‘Theresa May is making the UK a nastier, more divided and more resentful country’ – Tim Farron

This evening at Queen Mary University, London, Tim Farron will be speaking at an event with The Runnymede Trust addressing the issue of post-Brexit hate crime and rising xenophobia. This occasion is part of “Black History Month”. Other speakers are Dr Omar Khan of the Runnymede Trust, Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece, the Lib Dem Equalities Spokesperson and Sunder Katwala of British Future.

Here’s a sneak preview of some of the things Tim will say:

On the climate of hate

2016 has been a year in that has seen the Conservative Party’s attempts to detoxify their party go up in flames. Spring saw the disgraceful, racist London Mayoral campaign. The summer saw a European campaign based on fear and terror, pitching community against community. And this Autumn has seen the Theresa May propose moves that will make Britain a nastier, more divided and more resentful country, with attacks on foreign doctors and students as well as checks on taxi drivers. I dread to think what’s in store this winter.

These are the actions of a Nasty Party, willing to play on prejudice for their own short-term gain. Theresa May used to criticise the Tory Party for this approach, now she is leading it. That’s why the Liberal Democrats are needed more than ever, fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united.

On foreign workers

The government’s plan on foreign workers is a nasty little policy that deserves to be thrown out on the rubbish heap. It’s not where we come from that matters, it’s where we’re going. The Conservatives…(have a)…reckless obsession with overall migration numbers, instead of standing up for what’s best for Britain.

Liberal Democrats will fight for an open-hearted, open-minded, and pro-European society. A diverse and powerful workforce is at the heart of that.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary in print, on air or online.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • Oh dear. If that’s representative of the speech he comes across as a prat.

  • Tim Farron is continuing the disgusting demonisation of we who voted Brexit.

    If there has been a rise in xenophobic attacks, why is there not a corresponding rise in prosecutions and convictions for these crimes?

    And he speaks of “pitching community against community”.

  • @wg – “If there has been a rise in xenophobic attacks”

    Are you disputing that there has been? Prosecution and conviction takes time.

  • I’m afraid John Peters and wg are demonstrating the sort of one dimensional thinking and courtesy we have come to expect from Brexiteers.

    The clue’s in the title chaps (or chapesses). It’s called Liberal Democrat Voice. Go take yourselves somewhere else where your prejudices will be more welcome…… or is it that you get some sort of perverse pleasure in exhibiting your pre-occupations and lack of knowledge ?

    As to wg’s question, the latest set of figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council on Wednesday show a 49% rise in incidents to 1,863 in the last week in July when compared with the previous year. The first week in August saw a record 58% increase in recorded incidents to 1,787. (Source, The Independent).

    Nuff said and won’t bother to reply to any more stuff.

  • Peter Watson 24th Oct '16 - 1:32pm

    “addressing the issue of post-Brexit hate crime and rising xenophobia”
    Do we think that everything would be sweetness and light if the EU Referendum result had been a close result for remaining in the EU? Perhaps it would be even worse if those in favour of immigration controls felt frustrated.
    Pinning the blame for racism, hate crime and xenophobia on the Brexit vote seems too much of an easy cop out. They are horrible things and the causes are complex. A couple of years ago a Lib Dem councillor was convicted of racially aggravated assault: the problem is not unique to any particular political or social group. Lib Dem policy on immigration includes the dog whistle for “Nasty party” supporters: “We’ll ensure people can speak English and are willing to work. We’ll ensure that migrants, including from the EU, come to work or study, not to claim benefits. And when it’s time for them to leave, we will make sure they return home.” And after 5 years of Coalition government, Lib Dems share responsibility for the state of affairs today, not just the good bits.
    It is almost certainly true that “the Liberal Democrats are needed more than ever, fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united”, but what is needed is clear words and actions to demonstrate how this will be done, not just whinging and platitudes.

  • Whichever way the referendum went, if it wasn’t a clear margin for Remain this was going to happen.

    That’s no reason not to note that it is happening and look at what the government is or is not doing to counteract the rise in vitriol and violence they chose to inspire.

  • John Peters 24th Oct '16 - 2:26pm

    @David Raw

    One of life’s pleasures is laughing at the latest Lib Dem initiative.

    Do you have a source for the figures? The Independent doesn’t seem to give one.

    The latest Home Office statement I can find (13/10/2016) is

    “Following the EU Referendum, the NPCC requested weekly returns from police forces across England,
    Wales, and Northern Ireland to measure the level of hate crime in a timely way. The NPCC released a series of reports based on these figures, the last of which was published on 7 September.
    This report stated that following a sharp increase in July, the level of hate crime reports per week in England and Wales and Northern Ireland had been declining in August to a level seen in earlier 2016 (although levels were higher than seen in 2015). Due to this, the NPCC have now ended their weekly collection of hate crime data. ”

    Apart from the acknowledged spike nothing leaps out over the regular year on year rise.

  • @Jen – I think the referendum has less to do with than you think. The referendum result was just the visible effects of a long standing underlying problem.

