The Liberal Democrats have nothing new to say.

Do you know who the leader of the Liberal Democrats is? It’s Ed Davey, remember that guy? Literally no one besides some people at the Guardian know or care, and there’s a reason for that.

The downfall of the Liberal Democrats isn’t something that was always going to happen, this is all because they enabled austerity and Tory governance for 5 years, before proceeding to sew division as a single issue Hard Remain party.

They became the UKIP of Remain, and fought a democratic referendum for 3 odd years, all while attacking the progressive Corbyn project and opening the door for the very illiberal Boris Johnson to run away with the election.

Jo Swinson literally decided 3 weeks of Jeremy Corbyn as PM was worse than 8 years of Boris Johnson as PM. She chose a free market Brexit over a Lexit, all because she wanted to revoke Article 50.

The Liberal Democrats have put party before country for 10 years now, their best progressive traditions lie in tatters, and they serve no credible purpose besides stealing votes from Labour.

What do they really have to say now that differs from Keir Starmer’s offering? Much of their 2019 voters are now backing Labour for that very reason. They can’t even be a “sensible” middle, Starmer has taken up that vote killing mantle.

The Liberal Democrats should relearn who they oppose; it’s Boris Johnson, not Labour. If ever faced with the choice of socialism or barbarism, as they were in 2019, they must choose socialism, which fosters their basic liberal principles far more than Patel’s Home Office or Sunak’s Treasury.

If he’s smart, Ed Davey should do a deal with Labour come the next election, to unify on a platform of radical economic policy and sweeping electoral reform, and aim to win seats they look likely to hobble the Tories, on a centre-left platform, while agreeing to stand down in places Labour needs a clear run to win.
Davey can make himself the midwife of reforming Britain in a more progressive direction, or an irrelevant footnote to the Johnson Landslide 2024.

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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.