Farron: I am determined to protect decent people from being taken for granted by a heartless Conservative Government

Well, I certainly chose a fine two days to be sent to the Highlands campaigning. I mean, I’ve barely been able to catch up with the manifesto launch yesterday and the leaders’ debate tonight. I’ve been in the most wonderful places on the planet as far as I am concerned, but have been experiencing the broadband and connectivity problems first hand.

I will be back home tomorrow night. I haven’t yet seen the Leader’s Debate, but by the magic of technology, I can bring you Tim Farron’s opening and closing statements.

He kicked off with a powerful and personal appeal:

I got into politics to fight.

To stand up to those who take you for granted.

I grew up in Preston in the 1980s.

I saw what happens when decent people are taken for granted by a heartless Conservative government.

I am determined to stop that happening again.

The decent Britain I love is under threat.

Theresa May – backed by Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn – is going for an extreme Brexit deal that will damage our future for generations.

Don’t give up.

The Britain I love is not lost yet.

No matter which way you voted in the referendum:

If you care about our children, do not cut our schools.

If you care about our elderly, don’t leave them on trollies in corridors.

If you want Britain to lead the world, do not turn your back on it.

A brighter future is possible.

The fight is not over.

It’s time for some hope.

And ended with:

I believe there is still a decent Britain worth fighting for.

The vision of Theresa May and Paul Nuttall is not the only choice.

The fact that Theresa May isn’t here tonight tells you she is taking you for granted.

She thinks she owns this election, owns our future and owns our children’s future.

You deserve a leader that cares for the things you care about.

A leader who will stand up for you and your family and the NHS.

For your schools.

For your children’s future.

You need a leader who will stop Theresa May’s extreme version of Brexit.

You don’t need a difference of opinion.

You need a different option.

You need someone who will step up and fight for you.

I am determined to offer you the choice to change Britain’s future.

Because the Britain I love is open, tolerant and united.

That is a country worth fighting for.

That is the country I want to lead.

It certainly sounds like Tim did well. Alistair Carmichael said of his performance:

Tim Farron was the only leader on the stage tonight.

He got huge applause from the audience throughout, especially when standing up for young people, for our NHS, and for trusting the British people to have the final say on Brexit.

He was principled and passionate – not only on giving people the final say on Brexit in a referendum, but as the only leader with a real plan for funding the NHS.

If you are looking for someone to stand up to Theresa May it was clear that he is the only leader capable of doing that.

If you are unhappy with the direction our country is going in – on Brexit, on the NHS, on schools – then Tim is your leader.

Tim Farron showed he is the voice for those people who want a brighter future than Theresa May and Nigel Farage’s cold, mean-spirited vision for Britain. He stood up for an open, tolerant and united Britain that we love

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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51 Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin 18th May '17 - 11:55pm

    I did see it, Tim was excellent, especially when he spoke personally and as , many feel now, on topics other than Brexit !

    Caroline Lucas started well and then raced to the bottom of any progressive alliance summit, by going for Tim and the party on coalition aspects she did not need to even mention as they were not needed at all !

    And the pointlessness of two party leaders from parts of the UK , ie not from the uk as a whole was glaring in its full tv light glare !

  • Lorenzo Cherin 19th May '17 - 12:00am

    P.S.

    May and Corbyn were notable by their absence , yet hardly missed at all !!

  • You quote Alistair Carmichael as evidence that Tim Farron did well? Isn’t that rather like having the director’s mum tell us how good the movie is?

  • Unlike Lorenzo I didn’t watch the debate, but it’s been slated by the Guardian who basically called it a waste of time. They weren’t impressed by Tim – “Farron’s theatrics and argument-by-anecdote (presumably he was coached) got the thumbs down”. The general opinion seems to be the 3 women did OK, the two guys not so good.

  • Tim needs to decide what his message is, saying that he wants to stare his children in the eyes and say, in essence , I would have kept you in the E U , with an ever increasing bill and ever decreasing accountability e.g, E.U. army ( despite Cleggs passionate denial when he debated Farrage and finished with Clegg saying that broadly nothing will change in the E.U. in the next 10 years… wrong! ) Then saying nobody knows what Brexit means whist also swerving towards… May is forcing a hard Brexit on us, resulting in us being outside the single market and the customs union, either he thinks we do or do not know what Brexit means if May is in control, to keep being flaccid about it is not credible… he can not have it both ways.

