LibLink: Tim Farron – Pandering to Ukip risks handing over British-grown ideas to overseas competitors

Tim Farron launches the Lib Dem YES! campaignLib Dem party president Tim Farron argues that “a simplistic debate over immigration will force potential wealth creators overseas” over at the Huffington Post website today. Here’s an excerpt:

Pollsters will say that migration is one of the main concerns of this election. An ill-fated and simplistic response by politicians to this issue will not address their concerns. A cap will do nothing to address the problems that Britain faces. Low pay will not be solved by a migrant cap. The housing crisis will not be solved by a migrant cap (8 million extra babies were born in this country from 2000 – 2012. That’s a baby boom equivalent to the post-war baby boom).

We as a party have always valued evidence – using evidence to understanding the problem correctly as well as to solve it. I don’t want low paid workers to be pushed out of jobs. I want them paid a living wage. I want a healthy economy full of the best minds creating jobs. …

We need to regain control over migration – bureaucratic failures are unacceptable. But also we need to regain control over how we think about the issue. We want a system that is fair and compassionate – getting communities the extra money they need from European funds, designed to pay for extra schools and homes. Helping genuine refugees with support into a new independent life, where they can work, learn English and to be part of this country. Letting inaccurate stereotypes fuel the debate will harm our country in the long run.

You can read Tim’s article in full here.

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12 Comments

  • Even the most pessimistic Liberal Democrat knows that even if we lose every other seat in England, Tim Farron will still be an MP on 8th May.

    This and other recent articles in LDV show why. His ability to articulate a Liberal message is Premier League in comparison to some of the Fourth Division cloggers in the parliamentary party and amongst the leadership in particular.

    If we had 56 Liberal Democrat MPs as good as Tim. Farron we would have a lot less to worry about.

    “……we need to regain control over how we think about the issue. We want a system that is fair and compassionate – getting communities the extra money they need …”

    We also need to regain control over how we think about the Liberal Democrats so that genuine and committed campaigners like Tim Farron become the norm in our parliamentary party replacing the duds and right wing entryists.

  • Jonathan Pile 16th Dec '14 - 11:06am

    Well Said John – Tim Farron argues for Liberal Democrat ideas in a world where politicians are scrambling for scapegoats.

  • >We need to regain control over migration

    The real problem is that the LibDems and Conservatives have had the best part of 5 years and effectively what they are are telling us is that no substantive progress has been made on regaining control…

    Perhaps it is Tim who is finally waking up to the fact that the electorate are treating a simplistic “all immigration is wonderful and we need more of it” response from politicians as a sign that these politicians are out-of-touch.

  • Jayne Mansfield 16th Dec '14 - 11:55am

    There is nothing I can disagree with in what Time Farron says.

    I do have one question, has this coalition made every effort to access EU funds for homes and schools under pressure?

  • Eddie Sammon 16th Dec '14 - 12:20pm

    It’s another good article by Tim, but Clegg can write good articles too. The more powerful Tim becomes the harder critics will be to please.

    Best regards

  • Jayne Mansfield 16th Dec '14 - 3:57pm

    @ Eddie Sammon,
    It all depends on what he does with that power, Eddie.

  • It is either ignorant or deliberately deceptive to tell people you want to regain control over immigration if you have no plans to leave the EU.

  • “The housing crisis will not be solved by a migrant cap (8 million extra babies were born in this country from 2000 – 2012. That’s a baby boom equivalent to the post-war baby boom).”

    Deft use of selective statistics there. I can see why Farron is popular with Lib Dems.

    According to the ONS, 6.66 million people died in England & Wales from 2000-2012. I gave up trying to find figures for the whole of the UK, but assuming the 2013 figures are typical, we can add at least 800,000 to that when including NI and Scotland. That’s around 7.5 million deaths during 2000-2012. If Farron’s 8 million babies is an accurate figure (I haven’t checked), that makes a net increase of about 500,000 during the period, just looking at births and deaths. That suggests a naturally increasing population of a mere 38,500 or so per year. Heck, even the UK’s infamously lackadaisical house building industry would have no trouble building enough new homes for that number of people.

    Meanwhile, the ONS reports that net immigration during the period 2000-2012 was 2.8 million – an average of about 215,000 per year.

    The Lib Dems can’t have it both ways on this. They can’t keep telling us there is a housing crisis (which there is) while at the same time insisting that massive net immigration doesn’t exacerbate the problem. That simply doesn’t add up – not unless we assume that the immigrants are all living in tents while they build new houses (which they clearly aren’t judging by the dismal house-building figures).

    Of course the typical response is: “the real answer is to build more houses.” But are the Lib Dems able to deliver on that? Not if Mark Hunter MP is anything to go by. I saw him on the local news the other day in full-on Nimby mode complaining that an ex-airfield on the outskirts of Stockport – which would seem to me to be ideal brown-field land for house building – should not have houses built on it at all, as it would be “out of character” with the area. (The area in question, Woodford, contains a lot of very large and expensive properties, the owners of which are no doubt grateful to Mr Hunter for his efforts in trying to maintain their house’s values.)

    There’s plenty of unpopulated land in Tim Farron’s constituency – perhaps he has some ideas where new houses could be built there?

  • ‘Low pay will not be solved by a migrant cap’. … but it is pretty inevitable that without one, low pay will become the norm for even more people in Britain. Why would anyone think that the supply of labour is somehow the sole exception to the economic law of supply and demand?
    ‘The housing crisis will not be solved by a migrant cap (8 million extra babies were born in this country from 2000 – 2012’ … ahem… Thus trying to avoid the point that a considerable proportion of those babies were born to people who immigrated into Britain during that period.

  • Hi Stuart,ers
    Point of information – Tim puts his money where his mouth is! Plenty of building in his constituency (which has its share of Nimbys – believe). Tim is absolutely spot on about continuing Govt inability to think long term about infrastructure. Border control an obvious example, but so are hospitals and schools. I fear that Tories n Labour just see politics as a pursuit for wealthy donors and informs policy – Ukip’s attraction for many is a disenchantment with politics, and supporters will point to Woolfe not Farage as their hero (wiki him). To dispute with Ukip look at their policies – I strongly disagree with many of them, but their army ‘vets’ policy ain’t bad.
    Lib Dems actually have the best message of any UK party – Tim enunciates it – and was notable for supporting Clegg during the HOL vote – many seemed to have gone awol.

  • SIMON BANKS 17th Dec '14 - 9:01pm

    On the contrary, David, if we left the EU we’d lose all European co-operation, including French, over illegal immigration from outside the EU.

    The funny thing is that the handful of places where immigration really is on such a scale that its undoubted benefits are clearly outweighed by problems, such as Peterborough and Wisbech, are not the places where anti-immigrant politics makes most headway. Instead it’s the Thurrocks and Basildons and Clactons. The immigrants to Clacton are nearly all UKIP-voting East enders.

  • What is the point of paying i to the EU and then claiming the money back: would it not be cheaper never to pay the money in the first place?

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