Labour are trapped in a nightmare of two parties – Tim Farron on Corbyn’s speech

Here is Tim Farron’s response to Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at the Liverpool Labour conference today:

Corbyn’s speech shows Labour’s problem, the last time I saw ovations like that was Iain Duncan Smith’s Blackpool conference speech. Here was a quiet man turning down the volume, especially on Europe. He barely mentioned Brexit and said nothing on the importance of the Single Market. It is clear that the Liberal Democrats are the only pro-European party now.

Labour are now two parties, one that wants to win but is being suffocated by Corbyn and his clique who just want to debate the issues of the day and seem to love the politics of the placard.

This speech shows how Labour is trapped and there is no way out of their nightmare.

Now, in the wake of the Brexit vote those divisions are more exposed than ever before. With our country facing huge challenges – from inequality and injustice to an NHS in crisis and an economy in jeopardy – we are left with a reckless, divisive and uncaring Conservative Government and Labour fighting among themselves with no plan for the economy or the country.

That’s why the Liberal Democrats are needed more than ever. We are the real voice of opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government and the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united.

* News Meerkat - keeping a look-out for Liberal Democrat news. Meerkat photo by Paul Walter

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84 Comments

  • Tim,
    The referendum is over; the country voted OUT….It seems that the only policy that LibDems have is, “Let’s forget the vote and try and convince ourselves that we are still IN…
    I thought the speech was a good one. His presentation is not polished but let’s leave that to the Blair/Cameron school….
    Apart from ‘Brexit’ what didn’t you like; Public ownership of the railways, repeal of the Trade Union Act, a national education service, a national investment bank, more housing, curbs on tax avoidance and a school pupil arts premium?

    Can he deliver; who knows? But none of the above policies should be dismissed out of hand…

  • Dave Orbison 28th Sep '16 - 5:34pm

    I suspect that Tim Farron’s comments were written, by and large, in advance of Corbyn’s speech. Contrary to what Tim Farron says I found Corbyn was very direct and specific about Brexit and the Single Market. Corbyn stated clear red lines so far as Brexit was concerned.

    Corbyn could not have been more positive about the benefits of immigration and flew in the face of the UKIP/Tory racist xenophobia. Aren’t these areas, post Brexit, where there is some commonality between the LibDems and Labour?

    Unlike Tim Farron’s Conference speech attacking Labour, Corbyn didn’t refer to the LibDems or the SNP by making cheap jokes at their expense. He focused entirely on the Tories – the Government. He pledged to defend our public services, to support investment in industry and reject grammar schools. Also, to invest in house building and support initiatives that would protect the environment and much more. Do Tim Farron not agree with any of this? Or is it a case of only on Tim Farron’s terms?

    There must surely have been some of Corbyn’s speech, if not much, the LibDems could have agreed with. Yet rather than consider the speech and reflect on its content Tim Farron rushes out a statement rubbishing Corbyn and simply repeating the risible slogan that the LibDem’s 8 MP’s are the real opposition to the Tories.

    The more I see of this the more and more I become less convinced that PR would achieve anything since a precondition of PR is surely a willingness to work with other parties. Are the Tories the only party the LibDems will work with?

  • Dave Orbison 28th Sep '16 - 5:34pm

    Expats – snap!

  • paul barker 28th Sep '16 - 5:50pm

    Labour are 2 (or 3) Parties & neither are remotely attractive to Liberals, Internationalists or those who dont like prejudice in any form. Labour Centists/Rightwingers just cant get over the loss of Labour voters who were always authoritarian & nationalist so they keep trying on Right Wing/Populists ideas to see if they will fit. Their faffing around is both unprincipled & really stupid. The old Labour coalition is dead & its not going to have a miraculous ressurection.

  • paul barker…So you don’t like any Labour policies; neither those from the left nor the right…
    Could you set out those LibDem policies that don’t include any common ground with any of those in your description of the three sides of Labour….

  • Like Expats and Dave Orbison, I watched the speech in full.

    It would have been so much better to make a serious examination of each of the issues he raised instead of just joining in with the personal stuff done so much better by the Tory tabloids. Yes, Corbyn lacks (superficial) polish…. but it’s equally superficial to turn him into some sort of bogyman used to frighten the children.

  • I’m all for inviting disillusioned Labour members to the LibDems, but as Paul Barker indicated – we’ll struggle to win over anyone from the tribal, uncompromising factions on the left or the right – nor would we want to.

    So, Labour still has an identity crisis to deal with (maybe they’ll create a database and issue some kind of plastic thing to carry in your wallet to identify where you sit?).

    However… I think we’re edging back towards the point where too much of Tim’s (and the party’s) focus is on Labour / Corbyn et al.

    I’ve thought as much previously – such as when Tim was on record criticising Corbyn for comments made many years ago – about how extra-judicial killing (even of a terrorist) was improper).

    It has obviously been relevant, and more appropriate recently – but there has to be a shift in strategy now.

    How does one *show* we are be the real opposition? Winning by-elections is obviously a great start!

  • Dave Orbison 28th Sep '16 - 6:48pm

    @Paul Barker – I first became alerted to the use of ‘tribal’ in politics when reading contributions on LDV. It appeared the LibDems prided themselves on not being tribal whilst accusing other parties of being so. But with respect it seems that your general wide-sweeping attack on Corbyn, as does Tim Farron’s attack, is nothing more than a knee-jerk tribal response. A sort of student yah-boo politics driven by the badge rather than the content on the policy proposals.

    I am not saying that many Labour supporters or MP’s are any different in their approach to the LibDems. But what I am saying, and have tried to get across consistently in my posts, is that there must be room for co-operation between Labour and LibDems and other parties where there is a broad agreement on some policies. So why not focus on those areas for the common good?

