MUCH of the focus on the failure in opposition to Brexit and the right-wing antics of the Brexiteers has been rightly concentrated on the Labour Party in general and Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of leadership in particular.

Corbyn’s not so secret desire to free the UK from his interpretation of the shackles of Europe – plus his woeful lack of a coherent and clear stance on Brexit – has enabled the Tory party, in league with the European Research Group and the DUP, to set the agenda of May’s deal or no deal.

This is not just a binary choice, it is a council of despair; the alternatives are lots of economic pain slowly or lots of economic pain quickly.

This ambiguity and downright dereliction of duty will be their hallmark in history, a dark and disappointing time for the Labour Party which could have long-term consequences for its existence as a political party.

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Fortunately, the SNP have stepped up to the mark as the third largest party at Westminster, consistent and unwavering in their support for Remain and in their fight to ensure Scotland’s democratic voice is heard loud and clear amidst the clamour and braying from the Tory benches.

The Green Party has also been quick to face the challenge of the UK Government’s handling of Brexit, with MP Caroline Lucas as their most vocal, calm and erudite critic, adding their colours to the rainbow for a People’s Vote.

Both the SNP and the Greens have brought leadership, vision and hope to the Brexit bourach, but there’s one party that seems to have totally missed the opportunity to make their mark, that seem almost irrelevant in terms of the whole debate. Where are the Liberal Democrat voices at this most critical time? Where is the so-called Party of Remain?

The LibDems have been very much small hit or big miss since June 2016. There have been so many important votes in Westminster this past year you’d be forgiven for forgetting a major miss when current Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable and former leader Tim Farron were both absent at a pivotal vote last summer on crucial amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill. Not exactly their finest hour, nor what you would expect from such a Eurocentric party. What makes it all the more appalling was that said amendment was made by ardent Brexiteer and all-round right-winger Jacob Rees-Mogg and was passed by just three votes. Oh dear.

The National:

The Liberal Democrats' failure to capture media attention and public support on their pro-Europe stance is staggering given their unique position in British politics. Their party should be the obvious place for disaffected Labour supporters to migrate to in order to ensure their voice is heard on staying in Europe and getting a People’s Vote off the ground. And yet, they are almost an irrelevance in the whole discussion, with barely an impression made or a victory won in the continuing Brexit battle.

It is in this context that Cable’s claims this past weekend discussing imminent defections from Labour and the Conservatives should be viewed. The hour is very late for renewed speculation of a revived centre – all too little and too late, I fear.

Are the LibDems still suffering ennui from their failures in coalition with the Tories? Is there an issue with trust due to their lack of influence and ineffectualness when in power back in 2010? Will they ever be forgiven for going back on their tuition fee promise, for enabling austerity, the hostile environment policy and their lack of opposition to holding a referendum on EU membership?

It certainly won’t have helped that another former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has sold what was left of his post-Tory-coalition soul to Facebook. Clegg has freely admitted to handing in his P45 on defending Remain and fighting Brexit when he accepted the position of vice-president for the social media giant.

Admittedly, it would be difficult for him to fight a war on two fronts, but once again, when faced with a difficult decision, when forced to choose between keeping to his principles and a just cause or accepting power no matter how flawed or contrary to his liberal beliefs, Clegg chose the latter.

As Cameron’s deputy, Clegg threw away his chance to make his mark on government policy and bring his supposed progressive sensibilities to bear on some of the worst economic decisions in terms of citizen welfare to befall the UK since the Thatcher years. He should make a study of the parliamentary tactics of the small band of Democratic Unionists. Whatever you think of DUP politics they are showing how a political tail can wag the Tory Government dog.

At last year’s Liberal Democrat conference, Clegg suggested that party members should stop apologising for decisions made when they were in coalition with the Tories. He is obviously still very much in denial about his and his colleagues’ failure to use their opportunity to halt the more extreme austerity and immigration policies enacted by Cameron et al. He seems to be in denial, too, about Facebook’s alleged role in Brexit as a platform for micro-targeting and data-harvesting for less than scrupulous campaign groups such as Vote Leave.

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Interestingly, the EU has already accused Facebook of being “patchy, opaque, and self-selecting” when tackling disinformation. How Clegg plans to spin this continuing saga for Facebook remains to be seen. Something tells me, if his past record is anything to go by, talk of setting up “war rooms” to combat “fake news” could just be all talk and no action. He certainly looked uncomfortable to say the least when questioned last week about protecting young people from self-harm images on his company’s related social media sites.

It’s all rather distasteful and disappointing. The Liberal Democrats need to hire their own PR guru to turn their fortunes around and distance themselves from their lacklustre, ineffectual image. They certainly need some kind of kick up the chinos to get their party back on track.

If only there was some kind of campaign they could launch to improve the UK, to combat austerity and irrational attitudes to immigration, to protect it from the rise of populism and right-wing discourse, to protect its place in Europe and on the global stage.

I suggest they start by taking a long, hard look at their SNP and Green colleagues. They might learn a trick or two.