  • Eddie Sammon 19th May '17 - 12:55am

    There’s lots of difference between the Lib Dems and Labour but you wouldn’t think so if you only read the media, including the Lib Dem’s own press operations. It mainly just looks like the Lib Dems are the pro EU version of Labour, which isn’t the only difference.

    Why don’t we whack Jeremy Corbyn on foreign policy and more on economic policy. No wonder the party is haemorrhaging votes to Labour, people can hardly see the difference.

  • Basic mistake in Libdem manifesto: no commitment to increase R&D spending to 3% of GDP by 2022 (the CBI is calling for this).

  • He talked about Europe more than Paul Nuttal making us look like a single issue party whilst the other leaders got to show of much more of their policies.

  • Caroline Lucas I think performed the best; Paul Nuttall was the politest (shame he couldn’t get Leanne’s name right). Nuttall may be the politest because he is an MEP and not a member of any UK Parliament. I would give Tim a “C”. He needs to do better. I didn’t like his reference to himself and his family (I particularly didn’t like him continuing stating he has 4 children); he didn’t seem to have a clue about economics and he went on too much about Brexit and the single market. He didn’t even mention reversing most of the Tory welfare cuts!

    I wouldn’t believe anything Alistair Carmichael said after what he did in government.

    @ Eddie Sammon
    I think attacking Labour only helps the Conservatives and the best result for the UK is as few Conservative MPs as possible.

  • Bill le Breton 19th May '17 - 7:03am

    I watched, a loyal Lib Dem, but I couldn’t stay the course. It took some time but, reflecting this morning, my conclusion is that the real debate was elsewhere.

    Tim has great strengths but they are not being put to the right use.

    What are these strengths? He bridges the ‘Somewhere’ (Preston) and ‘Anywhere’ (Mobile) cultures identified by David Goohart. And the only other person with a platform in politics with these qualities is Nick Timothy, in Mrs May’s office. Somewhere (Erdington) and Anywhere.

    Here is Goodhart in the Spectator, “The job of politics now is to achieve a settlement between these two groups (Somewheres and Anywheres): to create a more comfortable country for Somewheres without endorsing illiberalism or alienating the most dynamic forces in Britain. Theresa May is the first leading politician to talk in such terms. ‘If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere,’ she said in her first Tory conference speech as party leader. ‘You don’t understand what the very word “citizenship” means.’ So the Prime Minister seems willing and able to shape such a settlement: we have yet to see many specific policies but she does grasp the problem.”

    Tim has allowed himself to be convinced to use his one chance as leader to major on the Anywhere agenda. Deep down I believe that those in the Party who voted for Tim perhaps subconsciously wanted him because he had those roots in Preston, in community, in campaigning to help people take and use the power which had been taken from them.

    He’s a good chap from a nice family who got in with the wrong crowd.

  • Somehow it’s not quite working. Whilst I may disagree with 90% of what Jeremy Corbyn thinks I do admire the bravery of their manifesto. They have eye catching policies which grab the lime light. UKIP in their own way also have some e.g cutting the foreign aid budget (which I disagree with but probably the majority don’t). So for me the big dissappointment is that we aren’t a little bit more out there.

  • Didn’t see the debate, but the Guardian seem to be more interested in criticising us than the Tories these days, and Nick won the 2010 debates hands down, but it didn’t gain us any seats.

    ‘The fact that Theresa May isn’t here tonight tells you she is taking you for granted.’
    I had a letter from her yesterday: she really is targeting Wales.
    It was all about ‘back me, back me, back me’ (and being ‘strong and stable’ v the ‘coalition of chaos’). Two pages of it and her own party all but invisible.
    I think she doesn’t want to appear because she has nothing real to say and would quickly get found out.

  • dear malc,

    If you couldn’t be bothered to watch it why comment. Is there anything else you’d care to comment on you haven’t been bothered to research?

  • Oh, and for those who say we go on too much about Brexit, May’s letter to Welsh voters was about nothing else. She says she decided we need an election now so she will have a ‘strong negotiating hand’ in Brussels. No other reason. No other policies.