    As pointed out by expats in listing the policies Corbyn outlined, surely there must be some common ground with the LibDems. Wouldn’t it be greater and bolder leadership from Tim Farron to step forward and offer to work with Labour on some of these policy areas?

    Perhaps Corbyn would rebuff such an approach. But then at least Tim Farron would have the moral high ground. But the repeated, opportunist and dismissive approach to anything Corbyn says seems to me to be a lost opportunity not just for the LibDems, the cause of PR, but possibly for the UK as a whole.

  • Eddie Sammon 28th Sep '16 - 7:01pm

    Corbyn’s speech has one reference to Syria, none to Assad, Putin, Russia or Iran. Two to Saudi Arabia. If it was Benjamin Netanyahu bombing all of an area’s hospitals there would probably be calls to bomb Israel from the far left by now. Corbyn’s double standards on foreign policy need pointing out. It’s still anti-western – hence Saudi, one of our apparent allies, gets the most criticism.

  • Jayne Mansfield 28th Sep '16 - 7:19pm

    @ Eddie Sammon,
    In contravention of International Humanitarian Law, Hospitals and health facilities are being bombed inYemen many of them staffed and supported by MSF.

    UK made weapons are being used in these bombings. The UK is granting licences for these weapons sales and has continued to do so knowing full well of these breaches in IHL.

  • Eddie Sammon 28th Sep '16 - 7:27pm

    Jayne, thanks for that information, I’ll check it out. But still, those bombing Syrian towns to pieces deserve condemnation.

    I’ll condemn Saudi too. We need a pro-democracy foreign policy and all indiscriminate bombing is wrong, no matter who does it.

  • ‘Wouldn’t it be greater and bolder leadership from Tim Farron to step forward and offer to work with Labour on some of these policy areas?
    Perhaps Corbyn would rebuff such an approach.’
    A joint policy making committee?
    Britain needs reform and to move forward but not that what Labour is offering.
    Both Ukip and Momentum hark back to the past in their different ways.

  • I don’t think it’s so much Labour’s policies that many people have a problem with, it’s just that they don’t like or trust it’s leaders. I can’t see the people of this country putting their faith in the likes of Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott or Thornberry. I’ve voted Labour most of my life, but there is absolutely nothing that would make me support a party led by that lot. Farron is right to attack Labour – that’s where the Lib Dems will pick up their extra votes.

  • Dave Orbison 28th Sep '16 - 8:22pm

    @Edddie Sammon – Corbyn made one reference to Syria and two to Saudi Arabia.

    But Tim Farron’s speech didn’t mention either. These issues are so serious they merit real scrutiny and mature debate. Corbyn has consistanly opposed military intervention in the Middle East. He is not taking sides. The atrocities in Yemen should be rightly identified as they should in Syria, or the West Bank or anywhere for that matter. Corbyn demonstrated his interest in international affairs and despite Paul Barker claiming that the LibDems are the internationalists I think a comparison of both their speeches is telling.

    But this isn’t a football competition – 2-1 in mentions etc. It is all important and unlike Eddie Sammon nowhere at all did Corbyn seek to reduce this to petty UK politics.

    @manfarang – seriously? Momentum is as relevant an issue in Corbyn’s speech as The LibDem Glee Club – if I have got the name wrong I’m sure Simon Shaw will come to my rescue.

    Just look at how many times Tim Farron’s attacks Labour vs. Corbyn attacking LibDems. Corbyn used his speech to set out a clear agenda for people to accept or reject. Why can’t Tim Farron’s be positive and spell out specifics as to what the LibDems are for as opposed to what they are against?

  • Katharine Pindar 28th Sep '16 - 8:32pm

    From what I have seen and heard of the Labour Conference, and as Dave Orbison and others suggest, they do have policies we can agree with, which makes the possibilities of co-operation greater. When I heard Jeremy Corbyn claim that immigration had been good for the country, that the decline of services was the problem of Government, and that the answer was not to ban immigrants but to provide funds to alleviate hardship in certain areas, I thought that’s surely what we mostly believe too, and it’s just a pity that he didn’t say it in the Referendum campaign. Tim did say in his final Conference speech that Corbyn had at least been better than May in working for Remain. Surely Centre, Centre-left and Left people all need to pull together as much as possible to try to oust this appalling Tory Government, whenever the General Election happens. But probably Tim will focus on that major opponent when the Tory Conference takes place shortly.

  • paul barker 28th Sep '16 - 9:30pm

    I often comment on Labour sites, sometimes agreeing, more often not. That doesnt mean not supporting any moves towards co-operation where we agree but anyone who suggests that gets a torrent of abuse from Momentum types & little support from anyone else. Those 5 years of denouncing Libdems as traitors, creeps, toadies etc were a sort of comfort blanket for many in Labour, Left or Right, they will find it hard to give up.
    Whoever suggested that we should move on from attacking Labour has a point, they do a great job of dissing themselves. We can replace Labour, lets get on with it.

  • Jayne Mansfield 28th Sep '16 - 9:32pm

    @ Malc,
    Not from those of us who know what being trapped in a nightmare is like.

    International Business Times
    ‘ Yemen’s horror exposes the deadly hypocrisy of arms exporters including Britain and the US’.

    I am concerned about Jeremy Corbyn’s competence. He hasn’t been tested and he should have been given the time to discover whether there he has the ability to lead. But the incompetence of the so called ‘moderates’ in diverting attention away from serious issues the country faces, to mount a coup at the worst possible time, with the worst possible candidate with the worst possible policies ( do you really think one should try to talk to ISIS?) , when they should have been rallying to taking the fight to the tories, is both disgraceful and incontravertible.

