Alexei Sayle’s latest piece for The Canary, on a possible origin story for Boris Johnson. Which involves a lot of elderly bloke poo…
Mary Fitzgerald, Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy:
It’s a privilege to do this job.
As editor-in-chief, when the award nominations and accolades pour in, you get to bask in the glory of your brilliant, tenacious colleagues.
Equally, when your organisation gets threatened by powerful, sometimes dangerous people who want to silence it, it’s your job to take that heat.
Often those threats come in the form of expensive lawyers’ letters, usually from the expected quarters. Oligarchs. Criminals. Sex offenders.
But something happened recently which was completely unexpected. We’ve decided to go public about it, not only because the Liberal Democrats have some serious questions to answer. But also because it stinks of the cynicism and fakery we’ve seen across politics during this election.
And it would be quite funny – except it’s not.
It all started when we published a story by my colleague Jim Cusick, a highly experienced political reporter. It was about how the Liberal Democrats had sold voter data to the official Remain campaign, Britain Stronger In Europe, for £100,000 back in 2016.
The Lib Dems have always maintained there was nothing wrong with the lucrative deal, but it raised eyebrows, and the Information Commissioner launched an investigation. You can read more about that here.
The way in which the Liberal Democrats have handled this cements, in my mind, that they’ve truly become the ‘yellow Tories’. 🙁
And the Tories tried to smear Jeremy Corbyn as somehow being a Russian asset.
Once again, the true threat is the Conservative Party.
I was a Lib Dem supporter until 2010, mainly because they seemed the best option.
Thoughts on 20 years of devolved Scottish government.
This is why I’m not enthusiastic about Labour trying to agree a Brexit deal with the Tories. Brexit has already damaged the UK at many levels. Better to build a new future from within the EU, for all of Europe and beyond.
This gives me hope. We so badly need the next generations to stand up and assert their power at the ballot box.
The greatest threat to democracy comes from a passive electorate, one that has ceased to concern itself with public issues.
The times we are living through are so crazy that we are led by children wiser beyond their years while older men behave like spoilt brats.
Given that the headline above is a question, it probably won’t surprise you discover that the answer is ‘no’.
The day of reckoning is coming, though, and the press know it.