  • GRAHAM GOLDSMID 19th May '17 - 8:30am

    Had to switch off the leaders debate last night Tim was terrible
    who is running this campaign? Its a mess! Down here in the West Country
    it is flat sure the party supporters are talking up the Lib Dems but
    with Ukip not standing in some seats we might win Wells but where else?
    Else where Norman Lamb is going to struggle.
    Brexit will happen there will not be a second referendum the game has moved on Remain voters want to vote for a party that can stand up to the Conservatives. At the moment we are not doing this or getting our views across.

  • Tim’s job last night was to connect with the vast majority of the electorate who don’t know who the leader of the Liberal Democrats is and he did that by telling stories (which we have all heard before) which show that he is an ordinary working class bloke who wants to do his best for a country he loves as leader of a political party. I think he achieved that: people who watched the debate won’t think of him as one of the liberal elite even if they don’t necessarily agree that we need another referendum. But to criticise him for not having a grasp of economics, or whatever, is to miss the point of what he was trying to do. OK, it looks as though the voters are going to prefer Mrs May’s vacuous drivel, and they are going to pay a very high price for their decision, but Tim is not to blame for the lousy hand that fate has dealt us.

  • Katharine Pindar 19th May '17 - 9:05am

    Sadly now, I agree with critical comments above. I think we need now a clearer direction from the party leadership, and specifically from the election campaign leadership, on our strategy and tactics in the remaining weeks of this campaign. It seems to me it should focus on the weaknesses and inconsistencies of the Tory manifesto and government, and their untrustworthiness, which means that to trust Theresa May for a strong and stable performance in the Brexit negotiations and a happy outcome is deluded thinking.

  • The issue we have is the public want Brexit too move on. It can’t and it will dominate the next parliament and probably the decades after, but the public want to ignore the elephant in the room. We can agree to go along with that like the Tories and Labour or we can be true to our beliefs. Being true however might not make us popular.

  • Our campaign is a mess up. Enfield Lock by election last night 1.6%. It is no good publishing these articles trying to boost morale when we continue to drown. Change tack, forget bloody Brexit, and get on with the bread and butter issues people understand. The technicalities of the single market etc, it is over a lot of people heads, the No vote was generated by immigration niot economics.
    The apparent abject failure, we have only ourselves to blame. Wrong type of campaign at the wrong time. What Focus groups have we consulted? I despair

  • Sadly I think the population are too wedded to populism to vote for a genuine pro-market, pro-globalisation liberal party at the moment. They need 1 year of a Trump style nationalist autocrat, and then another year of a Corbyn style communist autocrat, before they will realise that the liberal position of open borders and open markets is the best option. Every generation needs to learn why nationalism, socialism and the glue that binds them – protectionism, is pure stupidity.

  • Nigel Jones 19th May '17 - 9:50am

    Bill le Breton makes a very important point that translates into policy issues. A quote from my election leaflet says “We actively seek the benefits of internationalism, but also work as local champions for true localism, with decisions made and resources provided as close to the people as possible”.

  • Peter Watson 19th May '17 - 9:58am

    @frankie “Is there anything else you’d care to comment on you haven’t been bothered to research?”
    To be fair, malc was explicitly reporting what was written in a secondary source (maybe even a primary source), namely The Guardian. That level of research is no less than that of almost every contribution to this site and most political debate. In this case, it might even have more value than that of somebody who watched the TV show through rose-tinted or grey-tinted spectacles.

  • Peter Watson 19th May '17 - 10:02am

    P.S. In my last sentence “somebody” should have been “anybody” as I had no particular person in mind.

  • Peter Watson 19th May '17 - 10:19am

    @theakes “The apparent abject failure, we have only ourselves to blame. Wrong type of campaign at the wrong time.”
    I have noticed Lib Dem commentators in the media mentioning the recent issues arising from Tim Farron’s christian faith. I really hope that this does not become a convenient excuse on which to pin the blame for any subsequent electoral failure. The campaign has looked fundamentally flawed, and although I’m pretty agnostic about Christianity and Lib Demmery these days, I hope the party learns the right lessons from whatever happens on 8 June.

  • I have to say that Libdem plan needs to be more ambitious and needs more specific figures.

