That level of deep commitment which Farron obviously has, combined with his organisational skills and northern public persona, has all the ingredients of a successful leadership. I speak as one who sat in a gloomy Commons party of six after the 1970 election debacle, three of us clinging to majorities under 1000. It took time, but we turned that round, and went on both to increase our numbers and form the significant Alliance with the SDP and eventually the new united party, which at elections under Paddy Ashdown, Charles Kennedy and Clegg reached new heights of public support. The same can happen again.
A colleague said to me during this contest: “But isn’t Farron a bit risky?” I responded that that may be so, but what the party needs at this time is a risk-taker, not afraid to revisit more traditional Liberal policies – on Trident, on Europe, on industrial democracy, on land value taxation, on the pursuit of a more just society, and on the need for a federal constitution including a new upper house.
It will be a long and at times painful journey, but with Tim Farron inspiring and leading it I see grounds for real hope and optimism.
- Jo Swinson writes…Dissolution honours make the contribution of women look invisible (Jo Swinson)
- Lord Jim Wallace writes: New Lib Dem colleagues will campaign with me to reform House of Lords (Jim Wallace)
- The crowded centre-left (Joe Otten)
- How would Jeremy Corbyn actually lead the Labour party? (Paul Walter)
- The Glass Ceiling Is Higher, Not Broken (Rebecca Plenderleith)
- The Story of Kullervo, by J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Verlyn Flieger
- Changing behaviour
- Alistair Darling: From the International Marxist Group to the Lords
- The Shepherd's Crown
- Thursday reading
- 8 points about the Lib Dem honours - and one member I'm ashamed to be associated with
- There isn't a migration crisis - only a migration opportunity
- The Weeping Time
- ALDC at Conference: Summary
- Lib Dems call for TfGM to Get Me There by Christmas
- Shirley Campbell 28th Aug - 12:45am
I find posts on these subjects to be extremely painful. Women are, and always have been, extremely vulnerable. I thank Lynne Featherstone for her stand...
- Jane Ann Liston 28th Aug - 12:39am
Eleven lords-a leaping? That's one more than the norm.
- Will 27th Aug - 11:27pm
I think that genuine refugees who are fleeing war and are being registered in the EU who say they want to apply for asylum in...
- Paul Walter 27th Aug - 11:17pm
Moderator's note I have removed a comment above which made an offensive implication about another commenter. Please avoid making comments which are in any way...
- Glenn 27th Aug - 11:13pm
I agree with Matthew Huntbach. There's a distinct lack of humility from the right of the Lib Dems. Once again we're hearing the same thing....
- David Raw 27th Aug - 10:53pm
@ Richard Stallard.... Lord Lieutenants.... "most aren’t particularly political (particularly the ex military".) Put the retired county Colonels in charge of dishing out a gong...............