Farron: Now is the time to stand and fight

The first big showcase event of Spring conference takes place this evening. At the rally, Tim Farron will call on pro Europeans to stand and fight.

First of all, though, he may gloat a bit about being named Remoaner in Chief by Arron Banks’s outfit:

If remoaning means standing up for EU citizens who have made their lives here in the UK.

If remoaning means demanding that the British people have the final say in this process

If remoaning means standing up for a family of nations that has healed the wounds of two world wars and a terrifying cold war

Then I am proud to be your remoaner in chief!

He will go on to talk about how we need to continue the fight against the destructive Brexit course chosen by the Conservatives and Labour:

I am not an enemy of the people, but I am the enemy of those people who seek to divide our country, to pervert the referendum result for their narrow ideology and trash our values by turning our backs on our neighbours.

And the more they come after us, the louder I will shout.

Despite what this government and their fanatical Brexit supporters in the press would like us all to believe, democracy did not end on the 24th of June.

It might be a political risk for us to speak out against the direction our country is going.

But it is the right thing to do.

Because what Britain does in the next two years will define us for the next one hundred.

So now is not the time to sit down and shut up.

Now is the time to stand up and fight.

There is only one thing worse than being a disappointment to your parents, and that is being a disappointment to your children.

In ten, twenty, thirty years from now, our children and our grandchildren will ask each of us what did we do to stop this senseless lurch into division, hardship and intolerance?

And while others will have to look away in numbing shame, we will look our children in the eye and say we did everything, we did everything.

And I’ll tell you what, I am determined that I will be able to look them in the eye and say that we did everything…. And that we won.

Because we are not in the business of just saying the right things, going on the right demonstrations, waving the right placards to make us feel better while the country collapses around us.

No, we are in the business of building a movement, so that we can win, so that we can turn our country around.

And an invitation to all who agree with us to join us

This is the place for you if you have had it up to here with despair, if you are defiant, if you are determined that a bleak future of a closed, intolerant divided Britain is not inevitable.

This is the place for you if you believe that there is still a road to a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.

This is the place for you if you have the stomach for the fight of our lives for the country we love for the cause that is right.

Because if you believe that a better Britain is possible then the Liberal Democrats are your only vehicle for getting there, so don’t waste another minute, get on board because the future is as yet unwritten. We intend to write it.

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  • Richard Hall 17th Mar '17 - 1:40pm

    It was strong, heartfelt but more importantly blunt (so much for “political correctness”). The Tories are only interested in winning over UKIP supporters in the south, and Labour are trying to keep their long ignored voters in the north while stopping themselves from imploding as a party. While that is happening the SNP are using Brexit as cover for a new campaign for “Br-ivorce”, and UKIP are trying to find out what angers people most now they can’t blame everything on Europe any more.

    The only party with Britain’s interests at heart is the Liberal Democrats.

  • Crazy times. Great speech by Tim. LibDems are right to double down on their major USP, harry the enemy and try to win the skirmishes.
    TM is facing problem after problem. Thanks to Gina Miller she has had to battle on the Art50 Bill. Not as hard as it should have been thanks to Labour not turning up, just like they didn’t turn up in the referendum. Now she has the Scottish question, the motor industry drawing lines in the sand and the Irish border question waiting in the long grass. Her back benchers are increasing pulling the strings ie. NICs and Education. Oh! and there are the EU negotiations to think about. David Davies admitted that a plan to deal with a WTO result is 12 months off (WHAT!), meanwhile she is happy to pretend that she can eat her cake and it will still be there after its finished. When everybody sees that it’s not like that she will have a whole new rabble to keep in order. You could almost feel sorry for her. Will she crack? To be honest. If I were her I would go to the country. Are we ready? By the way, UKIP will increasingly focus on immigration.

  • Andrew Tennant 17th Mar '17 - 9:21pm

    Remoaning means deriding 52% of the voting public, talking your country down, and siding with those who think they do best for themselves by wishing our economy harm.

  • @ Andrew Tennant – and siding with those who think they do best for themselves by wishing our economy harm

    Can’t see how you can accuse Tim of siding with those who voted for Brexit…

  • Excellent inspired rallying speech – (Mark Pack has the full script on his site. Worth a read).

    The Lib Dem’s definitely have the best Leader & speech writers. MLK himself would have been proud of this.

    I believe, I believe………… Great structure, pace and flow – the message and urgency comes through loud and clear. With Tim’s usual passionate delivery, I really hope the more empathetic sections of the media gives this the coverage it deserves.

  • Richard Hall 18th Mar '17 - 8:46am

    I don’t think Andrew Tennant that the remain side is “talking the country down”. We simply think the country has made a mistake.

    Speaking for myself I hope that I am wrong and that the Tories will make Brexit a success, but the way they are going about it is going to cause either a bargain basement tax haven Britain, or one that is failing in the face of capital flight towards the EU.

    There is a difference between “talking the country down”, and genuinely being worried for the future.

  • nvelope2003 18th Mar '17 - 9:28am

    Using words like Remoaning and talking in slogans does not merit much respect. Those who have nothing worth saying might consider saying nothing.

  • “Remoaner” and “talking our country down” – nothing more than UKIPisms. Reminds me of alt-right discourse, or the sloganeering language of Trump and his supporters.

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