    Examples:
    – Expanding the British Business Bank. But by how much? £10bn, £20bn, £1bn or £500m? (well £500m or even £1bn means nothing)
    – Our long-term goal is to double innovation and research spending across the economy: If doubling R&D spending in absolute term not in percentage of GDP, then it is a shamble target. A commitment to increase R&D spending to 3% or even 4% is a far more clear and credible target. Also, Libdem failed to mention the deadline for the increase in spending (doubling spending by 2050 not 2020 would be a worthless target).
    – Britain’s indebtedness is caused by its perennial trade deficit. But Libdem had no plan for achieve trade balance/surplus.
    – Libdem shouldn’t have magically dropped its banking reform plan, especially when Basel III left shadow banking untouched.
    – Allowance for startups should be extended to a full year, as the second year, not the first year, is the crucial year for them.

  • What I cannot understand is when a team is 0 – 3 or 0-4 down at half time a manager has to change what has gone on. It is simple and logical. BUT THIS PARTY , no change, no apparent idea whatesover.
    I suggest the campaign team step aside and invite some of us to take over for the last 2 weeks.
    Do not think the religious bitr eally involved. We have simply got the campaign wrong, the message wrong, (appalling party politicals), ignored the issues that really matter to people, not the middle and higher eschelons of Kingston and Surbiton, misread the local election results, ignoring the disasters in many wards, seemingly to have kept the staff from 2015, displaying political incompetence and ineptitude, allowed the Labour party to go for it daily and didn’t they do it well, one can go on and on. Abject failure. Nothing more nothing less.
    For those of us who kept going through thick and thin for 50 years, I remember being one of only 79 voters Liberal in Bradford East in 1970 it is heartbreaking.
    We will go into the darkness like the Free Democrats in Germany but perhaps in 10 years we will pick up like they have. (They have not needed a realignment to do that).

  • Enfield Lock Ward Results:

    Elif Erbil Labour 2155
    Christine Bellas Conservative 973
    Richard Morgan-Ash Liberal Democrats 54
    Gary Robbens UKIP 91
    Kate McGeevor Green Party 104

    And that’s in a “remain” area. When this general election is over the Lib Dems will need to have a proper look at themselves. I think Tim Farron should stay, but he needs to undergo some serious media and leadership training. As for all these committees they need a massive overall. Get people on them that are not obsessed with every minority interest under the sun. Try spending more time on matters like better public transport, providing more local police stations, improving out of hours medical cover etc. Stop sounding so pro-EU and anti-British, that’s costing you dearly even in the remain areas.

  • Malc: just had a begging letter, another. Always contribute but its been wasted. No more until there is an immediate change in the next 24 hours, should the campaign manager be put on gardening leave.

  • Dave Orbison 19th May '17 - 1:35pm

    Stimpson – “Corbyn style communist autocrat”

    No wonder the LibDem campaign is a mess. As in 2915 attack Tories and attack Labour in equal measure. Does this make sense, really?

    I don’t expect LibDems to sign off to the Labour Party manifesto in totality but surely it offers more hope that the Tories ‘smoke and mirrors’.

    Some of us have been cautioning Tim Farron from banging the Tory drum on Corbyn-bashing for the last two years.

    I will be voting Labour but I have no problem saying I agree with almost all of the LibDem manifesto too. There, I said it. This county would be far better off if either Labour or LibDems were in Government.

    But to echo some here the LibDems need to do change and fast. I would urge LibDems to focus on attacking the Tory manifesto if we are to stand any chance of trying to stop them. They are the biggest threat to the UK. Of course if you prefer the Tories manifesto to Labour then stay on track with what you are doing and Mrs May will be delighted.

    If the LibDems accept and repeat the mantra about Corbyn and ‘reds under the beds’ you are doing no more than making it easy for May. It may be LibDems will lose a seat here or there in doing focussing on the Tories but in my view the worst outcome by a long long way would be another Tory Government.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 19th May '17 - 1:36pm

    Theakes, malc ,et al,

    When I mention we need to be a mainstream party dealing with the whole spectrum of issues, I am criticised, when I say we need to be a party of Liberal patriotism, I am criticised, when I say er need to care about the victim of crime , nobody is listening , on here, too busy abolishing shorter sentences, when I say we need to free the prisons of the non violent offender, keeping the violent locked up longer if necessary, nobody responds, when I say we need to involve all sectors in health care with wide choice, and massive increases in spending, some think I want marketisation, when I say we need to be internationalist but control immigration, some prefer free movement , when I say we need to allow all spouses here regardless of income, and all with a connection to our united kingdom, some prefer to emphasise strangers allowed to settle from the EU ,

    I have originated the phrase , “the missing pages theory .” Watch any movie , wherein , suddenly you are confused, as if the plot has lost it’s way, it seems the director lost a few pages of the screenplay , or the writer left it in the car !