    If one wishes to look at the way the press treats supporters, look at the difference in the way James Sneider, a former President of the Liberal Democrat Society at Oxford University and a Lib Dem until the Student loan pledge was broken, is treated now that he is a spokesman for momentum. Everything is thrown at him including the ‘sins of the father’.

    How can anyone with an ounce of fairness stand by and see people being unfairly traduced in the way all those who are enthused by Jeremy Corbyn are? What I see is people who feel that they have been given hope, a belief that things really can change.

    You may not trust Corbyn as leader, but I found the other nominees for leader surprisingly lacklustre when they set out their stall. To me the Labour Party appeared as though it had run out of steam and was worn down by government.

  • Eddie Sammon 28th Sep '16 - 9:37pm

    Yes Dave it’s not football but I thought I’d read what Corbyn had to say on foreign policy. Mature debate is important but no one likes to claim the moral high ground quite like Corbyn supporters and the moral case against their view should be pointed out.

  • @Eddie Sammon: .”It’s still anti-western – hence Saudi, one of our apparent allies, gets the most criticism.”
    I’m sorry Eddie, but this comment is rather stretched. Saudia = Western?
    The reason Saudi gets the most criticism is that many people are vaguely aware that they cling to power by flattering western politicians with their wealth and promoting one of the most intolerant, hard-line literalist interpretations of Islam that is the direct ideological parent of A-Q franchises and Falluja-born ISIS.

    Perhaps you mean that it’s western because they support our defence industry with often corrupt backhander deals, and funnel money to Netanyahu’s re-election campaigns?
    A cynic might also say that Saudia is also allied to confused western govt strategies to funnel jihadists, arms, bombs and weapons to islamist groups like Al -Nusra and Jaish al-Fateh.

  • Richard Underhill 28th Sep '16 - 9:41pm

    The Jeremy For Leader campaign is a bit premature and possibly divisive. There has been a recent leadership election and he has not sorted out the strike by junior doctors yet.

  • expats and Dave Orbison……. change the needle. It’s got stuck in the lp zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • David Evershed 28th Sep '16 - 10:53pm

    Tim Hill

    Corbyn is 21st century digital socialism.

    There is no Labour needle anymore – apparently.

  • Dave Orbison 28th Sep '16 - 11:02pm

    @ Paul Barker – Well I am a member of Momentum, a former LibDem member and of course LibDem voter. There are lots of people out there who have objectionable views. But for example should we condemn Arsenal FC because some of their fans shout odious anti-Semitic songs about Spurs. Of course not. Is it Arsene Wenger’s fault of course not? (Note I say this as an LFC fan).

    Simon Shaw you say ‘we’ (LibDems) should not co-operate with Labour? Ever? Or with Corbyn? Or was it with Brown? Why not? Surely we can rise above personalities and look to areas of policy. I couldn’t care less who advocates a policy aimed at social justice – I simply would support it. Are we so vain that we would rather such a policy fail for petty arguments as to who first came up with it rather than work together?

    The LibDems are supposed to be the champions of PR and by implication the need for compromise and thoughtful co-operation. Would the LibDems accept that another party should determine who there leader was as some precondition of co-operation? Of course not. So why are some LibDems so obsessed with who leads the Labour Party?

    It’s not who but what we can do that is important?

  • Dave Orbison 28th Sep '16 - 11:03pm

    Tim Hill – re the stuck needle. Very mature and you think the problem lies with Momentum?

  • Katharine Pindar 28th Sep '16 - 11:23pm

    Simon Shaw – fair comment, and I seem to remember hearing Tim say Corbyn wouldn’t talk to him. But there are ways and ways of co-operating, as for instance in what John Crace in the Guardian wittily called the Pademos way, outside formal local party arrangements. And I felt encouraged by the Conference fringe session between Norman Lamb, Caroline Lucas and the Labour MP for Hove. One major aim is to try to get Labour candidates to join in supporting PR. Norman was vehement in that session about the need to stop another 20 or more years of Tory hegemony.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Sep '16 - 1:48am

    Politics is just that ,at least sometimes, and Tim is entitled to play it to the hilt ,once in a while .

    Actually , I think his stance makes some sense. He has not criticised the Labour leader, or party, on policy specifics , merely on their credibility and their being divided.

    On Brexit , I think we should tone it down, but Corbyn should turn it up !

    As long as the public think Labour is lousy , we shall benefit at least a bit at a time. I was in Labour once upon a time. I am one of the least tribal people you could imagine or meet . Most of us who have moved from one to another party usually are not tribal. I like Neil Kinnock , now , as I did as a youth in his party. It is not tribal politics why I think it acceptable to say what I say. It is common sense , for goodness sake , does anyone think Corbyn can win ?!

    And ,personally , apart from his past associations , and those of the man who is Engels to his Marx, or is it Trotsky to his Lenin, the Shadow Chancellor, I do not dislike Corbyn. I do dislike his politics of the hard left I know very well from past and present awareness of it. I do not dislike some of the policies mentioned by colleagues , more than one or two mentioned are fine, and neither would Tim , our own leader, attack them ,but today was not for “I agree with Jeremy !”

    But this is the main point . His Shadow Chancellor?! I do not like the incumbent of 11 Downing street, but he is there and likely to stay there as long as the resident , his boss,at no. 10 wants him there , and we know that Mr. Mc is never going to be there !

  • Dave Orbison
    “seriously?”
    Yes Momentum is the stuff of student politics of 40 years ago.
    The New Left may look new to todays young. I heard it all before,
    remember John Saville et al. I later went on to become a TGWU member.
    Asia is the economic powerhouse now.

  • Expats? Do you mean British retired or economic migrants overseas?

