Tim Farron: why you should back me for Party President

Party President candidate Tim Farron was asked what his election would do for Scotland:

Much has changed in politics in the last few months, but the political process didn’t stop with the formation of the Westminster Government.  In Scotland, it’s time to get those shoes re-soled and dig out that delivery bag and those clip boards – we’ve just a few months until elections to Holyrood and the fairer votes referendum, and then just one year until Scotland-wide council elections.

It will be my job, if elected your party president, to inspire members and activists to go out and fight the coming elections hard.  It will also be my job to energise a new generation of activists to believe that they can make a difference.  In Scotland you’ve already made some huge steps in this regard – membership is up, and I saw for myself the hunger to win exhibited at conference in Dunfermline.

In Westminster we’re getting a huge amount out of being in government: protection for the lowest paid, the most ambitious political reforms since universal suffrage and restoration of civil liberties – but let’s not kid ourselves: being in a coalition, as you know in Scotland, means our identity risks being diluted and our message blurred.

When I read Labour telling us that we’re “turning the clock back to the 1980s” because of the cuts, I know that this is witless rubbish – but I’ll be honest, those barbs really hurt me.  I was brought up by a single mum, in significant poverty in Thatcher’s Britain.  I went to a comprehensive in Lancashire, where half of my mates’ parents were out of work.  The accusation of being a ‘Tory lackey’ makes my blood boil.  If I’m your president, one of my jobs is to ensure that we disrupt and counter the Labour attacks.

Whilst Labour – the party of child detention, ID cards and illegal wars – bad mouth our party as we try to find solutions to the mess they’ve left the country in, in Scotland the SNP Government has also failed us.  They’ve broken and dumped so many promises and now have made an independence referendum their top priority for the 2011 election – not the economy, education, rural services or jobs.  They continue to put their own nationalist agenda ahead of the national interest.

It’s clear that with the Tories largely irrelevant in Scotland, it is only the Liberal Democrats that offer an alternative to Labour and the SNP.  We have outstanding candidates for the Holyrood election next year – they deserve to have the best campaign possible.  One of my first acts as president, should you elect me, will be to sit down with the campaigns department and work out how I, and the rest of the UK team can support you here in Scotland.  My job will be to bring UK MPs and resources to Scotland to help with the campaign and to provide you with a strong, passionate and articulate voice to inspire voters to back us.

If that’s the kind of President you want, then I’m all yours.

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This entry was posted in Party Presidency.


  • Richard Huzzey 14th Oct '10 - 12:19pm

    Will you break your pledge on fees? What will you do to stop other Lib Dem MPs breaking their pledge on student finance?

  • Richard Huzzey 14th Oct '10 - 1:18pm

    Caron — thanks for the link; hadn’t seen that. I think the fees issue is a test case for how our new President will represent members to the parliamentary party, so I hope Tim and Susan will both give a clear and strong response on how they would use their office to that end.

  • Richard Huzzey 14th Oct '10 - 1:46pm

    Sure, and I realise that the two candidates are likely to have written their articles for you before recent developments on fees. I’m just hoping – given the crises over student fees in Holyrood and Westminster – that they or their campaign teams will be willing to answer questions about the fees pledge on Lib Dem Voice.

  • Such as shame that an honourable man who will keep his pledge will have the actions of others in his own party thrown in his face when he highlights that Labour and SNP have “broken or dumped” so many promises.

    This is the type of principled public servant that made me vote Lib Dem, I hope he shames the rest.

  • Liberal Eye 14th Oct '10 - 5:43pm

    It’s pretty clear that a policy-making process that comes up with a plan that MPs effectively sign in blood only for many to renage on it a few months later has some serious shortcomings whatever the reasons for the change of mind. In fact it has never hit the spot with voters in over 20 years not is anyone seriously claiming that it contains the answer – or even the beginnings of an answer – to the mess we’re in.

    So, leaving aside the particulars of tuition fees, what if anything do you think is wrong with the policy-making process, what ideas do you have to fix it?

    Not a Scottish question I’m afraid but an important one. Same question put to SK.

  • Paul Butters 14th Oct '10 - 5:49pm

    I can promise you that Tim will make the grassroots heard loud and clear! His article I think is substantive and very, very good. I would say that because I’m on his campaign his team!

    But seriously I think Tim will work hard behind the scenes to get the parliamentary party to hear the grassroots. I think the fees debate really does highlight the need for an MP to be president because of the unique situation of the coalition.

    Cheers, Paul

  • Paul Butters 14th Oct '10 - 5:50pm

    @Liberal eye – can I recommend you email tim at [email protected]

  • Does Tim have a website for his presidency campaign? I’d like to make a comparison between his ‘manifesto’ and Susan Kramer’s, but I can only find Susan’s.

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