Tim Farron’s campaign video

Tim Farron has launched his Leadership campaign video today.



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  • With only 8 MPs – we are truly lucky to have two outstanding candidate for leader. Tim hits all the right notes with me…… even his favourite song is in my top 5 !!

  • Conor McGovern 22nd Jun '15 - 9:02pm

    Good stuff from Tim. I’m more inclined towards the drug reform/assisted dying/industrial democracy messages from Norman as well as his aim to reach out to people who wouldn’t normally call themselves Lib Dems, but I can’t deny that Tim is the more charismatic of the two. Whoever wins, it’s important we have a positive leadership race so they can combine their strengths and work as a team in the next five years and more.

  • Geo: The answer to your questions is I do not know but I am concerned that you are introducing religion into the contest in such a blatant manner.
    We are now in a different scenario. It is not about immediate prime minister material, We are currently out of the game and in for a very long haul. We need a leader for three general elections and by then one will be 72. One candidate has more charisma, flair the ability to capture the younger generation, who in 15 years will be heading for middle age. Equally I think I know which candidate has the better chance of getting back our lost votes in the conurbations of the North, Wales, Scotland and the Midlands.
    The party needs an exciting leader not an establishment figure so dramatically associated with, dare I use the language, “the baggage” of coalition and the Tuition fees disaster, a decision taken that has caused so much trouble, fatally destroying the electorates trust in the party.. We have to free ourselves from the past and the image we have created for ourselves. Over the next 18 months our immediate target must be making gains not losses and most importantly seeing off the Greens. Seems to me only one candidate can do all that,.

  • James Sandbach 23rd Jun '15 - 11:08am

    Why should religious belief be considered “baggage.” As liberals we defend freedom of belief. Many leaders in the broader liberal and civil rights traditions have also been inspired by their faith to fight for freedom from Ghandi to Martin Luther King but I haven’t noticed anyone saying they had “baggage.”

  • James:
    Liberals can be expected to defend peoples rights to hold whatever opinions and beliefs they wish; it is their personal affair. This in no way detracts from other people’s right to challenge or criticise such opinions or beliefs. The more anyone puts their beliefs into the public domain the more they can expect to be challenged or criticised.

    Can religious beliefs cause harm? Typically, though not always, I admit, religious groups claim an exclusive claim to a metaphysical truth that in effect denies the claims of other groups, so has potential for conflict. Multiculturalism attempts, so far as possible, to be tolerant of a diversity of beliefs, however the more a faith holds an exclusive claim on the truth the more it will challenge multiculturalism and push for restrictions on those who have other beliefs or lifestyles. At the limits we have to stand up and be intolerant of intolerance.

    For example, Cameron has claimed that religion provides people with a moral code this is philosophically illiterate (what did he learn studying PPE?) and insulting to those who do not share his beliefs and who are quite capable of making moral judgements without recourse to any form of dogma. I distrust and think the less of Cameron for such pronouncements.

  • Lots of MPs have “baggage”.

    Norman Lamb is described in the Times Guide to The House of Commons not as – “Influential figure in Lib Dems’ Orange Book movement…”

    I would not want to vote for anyone who had such baggage because we saw in this year’s General Election exactly where that sort of influence landed the party.

  • Geo, you are right there are two really important questions and Tim’s religion may well be one, but the first must be
    1. Who has done the most damage to Liberal Democracy over the last five years by slavishly following the “Coalition right or wrong” mantra that led to the massive loss of trust that has almost destroyed the party already? To me it is clear that Norman has much to answer for here, as electing him would simply entrench the public’s view that we are still not prepared to even consider we messed up in coalition.

    That is a tough decision for those who totally believed things would just work out right.

  • Helen Tedcastle 23rd Jun '15 - 1:01pm

    I find it disturbing to say the least that once again on these threads, the question of someone being a Christian is brought up as a ‘barrier’ to leadership and service in the Liberal Democrats.

    As a Catholic Christian grassroot who has been a member of this party for thirty years, the question of faith and public service has never been an issue until the last two years, that I am aware of. It was assumed that what united us what greater than disagreements or caution by some on certain policy issues. It was far important in fact to fight the real enemies like poverty, economic injustice and inequalities, climate change, narrow nationalism.

    Also, although religious background was known, I was not aware that fellow Liberals held it against others in perpetuity should they take a different stance on a particular matter. It was respected that that person came from a particular background and that also informed their stance. Now it seems that for some, unless 100% adherence to every policy is demonstrated, somehow ‘party loyalty’ is questioned.

    If there are people in the party who really would prefer people of faith not to be involved or be in any leadership role because they are Christian or Muslim or whatever, perhaps they should come out and say so explicitly. I would like to know how they square their version of ‘pure liberalism’ with tolerance and respect for others in a broad-based party – the party of Gladstone, Grimond, Steel and Kennedy.

  • Ben Jephcott 23rd Jun '15 - 1:46pm

    A good video by Tim. The Victoria Derbyshire debate on the BBC again underlines that he has more of the communication skills that we need to get out of the hole we are in as a party. Norman is competent and thoughtful but doesn’t inspire in the same way.

    It is ridiculous and illiberal to suggest that being a Christian somehow undermines that. I’m an agnostic but am disappointed to see this religio-phobic drift in British media and society post 9/11 now seeping into our party too.

    Long live a confident, pluralist, big tent, multi-cultural, multi-faith Liberal and open society.