    There is a problem with immigration, the real issue is that successive governments and political parties have ignored it, just as the LibDems ignore it by trying to shout down those who voice concerns. So Tim in his strident spoilt child speeches that are targetted at a person and not the problem is actually fueling the problem. Because it is clear he is not listening to those who have concerns and feel that their legitimate interests are once again being ignored by the powers that be, thus serving to increase their frustration and presentity to voice their feelings in undesirable ways.

  • Oops! Replace ‘presentity’ with ‘preprencity’.

  • Andrew McCaig 24th Oct '16 - 2:44pm

    Or even “propensity”??

  • Peter Watson 24th Oct '16 - 2:45pm

    @Jen “That’s no reason not to note that it is happening and look at what the government is or is not doing to counteract the rise in vitriol and violence they chose to inspire.”
    But it’s not good enough just to sit back and moan about the government, particularly when Lib Dems were part of a coalition government that oversaw year on year increases in reported hate crime. What would Lib Dems do to fix this?

  • Thanks Andrew 🙂

  • But will it get any publicity in the media (TV) tonight?

  • Jayne Mansfield 24th Oct '16 - 5:17pm

    Britain was becoming a more resentful and divided place before the referendum. What has changed is that people now feel that they can legitimately voice that resentment. Having found the freedom to do so, they are hardly likely to be quieted until their concerns are addressed.

    The bonehead racists can be discounted. It is the rising fear, anxiety and resentment of mainstream people who really aren’t racist or mean -spirited that should be of concern.

    The question is, what are political party’s going to do about this rising tide? Failing to address the causes and dismissing those who have concerns and a growing unease, will increase the problem not diminish it.

  • Of cause there was a a rise in resentment before the Referendum and it will rise even more when the price of Brexit becomes clear. Politicians in the West have lost touch with their voters, but blaming it all on the EU as the British ones did was misleading; they used the EU as an excuse for not acting, now they can’t I wonder what red meat they will have to throw to excuse their failures; blame the remainers perhaps.

  • I got criticised a few threads ago, for asking the question,.. Why do Lib Dems hate the British population.? I was very likely far too harsh in my question,.. but you really need to review these kind of speeches from Tim Farron to see the broader point I was trying to make.?

    Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters ‘deplorables’. If you re-read Farrons speech,.. it is a tacit declaration that all who voted to Leave the EU,… all who have concerns with too much uncontrolled immigration affecting their lives and job prospects,.. all who disagree with him over who is,.. or is not,.. a genuine asylum seeker, is effectively ‘a deplorable’.?

    So whilst I may have been wrong to assume that he [and Lib Dems], hate the British population,.. surely you can see the deepening animosity in the brew.?

    My enduring memory of Tim’s first few months as leader, is that he spent two weeks in Cumbria during the floods,.. a half day in Port Talbot during the Steel plant closure threat, and the rest of summer in Calais, doling out ‘soup and sympathy’, and on the islands of Greece, dragging migrants out of rubber boats.?

    Surely, you can see my point that his interests seem to lie elsewhere,.. other than the British voter, and their concerns.?

    Questions that Lib Dems need to look at are :
    1. Do Lib Dems have any *actual* policy plans for the folk here in Britain, who have genuine concerns, and for which their lives can be improved.?
    2. Is Tim Farron in the wrong job.? It seems that Tim’s obvious lacklustre interest in the concerns of British voters, is part of something more fundamental. Would his talents be better suited by sending his CV to the Red Cross, rather than pretending that he cares about the concerns of the British voter, when he very clearly doesn’t.?
    3. The Lib Dems are giving the impression that they have lots of policy plans to lift people out of poverty 7,000 miles away, but NO policies to lift people out of poverty 7 streets away.? Why are you so surprised then,..to find yourselves locked into a 7% approval rating, when your actual voters are 7 streets away [feeling ignored ], whilst you indulge yourselves in fantasy concerns of people 7,000 miles away,… where you have NO voters.?

  • The government’s plan to train more British doctors is one of the most sensible things they have come up with. It’s the right and fair thing to do – a rich country like the UK should be much more self-sufficient in medical staff, instead of bringing in thousands of doctors from much poorer countries, which then suffer shortages (see for instance http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/Shortage_of_doctors_across_Europe_may_be_caused_by_migration_to_UK ).

    In fact the only criticisms the BMA had of the government’s plan were that it was much too late and didn’t go nearly far enough.

    Portraying this as an “attack” on foreign doctors is poor judgment by Tim Farron.

  • John Dunne – I’m glad you acknowledge that you may have been far too harsh in your assertion that the LibDems hate the British population because I have always felt that you are someone it is worth trying to engage with. All those of us who love this country, and that means Liberal Democrats and UKIP supporters alike, need to be very careful not to deepen the animosity that has been stirred up by Cameron’s foolish decision to frame the question about the future of our country in the way he did.

  • @J Dunn – You will find that for many of us within the Lib Dems, our compassion for our fellow man does not stop at the English Channel. However this very obviously does not mean for one moment that we hate the British population.

