been so successfully demonstrated by Clegg. Not.

      • Dave

        The Maybot promoted her Remain+ deal to sabotage Leave, and it may yet work, and as a result the Conservatives are in No Deal meltdown to avoid wipe out at General Election.

        Why else would she put the same deal before Parliament 3 times knowing it would lose? After the first vote (if not before) she should have done a deal with Corbyn (stay in the customs union) which would have passed with Labour votes. And Boris could rescue the situation by offering that deal and become a British hero to most, but its telling the MSM don’t mention this easy compromise.

        The fact is left, right and centre were both for Leave and Remain and to get Leave through Parliament required the same cross-party support. I.e. Leave but in a way that respected the Remain vote.

        • N_

          @Dave – I disagree. Theresa May did do a deal with Jeremy Corbyn, and the ERG removed her from office for it. If she had done it a few weeks earlier, the result would have been the same.

      • Laguerre

        “drunk with the results of the recent European Parliament elections thinks that this surge would continue into a U.K. GE leading to her holding the balance of power.”

        Aren’t you more correctly describing Farage and the Brexit Party?

        • N_

          Nigel Farage will be in a very strong position if the Sun supports his party in the general election.

          If Britain were a normal country, he would have become prime minister in 2016. But listen to his accent and watch his facial movements. So over to Mrs Kitten Heels from the Home Office it was.

          Last night I watched “Brexit – the Uncivil War”, the film that lionises Dominic Cummings, the man of destiny who is tuned in to the soul of the country, the man with his ear to the ground. There was no mention of Russian or US money. The portrayal of Arron Banks is quite comical and revolting. That of Nigel Farage is similarly one-dimensional: they make him look like a bookmaker.

          I wondered whether there was a suggestion that one of the psychological places where the “Take Back Control” slogan got its hooks into was a feeling among uneducated older middle-aged working class people whose offspring have left home, and who aren’t usually so bothered about voting because they know they don’t control anything in their lives, that they would like to regain control not only over their own lives but over their offspring’s lives.

          Whilst a literal reading of the script does support that interpretation (“You want to feel back in control
          of your life. Or the lives of the people you love.
          ” I think that’s too literalist. Memes interconnect and have tentacles. It didn’t matter much what you thought you were taking back control of, just so long as you thought your life used to be worth something and now there were too many non-whites around, and that by writing an X on a ballot paper, rather like clicking “Like” on Facebook, you could tell the powers that be that things were going to change back now. Certainly the basic idea is similar to what which was conveyed by Viscount Lymington’s strand of English fascism in the 1930s.

          One thing I found very interesting was the scene where a woman in a wheelchair talks to the politicians outside the famous £350 million “lie bus”. That was very similar to a scene in the series “Years and Years”, and the character was played by the same actress. Is that kind of thing normal nowadays? It’s as if there’s a parallel world, part of this world of course, where things don’t just happen one after the other or on a menu, but interconnectedly. For people who believe that what happens in soap operas is true, this must have quite an effect.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “thinks that this surge would continue into a U.K. GE leading to her holding the balance of power.”

        It’s actually a lot worse than that – she has delusions of becoming PM. The woman is barking mad.

  • Rose

    Well Norman Lamb has said he will not stand again at the next election so perhaps North Norfolk will be an interesting one to watch.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Anyone asked Jo Swinson to give up her children so a more politically worthy woman can be a surrogate mother?

    What price would she accept? £100,000? £10m?

    ‘What you are, Ms Swinson, is not in doubt. We are merely now negotiating over the price….’

    • N_

      Credit where it’s due: the LibDems were against the war when Labour under the Blairites were in favour.

      I like Jenny Tonge.

      • glenn_fr

        That was primarily the reason I’d been voting and campaigning for them since the second gulf war. Besides, Clegg actually campaigned as a man of the people, and led the most socialist of the parties on offer. Until the day after the election, of course.

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