  • Stephen Howse 23rd Jun '15 - 2:31pm

    ” Which contender is likely to be seen by the voters as more ‘Prime Ministerial’ material”

    Does it matter? We are fighting for the very survival of our party here. We have eight MPs and some of those now have rather lower majorities than they won in 2010. We have lost most of our councillors and MSPs. As Tim says, our survival is essential but it is not inevitable – we need a leader who fully understands this and has a plan to rebuild us from the grassroots up.

  • The most important thing for the new leader to do is to work on restructuring and rebuilding the Party, concentrating on local parties and local elections.

    I think it would be good to have another leadership election in 2019 to decide whether the Party wants the same person it entrusts with the reconstruction of the Party to also lead it into the 2020 election. But that’s not something that needs to be discussed right now.

  • David Allen 23rd Jun '15 - 3:27pm

    Religious “baggage”? Well, Tony Blair carries plenty. As is now clear, Alastair Campbell’s famous remark “We don’t do God” was a textbook example of the Big L*e. Tony Blair believes that he is always right because God has told him what to do. The protest was futile, because “God” told Blair not to listen. It was the religious baggage of Bush and Blair which created the disaster that was the Iraq war.

    But there are also plenty of parallel examples of delusional, megalomaniac, obsessive beliefs which are not religious. Witness Hitler and Stalin. I am struck by our lack of a good single word – there ought to be one – to describe all these obsessive, megalomaniac ideologies. The basis of such ideologies can equally be a perversion of religious belief, or a perversion of an atheistic political belief. Either way they are a huge and ongoing danger to humanity.

    We should also recognise that there is a huge gulf between pathological belief systems and “normal” religious or political belief. Simply voting Labour, or preaching Methodism, or being a Moslem, doesn’t make you a crazy nutter. Unless your religion – or any other belief you hold – prevents you from thinking rationally or from seeing others’ points of view, you don’t have any “baggage” that we should be concerned about.

  • ” Which contender is likely to be seen by the voters as more ‘Prime Ministerial’ material”

    It matters to some extent. My impression is that Norman Lamb has more of the hard to define quality of ‘gravitas’ than Tim Farron, but let’s not kid ourselves that Norman has spades of it. Nonetheless Norman does have the advantage that as a former, and generally well regarded, former minister, he will be called on by the media to comment on health related matters.

    Ming Campbell had and has plenty of ‘gravitas’, but this did not save him from a relentless media and parliamentary onslaught that scuppered him by portraying him as a geriatric (I wished then and regret even more now that we had not been taken in by the ageist whispering campaign). In this parliament, being heard at all will have to be a prime concern. The danger is that the need to attract attention will drive policy decisions in ways that we will come to regret.

  • Tony Dawson 23rd Jun '15 - 7:02pm


    ” Which contender is likely to be seen by the voters as more ‘Prime Ministerial’ material”

    I am sorry Martin but the famous quote of John Patrick McEnroe comes to mind. You can really not be serious. The job of the Lib Dem leader for the next couple of elections at least will not be to present as a potential Prime Minister. We have had enough of this ‘game’ over the past five years to last a lifetime. The job will be to sell the Lib Dems as a serious cohesive force for good. The two have some overlap but they are distinctly different in focus.

  • Tony:
    I am referring to projecting an image, I think I made that very clear, but then perhaps you did not bother beyond the first sentence . It is a question of being taken seriously and being given exposure. Norman Lamb does a bit better than Tim Farron on these counts, but these are not the only issues: there is also the question of who makes the most of the opportunities when they do get the exposure.

  • Martin 23rd Jun ’15 – 9:53pm
    I am referring to projecting an image, I think I made that very clear, but then perhaps you did not bother beyond the first sentence . It is a question of being taken seriously and being given exposure. Norman Lamb does a bit better than Tim Farron on these counts, but these are not the only issues: there is also the question of who makes the most of the opportunities when they do get the exposure.”

    Honestly? I have no recollection of ever hearing or seeing Norman anywhere before the last few months whereas Tim Farron has been ubiquitous for years because of his role as Party President, he has had loads of exposure and he uses it well. I’m sure Norman did appear on TV etc but his presence did not leave a lasting impression on me, I’m just a humble voter though, not a Lib Dem insider. I think you must be joking when you talk about Tim not being taken seriously – he is the only Lib Dem MP to be (re-) elected 50% of the votes. That’s not someone who doesn’t know how to get and make the most of, exposure.

    On the subject of being taken seriously, anyone connected with the last government and especially someone who broke their pledge will certainly not be taken seriously. It will just be one long-running joke. When the electorate has rejected what you were for the last five years, it is simple folly, and insulting to the electorate, to offer ‘more of the same’.

  • Phyllis:

    “Tim not being taken seriously “

    – Your words, not mine…

    Look to the Greens if you want to see a leader really not taken seriously. Another warning is how Miliband never quite came across as credibly serious.

    Much as it may irk you, but when issues of health get discussed, Norman Lamb will often be called on to give a point of view (and he won’t be asked about tuition fees either). Not only that he did a few good things. Having been a minister is a plus not a negative. Tim Farron, on the other hand, does usually project better in situations where he is required to assert himself to get a hearing. Norman Lamb might be more reflective, but to date I do not think there has been that much reflective analysis in the campaign.

  • Jane Ann Liston 24th Jun '15 - 12:21pm

    Just one criticism of the video; none of the sheep was wearing a rosette.

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