    We are like that in politics. We have the philosophy, the talent, the ideas, we prefer to tell one side of mostly, every story !

  • Think I’m going to stop reading this site till after June 8th. Depressing. I’m out knocking on doors at night and delivering leaflets and letters. A good ground campaign is the only thing I can think of. I’m out there talking about what I and the party believe in because I think it matters. Project fear will become project reality soon and I do not want to see it. Wish I had time to tell you about many anecdotes but leave that for the later. A lot of people don’t know what to think at the moment. Suspect turn out will be low and hence getting the vote out may be critical.
    Debate last night was a great sister act. Don’t see people having a go at Nicola Sturgeon for banging on about Brexit. Almost felt sorry for prof. Nuttall, proper kippered. Yes Tim does need media training. Need to tell him to keep his head up and still. Trouble is, he is a nice guy. Never gets the girl. Nice to see him talking about leading the country instead of opposition.

  • Nick Collins 19th May '17 - 4:12pm

    @ P J (if you’re still here) ” Think I’m going to stop reading this site till after June 8th. Depressing. I’m out knocking on doors at night and delivering leaflets and letters.”

    Sensible chap. I never visited this site until I ceased being an activist. If I were an activist now, I don’t think I’d spend time here.

  • Paul Murray 19th May '17 - 4:21pm

    Richard Osman (the guy from Pointless who is also a TV executive) tweets “Tiny 1.66m for ITV Leaders Debate last night. Roundly beaten by ‘Supervet’ on C4”.

  • Listened to the follow up on the debate on Radio 5 last night. Oh dear.

    Which genius asked Brian Paddick to be the Lib Dem spin doctor ? First question – predictably – straight into the ‘gay sin’ stuff with Paddick wriggling and unconvincing. It must have been obvious to anybody with strategic nous that would be the outcome.

    Bread and butter issues ? Not on your life – eventually after some ‘was abortion a sin ?’- a bit more one trick pony stuff on Brexit.

    I’m sorry, but whoever’s running this campaign are amateurs and wouldn’t make it into the National League North play offs.

    I feel sorry for, Tim. My advice ? Get back to Westmorland and look after your own interests. Do bread and butter issues in daily interviews from Kendal – just as D.Steel did from the Ettrick Valley.

  • Alex Macfie 19th May '17 - 5:58pm

    As far as I’m concerned, anyone who asks about “sin” should be told firmly, STFU we’ve dealt with this and here are our party policies.

  • Peter Watson 19th May '17 - 11:21pm

    @David Raw “I’m sorry, but whoever’s running this campaign are amateurs and wouldn’t make it into the National League North play offs.”
    They also seem to have failed to prepare senior Lib Dems to answer the obvious question, “so would you be happy for your children to smoke cannabis?”.

  • It would be great if the party could focus on what our key narrative for the direction of Britain should be in our current circumstances, and go on the attack to expose the cynicism of Theresa May talking about protecting worker’s rights etc while her Conservative colleagues expose how they have no intention in following such policies through, as are determined to steer Britain down a low wage path in pursuit of free trade deals to undercut the EU’s bigger market appeal to Commonwealth countries, US, China, ASEAN & Mercosur -And Bread & Butter issues, like as said above, NOT virtue-signalling to notionally sympathetic parts of the electorate on poorly communicated policies of Liberal values e.g. legalising cannabis (wasn’t this policy pronouncement originally meant to be about killing off the skunk market?)

  • @ John Bickell
    In 2001, 2005 and 2010 it was right to attack Labour. I think it was wrong to echo the Conservatives in 2015 with identical attacks on Labour. Perhaps you do not remember the campaigns of the last century. In 1983, 87, 92 and 97 it was correct to attack the Conservatives. What I am saying is that in the air war we should attack the government of whichever party it is. This was difficult to do in 2015!

