We last left Ed about to go on Question Time on Thursday night. You can, and should, watch the whole thing here. He answered very effectively questions about Boris (which sparked his lengthy and brilliant Twitter rant of many of the worst things Boris has done), Brexit and knife crime and the importance of winning the arguments on vaccinating children.
‘I think we should reject both candidates… I hope there will be a general election to get rid of them’
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) June 20, 2019
On Friday, it was time for his Politics Home interview:
He talked about his idea for a government of national unity:
Davey is clear he would like to be Prime Minister. However, in the current Brexit deadlock, he is also advocating a Government of National Unity.
“I think there are just about enough MPs from a plethora of parties who are so alarmed at a no deal prospect, who are so alarmed at the way our politics has been polluted by these hard-right Brexiteers, that they will come together. It will not be easy, but I could see a backbench Labour MP, I wouldn’t name them but you can guess who they might be, being given support from enough people from enough parties that we could send a message to the Palace that if they send for that member of Parliament they will be able to command a majority of the House of Commons.”
He says that this “Government of National Unity” would not be a coalition. “It would be a temporary phenomenon in order to stop no-deal. In order pass the paving legislation for a people’s vote and then be a caretaker government to oversee the process until that vote happened.”
He talks about the Lib Dems being the party of business:
“I’m pro-competition. I’m pro-entrepreneur. I’m pro-free trade. It is in our liberal economic agenda, but we do not think markets are there to tell us what to do, we’re there, through democratic means, to shape those markets.”
Davey says there are lots of examples of this in action, but “the one I’m focussing on is climate change”. “It is absolutely outrageous that people in our country are allowed to not take account of climate change risks in their decisions. We are facing a climate emergency.”
The former Environment Secretary wants to make sure “all these institutions and corporates have to disclose both their investments in fossil fuels”.
He wrote a blistering article in the Independent about how the Tories have learned nothing from their Windrush Scandal failure:
A year on from the first Windrush Day, the hostile environment is as hostile as ever.
These policies, which turn teachers, doctors, police officers and bank clerks into border guards, are exactly the policies that led members of the Windrush generation to be deprived their rights, detained and even deported. The Windrush scandal should have been the end of them. And yet, for all the Conservatives’ apologising and hand-wringing, they remain in force
Most outrageous is the Conservatives’ refusal to scrap their “right to rent” law. This requires landlords to check the immigration status of tenants or prospective tenants, with the threat of a criminal conviction if they rent to someone they shouldn’t.
When the Conservatives first tried to introduce this law in 2014, the Liberal Democrats in government blocked it. We argued that making landlords criminally responsible for immigration enforcement would lead to racial discrimination.
He highlighted the story of the man who had to sleep in a shed because he had no way of proving he had the right to stay here.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has shown clearly, through a “mystery shopper” exercise, that the Liberal Democrats’ fears were well-founded. On the basis of that and other supporting evidence, the High Court ruled in March that the Conservatives’ “right to rent” policy breaches fundamental human rights because it essentially forces private landlords to discriminate against prospective tenants who are Bame or who don’t have a British passport.
What would we do about it?
That’s why the Liberal Democrats would take responsibility for immigration away from the Home Office altogether.
The Departments for Business, Education and International Development should make policy on work permits, student visas and asylum respectively. And we would set up a new, arms-length, non-political agency to take over the actual processing of visa and asylum applications, with the training and resources to process applications quickly, decide cases fairly, and get them right the first time.
He also wrote for the Huffington Post about why we need a Boris-busting Remain Alliance:
Anyone who hopes Johnson won’t commit a Brexit calamity is basing that on his dishonesty. And he is indeed capable of yanking up the handbrake on the Brexit bus and committing a massive, shameless u-turn. But we cannot rely on him for that or indeed anything else.
Which is why a Remain Alliance is needed in Parliament, anchored around the Liberal Democrats – the only major national party to call for a People’s Vote from the get go and now with the democratic legitimacy of having beaten every other party in Parliament in last month’s European elections.
This Remain Alliance must first stop a no-deal Brexit. From a Humble Address to Her Majesty to passing a new law requiring a vote of MPs before the UK could leave the EU, we must examine every option to stop Boris. And we must be ready to use Parliament’s ultimate weapon – a vote of no confidence in a Johnson government.
There were hustings this weekend in Wales – good coincidence on the day that we find out that there’s going to be a by-election in a seat that we used to hold following the recall of the MP who was convicted of submitting a fraudulent invoice.
BY-ELECTION: How to help ?
?Join the team
It’s within our grasp. We can do this! pic.twitter.com/gaQQiZnhJH
— Ed Davey ? (@EdwardJDavey) June 22, 2019
And he cleaned the beach in Bude ahead of the Cornwall hustings:
Loved visiting Bude beach yesterday- where ‘two minute beach clean’ was founded
Inspiring to hear about success of this great community project pic.twitter.com/jeZvcPWseF
— Ed Davey ? (@EdwardJDavey) June 22, 2019
Finally, he was on Sophy Ridge this morning to talk about how his life experience has made him want to lead a compassionate, caring Lib Dem Government
I’ve done a lot of caring in my life. It makes you appreciate the NHS. It makes you appreciate people who do caring responsibilities.
I want us to be a caring party and I want us to be a compassionate Liberal Democrat government pic.twitter.com/yypCbBawqy
— Ed Davey ? (@EdwardJDavey) June 23, 2019
That’s a lot to pack into three days!