  • paul barker 28th Sep ’16 – 9:30pm………………. Those 5 years of denouncing Libdems as traitors, creeps, toadies etc were a sort of comfort blanket for many in Labour, Left or Right, they will find it hard to give up………….Whoever suggested that we should move on from attacking Labour has a point, they do a great job of dissing themselves. We can replace Labour, lets get on with it……………..

    If you repeat the same mantra enough times I’m sure you will believe that it was Labours refusal ever to work with LibDems that is the cause of all our ills…However, LibDem’s refusal to work with Labour on other occasions (Bankers’ bonuses and the blocking of the Jeremy Hunt enquiry come to mind)

    As for repeated calls on replacing Labour; Aesop’s Fable of “The Frog and the Ox” comes to mind…

  • Charles Rothwell 29th Sep '16 - 10:02am

    Well, I thought Corbyn did very well in pointing out the facts that the “problems” caused by migrants (without whom the NHS and swathes of the British economy would collapse overnight) are much more down to chronic lack of investment and failure to enforce regulations relating to low pay (e.g. 700 companies have been identified by HMRC as not adhering to regulations relating to the national minimum wage and of these a total of THREE (0.42%) have been prosecuted! He was completely right to point out how the Tories (and their Kippoer lackeys) see migrants as a nice and handy way of off-loading the blame for the problems caused by their mismanagement and “placing all the chips on black” (financial services/the City). Together with his calls for a massive investment in infrastructure, firm backing for comprehensive education and boosting the vocational/technical/skills training this country is crying out for, these kind of stances should, in my view, mean the LDs have nowhere else to go in the near future but back to the stance we had under Kennedy, Ashdown and Grimmond – the centre left. As with 1979-1987, the next six years or so are going to determine the course of British history (political, social, economic, financial, international) for a generation and the LDs need to state clearly where they stand (with attitudes towards the EU being a part of a larger picture, not the be all and end all).

  • Richard Underhill 29th Sep '16 - 10:49am

    Labour’s former shadow chancellor was interviewed on BBC TV Daily Politics. He said that paying for the current programme could be quite expensive, doubling the rate of income tax, doubling the rate of corporation tax and doubling the rate of VAT.
    Corbyn is right to say that interest rates are currently low, but borrowing on the scale suggested would increase them, even for a borrower as big as the UK government. The usual criteria apply, will the interest payments be made? will the capital repayments be made? what is the track record of this borrower?

  • Dave Orbison 29th Sep '16 - 10:58am

    @Simon Shaw- “… Agreeing with Corbyn rings alarm bells.”

    But honestly isn’t this a little childish? I have no qualms saying if I agree with Peter Hitchens, Nick Clegg or Tim Farron on any given point when that occurs. I don’t think I have sold my soul in saying so. Why does it matter who articulates a given point of view surely what matters is whether you agree with it or not?

    As several have stated her Corbyn outlined many sensible ideas and was right to challenge the anti immigrant lobby. It’s a real shame if LibDems who agree with these points are unwilling to say so just because Corbyn said it.

    As a party that extols the virtues of multiparty coalitions arising from PR it sounds a contradiction, a sort of ‘it’s our way or no way’. If so, what a lost opportunity this may prove for the LibDems to be associated with some very sensible policies.

  • Conor Clarke 29th Sep '16 - 11:32am

    Lib Dems: the party that’s so bloody inoffensive and ‘nice’ that they’ll criticise their own leader for taking the other side to task.

    All of you tripping over yourselves to praise Corbyn need a sharp, hard reality check.

    Corbyn is:

    1) The leader of a rival political party who we have to compete with for votes, power and influence
    2) Not liberal in his policies or his instincts
    3) A millstone around his party’s fratricidal little neck come election time

    This man is not our friend, we’re trying to displace him as the opposition! Tim is SUPPOSED to tear him down, he is doing his JOB when he attacks Corbyn!

    If his party would kindly remember that politics is a competitive environment not a love-in then Tim might be able to jump on the historic opportunity in front of us. But I suppose some would rather he spouted off useless chat about cooperation with the ghost of socialism past.

    Trust me, even if it was a good idea the man and his movement think very little of us and our liberal sentiments, when they bother to think of us at all.

    But by all means, continue trying to be his mate instead of sinking the knife in and taking his place.

  • The name Corbyn always produces a knee jerk response from those prone to knee jerk response alarm bells.

    But just suppose we took the ‘Corbyn’ label off the parcel of policies he proposed which of those policies would be acceptable or unacceptable to Liberal Democrats and why ?

    It was said “Remember what happened in 2015 with worries among significant parts of the electorate about the possibility of co-operation with the much more acceptable Miliband and/or the SNP”. In fact the catastrophic collapse of Liberal Democrat support post 2010 was caused by the actuality of co-operation with (some would say subjugation to) the Tories.

    Tim Farron would be better employed developing a clear positive stance with evidence based Liberal Democrat policies responding to the realities of the world in 2016 than in joining in anti-Corbyn tabloid yah-boo stuff. For many in the electorate the tabloid stuff is just a big turn off.

  • Conor Clarke 29th Sep '16 - 11:42am

    “For many in the electorate the tabloid stuff is just a big turn off.”

    The top five national newspapers by circulation are, in descending order, The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Telegraph, and the Daily Star.

    Four of those are tabloids.

    The tabloid stuff matters, even if you’re disdainful of it personally.

  • Dave Orbison 29th Sep '16 - 11:45am

    @ Conor Clarke “sinking the knife in” – I’n guessing you are not up for kinder politics.

    But seriously Conor, assuming you support PR, wouldn’t PR inevitablely result in the need to find partners with whom to forge alliances? If so, where would this leave you with your “it’s us or or them” approach.

    Will this model serve the UK well in the 21st century? I’m not so sure.

