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.
- Willie Rennie gets the biggest cheer of the final Scottish Leaders’ Debate (Caron Lindsay)
- WATCH: Obama’s final White House Correspondents’ Dinner (Caron Lindsay)
- When the Minister didn’t quite get Alistair Carmichael’s sarcasm… (NewsHound)
- Nick Clegg tells the inside story of how the Conservatives put party before country (Caron Lindsay)
- A time to speak out? (Ruth Bright)
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Yeah, your party voted for the Health & Social Care act voluntarily. You can talk about civilising effects all you like, but if you were...
- Andrew Colman 1st May - 11:29pm
Why has there been nothing about this in the BBC whilst the press and BBC have given non-stop coverage to Ken Livingstones' remarks about whether...
- DJ 1st May - 11:24pm
After Sturgeon's fantastic (dare I say "Clegg like"?) performance at the leaders debates one pundit suggested she was coming over so well because David Cameron...
- Peter Watson 1st May - 10:08pm
@David Evans "Sadly it is the clear view of most of those voters that he failed to do that and even worse, they believe that...
- Richard Underhill 1st May - 9:48pm
- Richard Underhill 1st May - 9:46pm
Without knowing a lady's age it is difficult to comment, but there are two teats 1) Do you remember where you were when you heard...