Farron’s football metaphors: he wants to be like Graeme Souness at Blackburn Rovers

When Tim Farron went to Newcastle this week (where he impressed a room full of young people), he spoke to the local paper.

His speeches always used to feature football metaphors somewhere but in recent years, they’ve been less prevalent. However, he had no choice when he was asked which football manager he’d compare himself to. He told the Chronicle that he saw his role as being like Graeme Souness when he was at Blackburn Rovers. The Scottish football manager had a string of successes with that club. Then he left it and went to Newcastle, which wasn’t such a happy experience.

You can see from the video how he answered the question, saying his oft-repeated lines about how there is a space for us in British politics and we are the only opposition to Labour in the north east, which gave him time to think about the best way to actually give the response he was asked for.

Tim said:

I absolutely hesitate in Geordie land to compare myself to Graeme Souness, but he picked us up when we were at the bottom end of what is now the Championship, he stabilised us, got us promoted, won us the league cup and got us into Europe.

The reality is that we are a party for whom there is a huge space for, we are the only opposition to Labour in the North East.

We had a terrible result last May, but there is an enormous need for us.

The local Labour leader had a bit of a cheeky go at Tim:

But Farron dismissed the criticism and said his party acted as a “restraint” on the Tories.

He said: “Well I think in his more sensible and generous moments Nick would acknowledge the importance of the Lib Dems in coalition, especially after seeing the new local Government settlement.”

Newcastle Lib Dem Greg Stone backed Mr Farron, adding: “It is ironic that Nick Forbes has called for an apology when there has never been an apology forthcoming from Labour for their part in the economic crash or an acceptance that Labour planned to make ‘cuts worse than Thatcher’ if they had won in 2010.”

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  • “There has never been an apology forthcoming from Labour for their part in the economic crash”.

    Oh, for goodness sake – all this knock about stuff is tedious, Mr. Stone. It started in the U.S. of A – the land of unregulated capitalism. Has Greg Stone never heard of Lehmann brothers ? One of Labour’s bigger enduring mistakes (and they made plenty of others) – was not to nail this nonsense at the start …. and one of the bigger mistakes of Nick & Co was to go along with it and parrot it as a defence for joining the Coalition.

    At least we ought to try and be honest in this Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum stuff.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 31st Jan '16 - 5:33pm

    You are probably right on that one, David. I sighed when I read that quote.

    I do think that Labour were culpable in failing to regulate the banks, but, to be honest, I felt more confident with Alistair Darling at the Treasury than I would with George Osborne in similar circumstances.

  • Let us not forget that, although it was a convention for outgoing ministers to leave a note for their successors with light hearted advice on how to settle into the job ( Tory Reginald Maudling to his Labour successor James Callaghan in 1964: “Good luck, old cock … Sorry to leave it in such a mess.”) it was our David Laws who used it to make political capital….

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