July 27, 2019
Is Jo Swinson, the newly elected leader of the Liberal Democrats, a hero or a villain? Critics are quick to point out that as a Minister in the Coalition Government, she shares responsibility for the savage public spending cuts that devastated entire communities. Others argue that, with the prospect of no-deal Brexit looming, her consistent and vocal opposition to Brexit is now far more important.
Jo Swinson Might Be Against Brexit – But The Lib Dems Were Part Of Its Making
But preventing a hard Brexit takes more than just a “bollocks to Brexit” slogan. Most of all, it needs an understanding of how we got here. And the reality is that the choices made by the Coalition are a part of that story; yet so far there is no understanding or humility about the role this played in paving the road to Brexit.
For many people in towns like mine, the disaffection with a political settlement that for three decades had allowed good jobs, investment and young people to disappear, was turbo-charged by the harsh and savage cuts made by the Coalition government. My council in Wigan was one of the worst hit in the country. More than £160 million was cut from its budget between 2010 and 2018 – that’s a 43% cut, nearly twice as much as the average. In towns like mine, with an older population and greater reliance on benefits than elsewhere, the £37bn cuts to social security have been catastrophic. People have been stripped of their independence, their dignity, and their means to survive.There is no moral high ground in trying to stop Brexit when this situation was, in part, your own creation.With good jobs disappearing for decades, many leave-voting towns are now heavily reliant on insecure work, with zero hours contracts and agency work far too familiar. In recent months I’ve helped people who have been demoted without reason, moved onto lower rates of pay or seen their jobs change beyond recognition. People have been denied payslips or forced to work when they are seriously ill, and too often they are powerless to stop it. 
The decisions taken by the new Liberal Democrat leader in the business department were particularly devastating, hiking up employment tribunal fees to £1,200 which led to a fall in challenges by 79%. This, coupled with the cuts to legal aid, have meant my surgery is now full of people who are being treated without respect or dignity at work, but have no means to challenge.
Taken together, all of this has fueled an enormous disaffection with the political system that too often seems remote and unaccountable and leaves people powerless to alter the circumstances of their own lives. After 6 years of austerity, the Leave campaign’s slogan ‘Take Back Control’ had an extraordinary resonance; the EU became a very vivid symbol of the remote, unaccountable power that so many felt as a tyranny.The argument about whether opposition to Brexit cancels out the harm done by austerity is a false one.The political impact in the hardest hit of communities was inevitably vast, whilst achingly inevitable. The academic Will Jennings of the University of Southampton has documented the higher levels of dissatisfaction with the political system outside the big urban centres, in the towns where the leave vote was particularly high. In a 2018 study for the University of Warwick, the academic Thiemo Fetzer suggested that “the tight 2016 EU referendum could have well resulted in a victory for Remain had it not been for austerity.” The same report found an increase in UKIP support particularly among those hardest-hit by cuts prior to the referendum. For many of those who voted leave in Wigan and towns like it, austerity wasn’t the only reason that fueled a huge victory for Leave, but it was a big part of the picture.
It is a sad irony that the political party that is now most vocal in its opposition to Brexit cannot see that it was one of its architects.
The argument about whether opposition to Brexit cancels out the harm done by austerity is a false one. There is no moral high ground in trying to stop Brexit when this situation was, in part, your own creation. Without honest reflection and humility, there is no prospect of this getting better anytime soon. Without some soul-searching and self-reflection, a Jo Swinson-led party will deepen the wounds in Britain rather than heal them.
 Lisa Nandy is the Labour MP for WiganRelated... How Johnson's Ruthless Reshuffle Confirms Brexit's Very British Coup Jo Swinson Wins Lib Dem Leadership Contest Labour Rejects 'Childish' Lib Dem Demands For Immediate Attempt To Topple Boris Johnson
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Lori Loughlin, husband plead guilty in college admissions scandal | Page Six Celebrity News
May 22, 2020
3Tx-FvqZzVI
Celebrity breakups during quarantine: Megan Fox, Ashley Benson and more | Page Six Celebrity News
May 22, 2020
APr202A7bbQ
Darren Barnet from ‘Never Have I Ever’ shares his naughty DMs | Page Six Celebrity News
May 21, 2020
GAOySCx9Zi0
Ben Platt on His Groundbreaking Radio City Music Hall Concert on Netflix
May 20, 2020
DXN5iMMfs60
Daveed Diggs On The Emotional Toll of Filming 'Snowpiercer' Stunts And The 'Hamilton' Movie
May 18, 2020
n17S9kH7XuA
Elle Fanning from 'The Great' Says She's 'Allergic' To The Term 'Strong Female Character'
May 21, 2020
SS1kJkOM_zc
Ayesha Curry's Jaw-Dropping Bikini Pics Taken By Steph Curry | E! News
May 24, 2020
JOxRMbPMajk
Best Moments From Iconic 2001 Film "Pearl Harbor": Rewind | E! News
May 25, 2020
dvDxM-leiqw
"Terrace House" Star Hana Kimura Dead at 22 After Cyberbullying | E! News
May 23, 2020
xqo43SIrfRs
'Floribama Shore' Kirk Medas Arrest Video, Do You Know Who I Am? | TMZ
May 24, 2020
Qrl7Iq3lBDM
Jamie Kennedy Explains How Stand-Up Comedy's Changed Amid Pandemic | TMZ
May 24, 2020
Q6SG4jcR6VI
Kandi Burruss Says Winning 'Masked Singer' is Best Answer for Haters | TMZ
May 23, 2020
zBCqnPAfX-A
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
08
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Inter Milan
08
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Manchester City
08
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Everton
08
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Real Madrid
08
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Genoa
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Tottenham Hotspur
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
07
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Sociedad
07
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Bournemouth
07
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
01
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Barcelona
01
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
01
Mar
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Wolves
01
Mar
SPAIN: La Liga
Espanyol - Atletico Madrid
01
Mar
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Roma
29
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Watford - Liverpool
29
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Torino
29
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Bournemouth - Chelsea
24
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - West Ham United
23
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Everton
23
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Watford
23
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Lecce
23
Feb
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Villarreal
22
Feb
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Real Madrid
22
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Fiorentina - AC Milan
22
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Manchester City
22
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Spal - Juventus
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM 5NeCb7JxaRk
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.