Monday, February 20, 2017

Willie Rennie says backing for Brexit could evaporate like support for the war in Iraq

Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, is giving a speech to the David Hume Institute in Edinburgh this evening.

The Scotsman had advance sight of what he will say:
"We accept the referendum result. But political leaders have got a responsibility to lead. 
"Political leadership is sometimes about persuading people, not just repeating what the last focus group told you. That is followership. 
"In April 2003 people wholeheartedly supported Tony Blair’s government. People and the media would howl at Charles Kennedy. But opinions changed."
Willie is right: the public did change its mind on Iraq.

But it's more worrying than that for the government. As I blogged last October, the public has not just changed its mind: many voters now believe they never supported war in Iraq in the first place.

It's good to be reminded of the courage Charles Kennedy showed in making the case against war, but we should remember that he was rather bounced into taking that position by Liberal Democrat activists.

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