  • Richard Underhill 29th Sep '16 - 12:04pm

    Conor Clarke: The Times? (which yesterday did an obituary on Nicholas Fenn, who reversed the usual practice that a diplomat is ‘an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country’ and told truth to the powerful Margaret Thatcher about Irish perceptions under Charles Haughey).
    Jeremy Corbyn has lookalikes. They cannot help it. They do not intend to mock him.
    He should tell the whole truth. The Labour conference is not a court of law, but is it wise politics to claim all the credit for the changes to tax credits? The key factors were
    1) Tory arrogance leading to an abuse of Statutory Instruments,
    2) lazy, or hasty, Tory thinking about the Parliament Acts;
    3) a coalition of peers in the voting lobby, including Liberal Democats, Labour, independent Crossbenchers and Bishops, (no SNP peers exist)
    4) the inability of George Osborne MP to agree an alternative policy with Ian Duncan Smith MP.

  • Conor Clarke 29th Sep '16 - 12:08pm

    @ Dave Orbison

    I think we’d all like a kinder politics. I’d also like unlimited free education for everybody in the country cradle to grave, a doctor for every hundred people, and peace in the Middle East.

    But I try to take the world as I find it rather than as I’d like it to be.

    As for a possible future under PR where parties would need to be more cooperative than currently, I would welcome that.

    But to honest, I suspect even then politics is going to remain unkind and viciously competitive, because at the root of it politics is about how you resolve conflict between sincerely, passionately held, but incompatible views about how to govern ourselves.

    And it’s literally life and death stuff.

    It’s too important to be kind about it.

    (And putting that aside for a moment, today we’re still under FPTP)

  • Simon.
    except that isn’t what happened in 2015. What actually happened is that the Lib Dem collapse resulted in a split vote. The Tory vote barely changed because the soft floating Conservative vote was a bit of a myth and when Conservatives do put their vote elsewhere it tends to be for UKIP. This is because actually they tend be more right wing rather than more moderate than the mainstream Conservative party. So whilst the anti Labour stuff, the anti-SNP anti Green stuff is all very jolly. the bottom line is the Lib Dems are actually mostly competing for the same voters which means that it is much more sensible to target Theresa May.

  • The problem I have is the ‘contradictions’ – On the one hand he appears to be telling business, ‘Yes, there will be a raise in Corporation Tax but this will benefit you as it will be used to improve education so you have a better level of employees’. Yet at the same time for an example, he talks of banning weapons sales – So what of the 10’s of thousands of jobs within the Aerospace/Defense industry? How will cutting the revenues of the likes of BAE, Cobham and Rolls-Royce to name just a few help? It’s all fair and good saying ‘raise taxes’ but if the tax revenues fall because he has tied the hands of some of the largest companies in the country by cutting their revenue and therefore the profits that he intends to tax, where is the sense?

    Also, what of the Pension Funds many of which the largest are paid into by Public Sector workers? Increasing taxes reduce the profits so, the dividends that the Pension Funds receive may reduce – How is that going to help those paying in for the future? We all ready know that many funds both in the Public and Private sector are in defecit, this may only compound the issue!

  • Sue Sutherland 29th Sep '16 - 1:12pm

    I think David Becket put it rather well. We may agree with some of Corbyn’s policies (and I do), but we aren’t socialists and Corbyn and his Momentum followers are bent on taking socialism to a left wing extreme, even though some of them don’t realise yet. Socialism has had its day, losing ordinary Labour voters, and the Lib Dems offer a way of helping those living in poverty while preserving individual freedoms.

  • I know there are people out there desperate for some hope, but they are following the wrong man. Corbyn isn’t a politician that helps people or achieves great things, he just finds faults with what others do. Both he and McDonnell thrive on despair because it allows them to make false promises to those in need. However, I doubt most people will vote for a party that wants to borrow another £500 billion on top of our already large debts. Many will not vote for a man who wants to scrap NATO and always seems to finds fault with the UK, America and Israel, but hardly ever with Russia, Iran, Hamas and the IRA. Others will object to being called racist by Diane Abbott just because they didn’t like the direction the EU was going. You don’t have to be mystic meg to know the people are not going to trust Corbyn’s Labour party with the nations security or economy – you just have to be realistic. Tim Farron should attack him with all he’s got – the vast majority of floating voters at the next election will ex-Labour supporters who will vote anything but Corbyn.

  • paul barker 29th Sep '16 - 1:39pm

    Watching the end of The Labour Conference with its forest of raised, clenched fists made me wonder what our equivalent should be ? Perhaps a platform of people waving open hands ? “Waving not threatening ?”

  • Simon’
    It’s okay. I don’t really get you’re trying to say either. I was just trying to point out that you will not persuade many Conservative voters to vote Lib Dem.

  • Richard Underhill 29th Sep '16 - 3:21pm

    Dave Orbison: “wouldn’t PR inevitably result in the need to find partners with whom to forge alliances?”
    Not “inevitably”, it depends on how people vote. For instance Turkey has used party list PR for parliamentary elections which resulted in majority governments. We could criticise their system for requiring 10% of the vote to elect an MP on the list with only a partially effective safety valve small parties.
    South Africa after apartheid uses party list PR. The ANC achieved an overall majority several times. Because the discrimination suffered by some of the new voters caused illiteracy a colour photograph of the party leader / at number one on a list, was put on every ballot paper. Regional government was also created, which helped with the aspirations of ethnic minorities among the new voters and thereby reduce inter-ethnic violence.
    The Single Transferable Vote provides more accurate representation than First Past The Post and has helped to reduce perceptions of political injustice in Northern Ireland’s devolved Assembly and local government, but not / or at least not yet for MPs elected to Westminster, who used electoral pacts under FPTP in 2015.

