You Do That Vince, You Set The LibDems As Arch Remainers


That people should set out their stalls before an election is rather the point. We out here, us Great Unwashed, get to look at what our desirous to be rulers think about the world and we get to choose. So, Vince Cable setting the LibDems up as the arch remainers stall is just fine. It’s even the purpose of the process.

The thing is though, having so stated that they’re the arch Remainers, are they going to then take the lesson of the election when we have had our say?

Vince Cable has staked the Liberal Democrats’ claim to be the leading remain party in the European elections, as he unveiled a forthright new slogan for the campaign: “Bollocks to Brexit.” The phrase, previously plastered on stickers and T-shirts by ardent remain supporters, is now emblazoned across the Lib Dem manifesto for the 23 May poll – though more squeamish candidates will have the option of one that just says “Stop Brexit”. Buoyed by strong results in last week’s local council elections, and unencumbered by the nuance of Labour’s position, Cable insisted the Lib Dems were the best-equipped party to challenge the message of Nigel Farage at the poll later this month. “We are clearly the best organised, we have been leading the People’s Vote argument for three years and we’ve been the pro-Europe party for 50 years. We are credible and people recognise our unwavering clarity and commitment.

Given that the Lib Dems haven’t existed these past 50 years that’s a bit of a stretch but still.

Super, so all those who do want bollocks to Brexit will know who to vote for. The thing is, we’ve also got another party, the Brexit Party. Whose message is bollocks to not-Brexit. And if opinion polls are to be believed they’re doing very much better:

With two weeks until the European parliamentary elections on 23 May, pollsters are predicting that no fewer than 30 of the 73 candidates for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party will be elected and so could be taking their seats when the new parliamentary session begins on 2 July. That’s more than is predicted for all the remain-supporting parties put together (excluding Labour, which still says it wants to get a Brexit deal) – which is quite a feat for a man who hasn’t presented a manifesto, disclosed his funders or come up with any details of how a post-Brexit Britain would function.

So, a clear choice at this election then. And as and when – OK, if – Leave vastly outpolls Remain, then all the Remoaners, Vince Cable included, are going to agree with the will of the people, aren’t they?

Are they bollocks. Because of course if they did then they’d already be accepting the outcome of the referendum, wouldn’t they?

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Jonathan Harston
Jonathan Harston

The LibDems and Brexit are the only parties with a clear committed policy on EU membership. 100% IN or 100% OUT. Everybody else keeps changing their position almost every day.
There’s a problem though that Brexit Party may be diluted by Continuity UKIP, and LibDems may be diluted by Greens. Both sides could end up getting an aggregated vote in favour of their side, but split between them so not getting anybody elected. And both sides will be diluted by wishy-washy party tribalists.