Listen to This Article
Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron seems to be suffering from a case of selective amnesia. Following the Lib Dem gains in the English Local Council Elections, Farron tweeted blaming Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn for being the “enabler of crushing austerity”. Has he forgotten that when in government, his party thought a 5p bag charge was worth allowing tougher sanctions on benefit claimants?
There’s no doubt that the Liberal Democrats had an extremely good night in the recent Local Elections in England. It would be disingenuous to say otherwise. However, when celebrating their gains, their former leader thought it wise to accuse Jeremy Corbyn was enabling austerity.
Farron was relying to a twitter poll asking whether people would prefer Birmingham and Yardley MP, Jess Phillips as Labour Leader or the incumbent Jeremy Corbyn MP.
While there’s no issue with him stating his support for Phillips, his reasoning is frankly peak hypocrisy.
Has Farron forgotten that is was literally his party that allowed the conservatives to form a government and implement “crushing austerity”?
Predictably, Farron was inundated with comments reminding him of his and his party’s voting record whilst in government.
As you can see from the graphic above, the Lib Dems helped the Tories implement a wide range of harmful policies.
Who can forget that instead of abolishing tuition fees as their 2010 manifesto stated, they helped push through a bill that tripled them.
They supported fracking, the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’ and most importantly they supported the Welfare Reform Act 2012 which introduced Universal Credit. As we see almost weekly, Universal Credit is causing harm on a massive scale.
Tougher Benefit Sanctions for 5p Bag Charges
Tim Farron also seems to forget what is possibly the biggest stain on the Liberal Democrats time in government.
Plastic bags are definitely a problem. Plastic pollution is on the rise so, a 5p charge to encourage people to reuse bags, whilst helping charities is a good idea. I won’t deny that.
However, it is not worth toughening benefit sanctions. They’re not comparable in the slightest. Sanctions have been shown to be causing extreme hardship and in some cases, death.
Desperate to get a win, the Lib Dems decided to trade the vulnerable to look good. Farron has no right to state Jeremy Corbyn enabled austerity.
The most glaring fact is that Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t even Labour Leader when most of the austerity reforms where brought in. Even if he was, if he doesn’t have the numbers to beat the government what can he do?
Lies Laid Bare
Farron then doubled down on his claim stating he spent “5 years preventing the Tories doing their worst.”
After he said this, I decided to take a look at the former leaders voting record on issues that would have affect the most vulnerable and, well he may want to retract his claim spent “5 years preventing the Tories doing their worst.”
Farron despite his claims, consistently voted to reduce housing benefit and didn’t think welfare claimants money should be increased in line with inflation.
Overall, Farron did get an utter rinsing after making this claim. However, it is just part of the bugger pattern of lies MPs tell.
It didn’t matter that there’s clear evidence disproving Farron and his claims. He knew this and ploughed on anyway. Being a MP some will assume he is telling the truth.
If MPs want to regain the public’s trust, they need to show that they are worthy of it. After this performance, because that what it was; a performance, Tim Farron has shown he isn’t worthy of it yet.