    A few days ago I post this against Eddie Sammon’s position:
    “I think you are wrong to think we should be attacking Labour nationally. I think as we are in opposition we should be attacking the government and stating why our vision for the UK is better than theirs. In seats where we are facing Labour then we need to attack them and encourage Conservative voters to vote for us because we are better than Labour from their point of view.”

    This is not to see politics as a two party affair, especially for someone who has voted for us and our previously parties since 1981. If I had had the vote in 1974 I would have voted Liberal. I do support our fight and a few weeks ago I was making the case for tight targeting because people on here had unrealistically high expectations of winning lots of remain seats.

  • @Stimpson: “Sadly I think the population are too wedded to populism to vote for a genuine pro-market, pro-globalisation liberal party at the moment….. Every generation needs to learn why nationalism, socialism and the glue that binds them – protectionism, is pure stupidity.”
    I couldn’t disagree more. The party should re-assert its values as the pragmatic, “commonsense” party of fairness, justice and investment in rapidly evolving technology and markets. The electorate may always say they want principled ideologues, and loathe pragmatic management politics, but this isn’t true -the latter, so long as they look competent, will always get more votes.
    If the party wants to paint itself in an ideologically pure corner of neoliberalism, it may win over Neil Ferguson, Daniel Hannan & James Delingpole’s patch of Breitbart and the Daily Telegraph. Possibly upto 10% of the electorate might agree- of whom many are currently Conservative supporters. But it will be many, many years…well, never, frankly, for a substantial part of the UK electorate to consciously vote for an ideological “genuine pro-market, pro-globalisation liberal party”.

  • @ Bill le Breton
    We have targeted the people from “anywhere” and we are not presenting a clear message for the people from “somewhere”. I think in the past we always presented ourselves as also being from the same place as the voters, i.e. our candidates were also from “somewhere” – the same “somewhere” as those we were asking to vote for us.

    While I don’t say drop the referendum on the deal which keeps open to the door to staying in the EU, we need to get out our other policies, especially where they are different from the Conservatives – NHS, Social Care, reversing the welfare cuts, removing people from paying National Insurance contributions if they earn less than £12,500, keeping the triple lock, keeping free school meals, and I assume implementing the Dilnot Report and the cap of £72,000 for lifetime social care costs we got passed into law during the coalition years which the Conservatives have delayed implementing and are now scraping.

    @ Tonyhill
    I felt he talked too much about himself and his family and not enough about the changes that we would make in government so people do not have to continue to have these bad experiences.

  • Katharine Pindar 20th May '17 - 2:06am

    I’m now reacting against the excessive pessimism and defeatism of this collective commentary! There were three straightforward principles I recall being put forward as our response to Brexit: 1. Ensure the rights of EU citizens in Britain and British citizens on the Continent 2. Demand continued access to the EU internal market even if we do leave 3. offer the British people another referendum on the ultimate conclusions of the negotiations.
    Nothing wrong with those, but time to develop further, I think. We needn’t keep referring to the referendum, because our position on it is now well enough known, and it’s possible May will be obliged to compromise enough in the end to mean there won’t be sufficient demand for it. But we should keep hammering the first two principles, and can point out quite simply, Theakes, that we need the internal market because it’s by far our biggest market and isn’t likely to be equalled by unilateral free trade with other further-away countries.

    Now also of course we have the manifestos, and can with conviction assert the virtues of ours and the failings of the others. We must hammer the Tories especially, because we need to win back some of the seats they filched from us in 2015, and it isn’t difficult, because Mrs May far from providing strong and stable leadership has a record of coat-turning and is not to be trusted.
    There’s time, P.J., to campaign by day and still engage with this site by night, as you and I are proving; and Tim has much going for him as Tonyhill observed and doesn’t deserve to be patronised. Finally, Dave Orbison, you write much sense, except when you say you will be voting Labour and not Lib Dem!

  • Philip Rolle 20th May '17 - 2:41am

    I think the main mistake that has been made was that almost nobody in Lib Dem high command seemed to realise that many Remainers would become reconciled to Brexit.
    The kicking the party took in 2015 was not deserved but it was unavoidable. Sadly, the 2017 will be deserved. Human nature was ignored.

  • May’s only offer is ‘Strong leadership’…Marxist dictatorship more like.. Atlee’s legacy is that health and social care is paid through general taxation..