    One problem is that we get very little coverage in the mainstream media and press. The odd appearance that you might catch of Tim on the TV is a brief snapshot of something that has managed to capture the attention of the press briefly. These small segments do not represent Lib Dem policy in it’s entirety.

    Because of this, if you really want to know about Lib Dem policy, you need to invest some time and go looking. I wish it was easier, and I wish that a broader view of our policies was properly reported in the press, but we are where we are at the moment.

    For starters, take a look at http://www.libdems.org.uk/conference-autumn-16-motions and find out what we think about transport, social security, the green economy, housing, education, justice, corruption………..

  • Philip Rolle 24th Oct '16 - 8:27pm

    Both Farron and May appear to be deepening the animosity, from where I’m standing – May by pandering to prejudice; Farron by rejecting the will of the people. He says “a campaign based on fear and terror”. Could he be more patronising if he tried? There are no doubt many Lib Dem votes to be harvested by this tactic. From 6% in the polls from Jeremy Corbyn in charge of Labour, there could hardly not be. But is Tim Farron leading the party up a blind alley? A Remoaners’ better yesterday?

  • “if you really want to know about Lib Dem policy, you need to invest some time and go looking.”

    I looked at one of Farron’s speeches yesterday. Dull, very long, and nothing of substance before I gave up as the paint drying was about to reach the interesting bit. Potential voters cannot be told to go hunting in obscure places for rambling policies. The main party website is pretty useless and mostly non-responsive to Google searches. Voters need concise easy to understand information put on a plate under their noses. The only policies they are getting right now are Brexit denial perceptions. Whilst we’ve replaced UKIP as the by-election party of protest for the moment that won’t carry through to a General Election so we need much much more.

    I don’t recognise the society Farron describes, I have not observed a climate of hate. Maybe I live and work in the wrong places. I guess that if your job involves dealing daily with injustices, and going out looking for them, you will find whatever you are looking for. But the life and experiences of an MP are very different to the rest of us. For the most part I observe indifference with a smattering of irritation that politicians just don’t listen to real concerns of ordinary people.

    Personally I’m getting increasingly disappointed with the way this party is talking down the country, nothing but negativity about our prospects, ignoring opportunities. I lost, we lost, the arguments but it’s a brave new world out there, let’s get out there and sell the UK as a great place to do business with and live and work in. We need an inspirational leader; we don’t have one, or anyone even close, at the moment. We need a Leader that makes us feel good about ourselves individually and as a nation. We don’t have one. Unless we find one the Tories will wipe the floor with us.

  • Roland
    “there is a problem with immigration”
    I can’t remember a time in the last 50 years when people in Britain
    didn’t say there was not a problem.
    The problem in Britain is industrial decline and fall out from the 2008
    financial crisis.

  • “Some fifty-six percent of respondents are more concerned about immigration than maintaining trade benefits, while 58 percent approve of May’s handling of the divorce, according to the poll by Survation Ltd for ITV.”

  • Stevan – I do agree with you about the main party web site…….

  • Manfarang 24th Oct ’16 – 11:48pm………..I can’t remember a time in the last 50 years when people in Britain didn’t say there was not a problem……

    I have a complete set of ‘Giles’ annuals from 1950 onwards and in every edition there has been cartoons depicting, as you say, ‘this perceived problem’….In every edition, since we joined, the EU has also been the butt of jokes…

    What worries me is that, as seems likely, there will be a major cost in leaving and, without the EU as a convenient scapegoat, the brunt of blame for problems will be directed at those immigrants still here….

  • Manfarang – I don’t totally disagree with you.
    However, your viewpoint omits or overlooks a rather important change, namely the massive change that happened in the 1990’s, with the decline of the various far right parties (National Front, BNP and others) and a period of relatively stable levels of migration. During this period we saw the UK become a much more tolerant country and UKIP was a marginal “grumpy old man” protest party. UKIP’s growth and the growth in intolerance I suggest parallel’s the explosive growth in immigration we’ve seen since 1997.

    Hence what I’m referring to, isn’t the low-level grumbling by a very small segment of our community, but the seemingly more overt expression of “enough is enough” by a much larger segment which spans socio-economic groupings.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Peter Martin
    @ SimonR, There some other advantages. Such as: you can't be sacked if you own your own business! You can put your partner and children on the payroll even i...
  • Andy Daer
    Tom, thanks for this excellent summary. Steve, it was hubris that led that "London adult" to think his hurt was so important - he was on the radio shortly afte...
  • Simon R
    @Katharine: 3 year default tenancy and no evictions other than for breaking the contract? Umm... how does that work if - say - for some reason, I have to move a...
  • Simon R
    @Peter Martin: Yes you're correct that, if you run a small business, taking your income as dividend will typically mean paying less tax than if you take it as a...
  • Katharine Pindar
    Thanks for the support on the share buybacks proposed policy, Peter Martin. Just now I want to add a few facts about what we want to offer young people on housi...