Tim Farron gives marks to the party in coalition

If you answer a simple question or register for free (or pay for an extended period) you can read a summary of an FT interview with Tim Farron here.

In it he gives marks of two out of ten for the way the party has handled the politics of coalition, and eight of ten for the handling of the original negotiations in 2010. He is described as the “likely successor” to Nick Clegg. He also distances himself from the NHS reforms and the tuition fees debacle. He says he is looking forward to the “thrill of rebuilding” after the election.

You can read the article here.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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5 Comments

  • Eddie Sammon 13th Mar '15 - 3:26pm

    Before I comment on the article I just want to wish you all a good time in Liverpool. The city centre is a nice place and I am actually there tomorrow evening for some friends’ birthdays, so if you see someone who looks like me then say hello!

    I think Farron has strengths were Clegg has weaknesses, but I think Clegg is stronger than Farron in some areas too. I’d really like a kind of advisory board created, a small one based on the party’s top MPs and MEPs, appointed by the leader.

    When it comes to some of the issues Farron raises: I have never been won over on NHS or education reforms. I kind of saw the grand bargain as being business and the public sector staying out of each other’s way and I was very cautious about breaking it.

    I would have put single issues aside and pulled out of the coalition by now. But it has never been a massive issue for me. When the public are telling you they are unimpressed for a long period of time sometime often it is time to listen.

  • “He is described as the “likely successor” to Nick Clegg” in the headine in the FT.

    A fair description. However, those of us who want to rebuild the party after the election cannot be complacent. There will be plenty of hangers-on and schemers from the Ancien Regime of Old Nick only too keen to throw spammers into the works tou to undermine the rebuilding. A bit like the Blairites in the Labour Party these folk will probably be a problem for some years to come.

    Rebuilding the party will require a genuine commitment to the ideals of the party. People who have never really been believers and were only here for the ride or to further their careers in pubic relations will rapidly disappear. Those who came for a six figure salary and a quiet life in The Cabinet Office will I guess not be seen for dust after 10th May.

    Like Tim Farron I look forward to the rebuilding of the party. Thank goodness that he is thinking and talking about this.
    I never got the impression that NC gave two hoots about the party. He was just too busy being the DPM.

  • I wrote “spanners”.

    The Spill-Chucker changed it to “spammers”.

    I corrected it back to “spanners”, checked that it said “…There will be plenty of hangers-on and schemers from the Ancien Regime of Old Nick only too keen to throw spanners into the works to undermine the rebuilding” and pressed the “Post Comment” button. Blow me – it appears in LDV as “spammers” !!!

    This I-pad is a wonderful piece of equipment but I do sometimes want to take an axe to it.

  • Stephen Hesketh 13th Mar '15 - 8:49pm

    Not surprisingly, I’m with Tim and John re the article and its main points.
    Most of us did support the negotiations and entering into coalition with our ages old political opponents.

    Somehow it all quickly went wrong once Leon Brittan’s former speech writer became actively involved. I do have to wonder what Ministerially-experienced Thatcherite Tory would employ a Liberal in such a key role?

    John, I feel your electronic contraption may actually be some sort of I-SpAd 🙂

  • Stephen,

    With the rapid advances in robotics, (especially in Japan according to the BBC World Service during the week) the difference between an I-pad and a SpAd will disappear.

    This will reduce Cabinet Office expenditure significantly as a SpAd costs between £60,000 and £120,000 a year.

    It will also make redundancies simpler because you can throw an I-pad in the bin. Getting rid of all Clegg’s Careerists in the Cabinet Office will slightly more difficult.

    Some of them will haunt the party for years to come with their tales of — “When I was a terribly important person ‘In Government’ I used to meet regularly with those at the centre of power”.

    That last sentence could be translated as – “.. I filled in for someone for six months whilst they were on maternity leave and they used to let me feed the Downing Street cat.”

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