  • paul barker 29th Sep ’16 – 1:39pm…….Watching the end of The Labour Conference with its forest of raised, clenched fists made me wonder what our equivalent should be ? Perhaps a platform of people waving open hands ? “Waving not threatening ?”…….

    Stevie Smith’s “Not Waving but Drowning” comes to mind….We need to build bridges with ‘ideas not personalities’…The problem with so many on here is the mindset that “If it has anything to do with Corbyn it’s toxic’….
    There was much to admire in his speech and creating dialogue on those issues doesn’t mean a ‘love match’; we tried that to woo ‘Soft Conservatives’ and, after the ‘divorce’, they got the house, the kids and the car…

  • Peter Watson 29th Sep '16 - 5:28pm

    This thread gives the impression that if Corbyn recommended tactically voting for the Lib Dems in the Witney by-election, Lib Dems would take to the streets to support the Labour candidate.

  • paul barker 29th Sep '16 - 6:30pm

    The whole point of the Labour/Toory duopoly was that it marginalised other voices, The Tories need Labour & Labour need The Tories. The decline & divisions in Labour are actually the biggest threat to Tory domination. Tory or Libdem is a very different question from Tory or Labour & many voters may well give a different answer.

  • Simon Shaw wrote:

    “I accept that the Corbyn-led Labour Party have no apparent interest in persuading any current Conservative voters, but if you genuinely believe that Lib Dems will have little or no joy in doing so, then we all stuffed!”

    Simon Shaw is dead right. Of the 48 seats that we lost in 2015, 27 of these went to the Tories, 11 to Labour and ten to the SNP. In some instances, the Tory victory was attributable to a greater reluctance on the part of Labour and Green supporters to vote tactically, but in the majority of cases there was a massive increase in the Tory vote.

    Some examples:

    Chippenham – Tories 48%, Lib Dems 29%
    Mid Dorset and North Poole – Tories 51%, Lib Dems 28%
    Solihull – Tories 49%, Lib Dems 26%
    Somerton & Frome – Tories 53%, Lib Dems 19%
    Taunton Deane – Tories 52%, Lib Dems 22%

    Clearly, we have to win over 2015 Tory voters in huge numbers if we are to have a significant Parliamentary presence once again.

    The Tories will tear themselves apart over Europe when Theresa May is forced to explain to the electorate that Brexit is not going to happen. But we cannot rely on the ensuing electoral fallout benefiting us. We have to have clear, distinctive, liberal policies that we promote relentlessly in every breath, and we need to start doing that now.

  • “That’s why the Liberal Democrats are needed more than ever. We are the real voice of opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government”

    Would the real opposition ciriticise Corbyn twice, three times more than the current government? Lid Dems need to take votes from left and right if it has ambitions to be more than just the second or third biggest party in oppositon.

  • Dave Orbison 29th Sep '16 - 11:11pm

    @Sesenco – re 27 seats lost to Tories and 11 to Labour

    Surely then all the more puzzling that Tim Farron concentrates on attacking Corbyn? Unless he thinks the way to win back these seats is to persuade wavering Tories that his dislike of Corbyn is greater than the Tories dislike of Corbyn.

    Yet, when you look at the small bits of policy that Tim Farron has announced, with the possible exception, of a Second EU referendum (is that an official LibDem Policy?) are there any stark conflicts with the sort of things Corbyn raised? Grammar school opposition, investment vs austerity, pro migration, house building, well OK the LibDem policy appears to be against public ownership of the railways, but is that it?

  • Sesenco.
    In 2O10 the Conservative share of the vote was 36.5%. In 2015 it was 36.7%. There was no massive swing. The collapse of the Lib Dems simply meant that previously held seats went to the nearest rival.

  • Glenn,

    These are the Tory percentage shares in (1) 2015 and (2) 2010:-

    Chippenham – 48%, 41%
    Mid Dorset and North Poole – 51%, 45%
    Solihull – 49%, 43%
    Somerton & Frome – 53%, 45%
    Taunton Deane – 50%, 42%

    (The Taunton Deane 2015 Tory figure should be 50%, not 52%.)

    Do you really want to look at Richmond Park (lost in 2010)?

    2015 – Tory 58%, Lib Dem 19% (the Tory vote went up from 50% in 2010)

  • Simon Shaw speaks sense.

    If we steer left that leaves the centre and centre right exclusively to the Tories. Whoever wins the centre wins the election.

    I am particularly worried that after years of austerity and pain it will all have been for nothing should Labour go on a borrow and spend spree, as is their intention.

  • Dave Orbison 30th Sep '16 - 12:43am

    @Simon Shaw Re what a silly comment.

    We all of us here express our opinions on issues that are by their nature debatable. It may come as a shock to you but you are simply expressing an opinion no more furthermore, on occasion, you may be wrong.

    Given that the LibDems lost more seats to the Tories than Labour it seems perfectly reasonable to assume that the LibDems would hope to recapture more seats back from the Tories than Labour.

    To win over sufficient past Tory voters in such marginals I would expect that the LibDems would need to entice Tory voters back into their fold more so than Labour voters.

    I don’t see what is silly in that logic.

    Tim Farron seems to spend more time attacking Corbyn than May. For that matter look how many times an article has been written on LDV vs one attacking Corbyn.

    Given that Tim Farron has rejected austerity, grammar schools and is pro migration and investment, all issues where there is some common ground with Corbyn as opposed to May, it seems all the more curious that Corbyn rather than May is in his sights. As per his speeches before this week.

  • Dave Orbison 30th Sep '16 - 12:46am

    Stevan Rose – how is Tim Farron going to build houses, reverse the cuts in public services and improve them whilst improving education and the NHS without borrowing too?

