I’ve been feeling kind of sorry for Jo Swinson today. Also for myself, and the whole country, especially underprivileged people, people with disabilities, the young, the old, minorities, the marginalised… Anyone who’s going to suffer under the new regime.
But Swinson lost her seat by just 149 votes, which must be especially heartbreaking. She always impressed me as someone who knew what she was talking about and was on top of things. She was part of the Cameron/Clegg coalition, which is problematic, but let’s let that go.
She’s quoted as saying:
One of the realities of smashing glass ceilings is that a lot of broken glass comes down on your head.
which is great, and sad.
People criticised her for making the Liberal Democrat campaign too presidential, too much about her, and that probably was a mistake. Though would they have criticised a male leader in the same way?
And there’s the business of promising to revoke Article 50. Which I was and am completely in favour of, even if it can seem undemocratic.1 The problem was not the promise, but the messaging. The story should have been, “Elect us to government and you’ll give us a mandate to revoke. Give us less power and we’ll work for a second referendum.” That was the story: she just seemed to have some difficulty expressing it in clear, simple terms, at least in the debates I saw.
All that said, I’m still baffled as to what has happened to the country.
- it wouldn’t be if handled properly, but it’s too late to go into that now. ↩