    Thatcher wanted us to own our own homes; May wants to nationalise them in order to make the elderly/infirm pay for own social care…

    If we live long enough we will all need some form of social care, whether in home or residential…Under Theresa May, the State has the right to take over half of the value of the average home… (Average house price £216,000) and leave you just £100k of it… .The average stay in a care home is about two years and costs between £100K and £150K..
    If Corbyn’s policy, of taking state control of Rail, is Marxism; what is May’s policy?

  • Bill le Breton 20th May '17 - 7:30am

    Michael BG “in the past we always presented ourselves as also being from the same place as the voters, i.e. our candidates were also from “somewhere” – the same “somewhere” as those we were asking to vote for us.”

    Exactly so and this kept us grounded. If you read ‘The Clegg Coup’ you will see that a small group of men became frustrated with this approach. There was a belief that there we two classes of politician – very much officers and other ranks. The former should not have to burden themselves with the level of constituency time and effort which they thought became the be all and end all of the ‘other rank’ type of Lib Dem.

    They linked this dedication to ‘somewhere’ to a refusal to want power and denigrated it. They were in a strange way jealous of those with London constituencies. The whole idea of getting on the train on a Thursday night and having to go and ‘farm’ the constituency they thought was beneath them. Their destiny was to command the heights of British politics.

    It was really the classic ‘anywhere’ mentality.

    This contempt for the ‘community politics approach’ meant that they rejected or ignored all the knowledge and experience built up by those they thought were unambitious, unimaginative slow coaches. Which is why they made so many mistakes when they inherited the opportunity that the ‘long march’ campaigners had assembled.

    Katharine, time to smell the coffee.

  • David Evans 20th May '17 - 8:08am

    Indeed Bill. There has always been a significant disconnect between National Head office/leadership and those who actually won elections, partly due to simple physical geography, and partly due to the gap between any activist driven organisation and the central bureaucracy. As leader, NIck simply attached himself to Head Office and reorganised it to his own model.

    In addition we are a party with so many who totally believe in the virtue of its values, but either don’t know enough about what is going on at the centre (e.g. How many had even an inkling of the coup against Charlie Kennedy until it happened), or would rather not believe things could be going so badly wrong, and so accuse those with a real sense of foreboding of being negative.

    Well keeping an eye out for things going wrong is a classic sign of real dedication to a party, and accusations of negativity simply delay solutions being found. The fact that people are still doing it shows how so many of us still haven’t learned the lessons of the last few years.

  • Peter Watson 20th May '17 - 9:28am

    @Katharine Pindar “But we should keep hammering the first two principles”
    I think there is a significant weakness in that Lib Dem position (simultaneously anti-Brexit in general and anti-hard-Brexit in particular). The party indicates that even if Ms. May managed to negotiate the softest of Brexits, Lib Dems would still want to campaign against it in a second referendum, so what would be the point of voting to put the party in a position to influence Brexit unless a voter wants to block it?
    It should be possible to communicate a message along the lines of “We want to block Brexit, but if it must happen then this is the sort of Brexit we want” , but the party seems unable to do this. Perhaps the over-emphasis on a second referendum gets in the way, but also, perhaps it is part of a wider problem in that the party (and Remainers in general) have never managed (or even attempted?) to present a positive, comprehensive and clear vision for the relationship that the UK should have with Europe.

  • Katharine Pindar 20th May '17 - 12:23pm

    Peter. I’m just going off to drop leaflets for Tim in Windermere village, but pause to laugh and say I see another of your searching, useful questions – and I entirely agree with your second paragraph. I believe we do already think that if Brexit must happen then this (the soft Brexit option) is what we want. Now we have to tread a line between seeming defeatist about the possibility of the second referendum and appearing to demand it whatever the voters think, which is why I am suggesting soft-pedalling it. You were right to ask!

  • Jane Ann Liston 20th May '17 - 12:50pm

    Commentators on Radio Scotland all appear to agree that St Nicola ‘won’ the date. Ironic, given that she isn’t a General Election candidate.

  • Jane Ann Liston 20th May '17 - 12:51pm

    Sorry, that should have said ”won’ the debate’.

  • Nom de Plume 21st May '17 - 12:07am

    @ Peter Watson. I would settle for EEA/EFTA.

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