  • Jeremy Corbyn has set out 10 pledges and I don’t understand why any liberal would argue that the following sections (of them) are something we should oppose:
    1 Full employment and an economy that works for all (and a national investment bank);
    2 Building 200,000 homes a year for five years (at least half being council homes);
    3 Security at work, stronger employment rights, an end to zero hour contracts;
    4 A “secure” NHS and social care services;
    5 Universal childcare, a gradual restoration of free education, quality apprenticeships;
    6 Securing our environment, keeping the Paris climate agreement, moving towards a “low-carbon economy” and supporting green industries in part via the national investment bank;
    7 Re-nationalising the railways, giving local government control of buses;
    8 Reduce income and wealth inequality, making the tax system more progressive, reduce the pay gap between the highest and lowest paid;
    9 “Secure” an equal society; combating violence against women and discrimination based on race, sexuality or disability and defending the Human Rights Act;
    10 Having as the aim of our foreign policy peace and justice, with conflict resolution and human rights “at the heart of foreign policy”.

  • Steven Rose’
    The Austerity years were for nothing. They prolonged the recession with very few benefits to the economy and the chief architect of this pointless exercise, George Osborne, was unceremoniously sacked, Not least because, just as the more traditional economists suggested, his policies actually lead to higher borrowing! Once the disastrous Cameron had gone the far more competent May did not need his equally disastrous sidekick. The legacy of the coalition is basically in tatters.

  • Glen
    The austerity years were the result of the fallout from the financial crisis of 2008. Who ever was in power would have had to make cuts or face economic collapse.
    The Asian financial crisis of 1997 had a similar result although there were no bailouts of financial institutions. Prior to 1997 some in Asia were living high on the hog. That came to an end and it took years for a recovery to take place. There is still empty unsold bankrupt property from that time around.

  • Manfarang.
    No they were not. They were the result of following fairly recent fashionable economic orthodoxies. One of many possible approaches. IMO, and those of the more cautious economists, the wrong one. Either way, the Osborne and Coalition years are being consigned to history as a dismal incompetent failure.

  • Glenn
    The Asian economic crisis began because the government of Thailand would not take the difficult decision to devalue its currency to curb an overheated property sector.
    Regarding Britain, bailouts come at a price. There is no scott-free solution.

  • Glenn
    I should ask why you think China should lend money to Britain to finance a generous British welfare system whereas in China no similar welfare system exists. Most people still have to work very hard in China, life is not easy.

  • Jayne Mansfield 30th Sep '16 - 7:52am

    @ Dave Orbison,I don’t really think it matters whether Tim Farron concentrates on attacking Jeremy Corbyn. It might be a bit galling for the reasons that fair -minded people like Charles Rothwell and others articulate.

    His policies and his honourable stance in refusing to adopt populism in his approach to immigration and immigrants means that he stands head and shoulders above many politicians, especially at a time when I have actually had a hard working Polish man tell me that he no longer feels welcome here.

    The vote of someone of my age probably isn’t too important, but he is attracting the generation after mine and their children – young people who deserved a vote in the referendum who are now deemed susceptible to brain washing!

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 30th Sep '16 - 8:28am

    Jayne Mansfield, your vote is as important as anyone’s, whatever your age may be, and your views just as deserving to be heard.
    There seems to be far too much ageism in political debate at the moment, with implications that the views of the young somehow matter more. It is true that the young will have longer to live with the consequences of decisions. But someone of seventy may well have another thirty years or more – quite a lot of future !
    And even if the young do not like decisions being made now, they do have plenty of time later to create the sort of world they want.

  • Michael BG 30th Sep ’16 – 1:30am….

    Ref your item 7 regarding saving bus services…We applaud and put up a video (LDVideo: Liz Leffman: Come and help my campaign to save Oxfordshire’s NHS & bus services)…

    However, when Corbyn suggests the same, there are those who refuse to accept it….And these are the very people who accuse Labour of ‘Tribalism’…

  • Jayne Mansfield 30th Sep '16 - 8:45am

    @ Catherine Jane Crosland,
    Thank you but I will give a pass on another thirty years of life – unless someone kindly offers to wash my brain.

    For example, I am now aware that my comments about Tim Farron are clumsy. I was not criticising him as an individual, I was simple wishing to point out that he is a politician and the general public expect him to seek political advantage using any strategy within his means to do so – the greater the threat, the greater the need to diminish the opposition. It isn’t such a shock to the General public, more a weary expectation. Cynical I know, but the public are cynical when it comes to politicians.

    If Tim wants more media attention, he should wear a large ‘I love Jezza badge’ on his lapel. That would get peoples’ attention and get them talking.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 30th Sep '16 - 8:57am

    Jayne Mansfield, Thanks. And I understood what you meant about Tim Farron’s approach.
    Obviously as a party leader, it is sort of part of his job to criticise the leaders of other parties. He may well have found it difficult on this occasion, as he would have found things in Corbyn’s speech that he agreed with – Corbyn’s positive attitude to immigration, for example. But he could not exactly say “great speech from Jeremy Corbyn” ! I noticed that Tim confined himself to pointing out that Corbyn did not say much about Brexit, and did not really criticise other aspects of the speech.

  • Manfarang.
    I’m no going to argue with you.

  • “….he [Tim], should wear a large ‘I love Jezza badge’”

    In truth, Tim doesn’t love or hate Jezza. Is not his overt criticism of Corbyn, specifically for the ears of Labour’s 174 disgruntled PLP members, some of whom, he hopes to tease across to the Lib Dems. ?
    It’s a plan I suppose,.. but it’s a dangerous plan.

  • Simon Banks 30th Sep '16 - 2:40pm

    Expats: yes, we disagree with a national education service because that is a fundamentally illiberal idea. We oppose the reinvention of grammar schools and the forcing of academies on parents and pupils. We believe in education under local democratic control.

