Anti-Brexit Lib Dems now full-on neo-authoritarian party

Even calling the party the Liberal Democrats is fake news. That these anti-Brexit scoundrels are neither liberal nor democratic is no longer a cheap jibe. It is the most accurate way to characterise them. The Lib Dems are now a full-on neo-authoritarian party

The unelected and anti-democratic Lord Taverne
the commentator
On 20 June 2017 04:55

Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg bit the dust at the general election. Current leader Tim Farron declared himself dust-in-waiting barely a week later, after finding that his "remaining faithful to Christ" was incomaptible with his position. He will step down for a new leader in the summer.

The overall position for the UK's only UK-wide anti-Brexit party with more than one member in the British parliament is dire. On June 8, they got 7.4 percent of the vote, half a percentage point down on their disastrous performance in 2015.

Earlier this month, avowedly pro-Brexit parties got more than 83 percent of the final tally. A poll published in May in the Daily Telegraph put support for Brexit at 68 percent, with 22 percent saying the referendum result should be ignored.

For anyone who believes in democracy and aligns themselves with the thinking of the liberal philospophers who set the groundwork for modern day democratic practice, the question of what to do now about Britain's decision to quit the EU is not a challenging one. You accept that every piece of available evidence shows that the will of the people is to leave, and you respect that.

Sure, you can debate to your heart's content the matter of how we do it. But the people have made it clear which direction they want to go in. That part of the debate is now over.

Not for the one British party that has the words liberal and democrat in its very name.

Even calling the party the Liberal Democrats is fake news. That they are neither liberal nor democratic is no longer a cheap jibe. It is the most accurate way to characterise them.

The most recent illustration came in a letter by Liberal Democrat Lord Dick Taverne to the Guardian -- the natural home in the mainstream media for totalitarians and authoritarians for decades. Quite apart from the shamelesness of a member of the House of Lords speaking out against the will of the public, the content would, in a world in which media actually held such people to account, be extraordinary.

" of the option of remain is taboo in parliament, because the referendum verdict is deemed sacrosanct. When will MPs get real?" he asked.

He isn't finished.

"Emmanuel Macron and Wolfgang Schäuble have thrown us a lifeline, inviting us to stay. The separate anti-Brexit bodies should now urgently unite to form a cross-party democratic [sic] alliance to stop Brexit before time runs out."

What happened to this guy? Who does he hang out with? What, in his world, counts as normal? What is the context that explains the process he went through to get to such a place?

What happened to this guy is that he joined the Liberal Democrats. These are the people he hangs out with. Discourse in which smashing the will of the people when you don't like it is what counts as normal for him. The context is an environment he inhabits in which basic principles about democratic theory and practice are never articulated.

He won't think he has said anything wrong. It won't occur to him that his thinking places him closer to Vladimir Putin than to John Stuart Mill. He won't know any of the arguments in favour of Brexit. For him, it is just a world of prejudice that must be rejected and disdained.

It is a sorry state of affairs, most particularly because Lord Taverne is entirely typical of a mindset that now defines the Lib Dems as the neo-authoritarian mainstream British political party.

The "Liberal" "Democrats" indeed....

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