The leader of the hardline pro-Remain Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable, has revealed the party’s European Parliament elections campaign slogan as “Bollocks to Brexit.”
The special edition manifesto bearing the profanity was revealed by the left-wing Guardian, with a picture of Mr Cable looking coyly over a couple of the booklets, grasped in his hand like a geisha behind a fan.
The other version of the manifesto set to be delivered to voters during campaigning simply reads, “Stop Brexit.”
Today we're launching our EU Election manifesto as we fight to #StopBrexit
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 9, 2019
“We are clearly the best organised, we have been leading the People’s Vote argument for three years and we’ve been the pro-Europe party for 50 years. We are credible and people recognise our unwavering clarity and commitment,” the veteran Europhile, who once referred to Leave campaigners as “Brexit jihadis,” told the newspaper.
“We are taking it very seriously, we have a high-pressure social media campaign where we are doing more than Farage’s people,” Mr Cable said.
“We are out of the traps early, and expect to do well. But it is a very unpredictable scenario,” he added.
Mr Cable’s optimism is not being born out by reality, however, with the latest YouGov polling find the Liberal Democrats in fourth place on ten per cent, whilst Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party leads on 30 per cent. The other two pro-Remain parties, the Greens and Change UK, are on nine per cent each.
Vote Lib Dem to #StopBrexit – or if you prefer, pick up a limited #BollocksToBrexit edition of our manifesto @LibDems are the biggest, strongest, most consistent Stop Brexit party – #VoteLibDem on 23 May. pic.twitter.com/Xc6gt3mMRb
— Jo Swinson (@joswinson) May 9, 2019
Bloomberg described the campaign stunt as a “sign of the fevered nature of British politics,” while euronews’s Vince McIviney raised the issue of whether the slogan could ever be uttered before 9pm, tweeting, “Sir Vince Cable has announced his parties slogan is ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ — for fellow broadcast journos though just did an Ofcom check and not clear whether we can actually say that pre-watershed.”
The soft-profanity word “bollocks” means “nonsense” or “testicles,” and is common in British English. It has become a favourite amongst Remain activists, often seen on their posters and banners, and this is not the first time the use of the word by Remainers to describe the greatest political mandate in British history has come to media attention.
Former Conservative Party donor and founder of Pimlico Plumbers Charlie Mullins — who supported Gina Miller’s High Court case to give parliament a ‘meaningful vote’ on the withdrawal agreement — erected a very large “Bollocks to Brexit: It’s Not a Done Deal” sign over his business on October 2018, and was told by Lambeth Council to seek planning consent for the sign.
Saying he was prepared to go to jail rather than take it down, Mr Mullins said that while some may find the language offensive, he cited the case against the Sex Pistols and their 1977 album Never Mind the Bollocks, which was deemed by a court not to be indecent.