    If you think our only policy is opposing Brexit, try looking at the motions passed at the last few conferences.

    As for Corbyn not attacking Liberal Democrats (or the SNP), of course he didn’t. Any political strategist could explain why a Labour leader should be concentrating fire on the Tories and pretending the only choice was between Labour and Tories. Attacking people means conceding they’re important.

    I do agree, though, that we should be wary of stereotyping all Corbyn supporters as far-left zealots. A number of them are active in the broad progressive alliance movement Compass along with Liberal Democrats and Greens. Equally, some anti-Corbyn people are natural allies while others are control-freak Blairites.

  • Simon Banks, My remark was made partly* ‘tongue in cheek’…However, read the number of threads/posts about reversing ‘Brexit’…(BTW it won’t happen)…
    I believe that ‘Brexit’ will be bad for the country but, unless that ‘bad’ becomes a ‘disaster’, the UK will remain OUT…

    *I said ‘partly’ because Tim’s only criticism of Corbyn’s speech was that he ‘barely mentioned ‘Brexit’, ignoring Corbyn’s emphasis on the ‘free movement of people’ …Nit picking indeed…

  • Jayne Mansfield 30th Sep '16 - 6:23pm

    @ J Dunn,
    Possibly. It would meet the expectations many of us have of politicians.

    If any Labour MPs decide to do so rather than put all their effort into fighting a party led by a woman who claims the values of the left with it concern for equality of opportunity and social justice, but seems intent on stealing the policies of UKIP so as to achieve the opposite, the Liberal Democrats are welcome to them.

  • Stevan Rose 30th Sep '16 - 9:45pm

    “how is Tim Farron going to build houses, reverse the cuts in public services and improve them whilst improving education and the NHS without borrowing too?”

    He’s not going to do any of those things. He leads 8 MPs and a party with 6% to 8% in the polls. You can promise everything from no increases in tuition fees to referendum re-runs if you think you’ll never be called upon to deliver. The danger comes if you end up actually having to govern.

    There is still a huge amount of waste in the public services and the work to eliminate that has hardly begun. Hard choices will still have to be made for the foreseeable future. The thing about borrowing is someone will have to pay it back, your children or your grandchildren. And it wastes £30 billion a year on interest payments alone never mind repaying the capital.

  • Dave Orbison 1st Oct '16 - 12:53am

    @ Stevan Rose- “Tim Farron isn’t going to do any of those things – he only has 8 MP’s.”

    Well on the one hand that’s one way of ducking the question I asked. But a bit disingenuous unless the next LibDem manifesto says something like ‘we stand for nothing as we have no chance forming a Governmemt’. I’m betting that won’t happen.

    In any event perhaps you should tell Tim Farron as it is he who is making speeches saying the LibDems support house building, reversal in public services cuts etc. Is he lying when he says this? I hope not.

    If not, then I repeat how will he fund this if not through raising taxes as Corbyn has indicated he would, amongst other measures such as growth through investment and tackling tax avoidance.

    As for your comments that “the waste elimination in public services has hardly begun” I must confess I am staggered at this comment. I see libraries closing, social services in child and adult services stretched beyond breaking point and crucial support services for the vulnerable and support to charities cut so that many fold. As they fold there is nothing that replaces them. Is there waste – well of course there are things that could be done to save thousands here and there?

    But the chronic underfunding of essential public services dwarfs such amounts that can be saved, the shortfall in funding is real and is happening now. Tim Farron and Jeremy Corbyn are right (you see it is possible for them both to be right) there is a desperate need to reverse these cuts. Too many people are enduring real hardship as a result.

  • Stevan Rose 30th Sep ’16 – 9:45pm….Perhaps the most negative (or honest) post I’ve read on LDV…
    Perhaps you should talk to Simon Banks who told me about all the ‘good things’ LibDems intend to do…
    As for ‘borrowing’???????????? The essence of borrowing is what use it is put to…
    Council Housing for instance will save the taxpayer vast amounts of money…Apprenticeships, investment in new industries, etc. will have the same result…

    The post war 1947 Marshall Plan allowed governments, especially Germany, to lend money to industry and created the post war expansion in goods and services…The reason for the Marshall plan wasn’t just altruistic or political; the money enabled Europe to import US made goods. In short, an investment (loan)…
    By 1952, as the funding ended, the economy of every participant state had surpassed pre-war levels; for all Marshall Plan recipients, output in 1951 was at least 35% higher than in 1938…

    In 1957 the UK PM could tell us, with reason, “You’ve never had it so good”

  • Stevan Rose 2nd Oct '16 - 11:14am

    @expats. Negative? No, realistic – this is the Party going back to its daydreaming policy development. It starts with the two obsessions. 8% cannot demand re-runs of two lost referendums.

    @ Dave Orbison. What has happened with waste reduction so far has targeted low hanging fruit without a lot of intelligence, as you’ve pointed out. What is in its infancy is tackling structural waste, by which I mean bureaucratic inefficiency. My local NHS could increase the productivity of its clinical staff by 20% or more by streamlining paperwork and joining up disjointed systems. Having run out of low hanging fruit many Government departments are now doing what banks have been doing for years, trying to identify and eliminate pointless processes, streamlining others, digitalisation of services (online services), then the efficient processing of data and improved identification of tax evasion. One thing that has come out this week is the removal of reassessment requirements for the chronically sick. It’s touted as a compassionate move but it will save millions that was being spent pointlessly. The money saved should be diverted into improved care services. The Tories won’t say that, we could.

    Before we start borrowing we should ensure that all profits made here are taxed here, that the focus of HMRC is fraud prevention. What we currently have is the equivalent of a mains water leak when it comes to taxes and Labour want to overcome that by turning up the pressure. We should be fixing the pipeline and not selectively.

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