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Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:40 PM

Tim Farron resigns as Liberal Democrat leader

That's all I've got at the moment:

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, has announced his resignation

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/blog/live/2017/jun/14/david-cameron-suggests-softer-brexit-as-may-weighs-options-politics-live?page=with:block-5941720fe4b0240ef76147a2#block-5941720fe4b0240ef76147a2

Well, except for this:

Lib Dem peer resigns over Farron's views on homosexuality

The Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesman, Brian Paddick, has resigned from his post, citing concerns about the party leader’s views.

Paddick said he was concerned about the leader’s views on various issues that were highlighted during the campaign. Throughout the election campaign, Tim Farron was dogged by questions over his attitude to homosexuality and abortion, though he has insisted he does not believe gay sex is a sin and has said he is pro-choice.

The Lib Dem peer, formerly the Metropolitan police’s deputy assistant commissioner and the UK’s most senior gay police officer, has stood as the party’s mayoral candidate in past elections.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/14/lib-dem-peer-brian-paddick-resigns-over-farrons-views-on-gay-sex

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Tim Farron resigns as Liberal Democrat leader (Original post)
Denzil_DC Jun 2017 OP
Denzil_DC Jun 2017 #1
muriel_volestrangler Jun 2017 #2
Denzil_DC Jun 2017 #4
T_i_B Jun 2017 #5
T_i_B Jun 2017 #7
Denzil_DC Jun 2017 #8
T_i_B Jun 2017 #9
Denzil_DC Jun 2017 #10
T_i_B Jun 2017 #11
T_i_B Jun 2017 #3
The King of Prussia Jun 2017 #6
LeftishBrit Jul 2017 #13
muriel_volestrangler Jul 2017 #12

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:42 PM

1. More:

In his resignation statement Farron said: “The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader. A better, wiser person than me may have been able to deal with this more successfully, to have remained faithful to Christ while leading a political party in the current environment. To be a political leader - especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 - and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/blog/live/2017/jun/14/david-cameron-suggests-softer-brexit-as-may-weighs-options-politics-live?page=with:block-594173b6e4b0240ef76147a9#block-594173b6e4b0240ef76147a9

And:

Here is the statement in full: “This last two years have seen the Liberal Democrats recover since the devastation of the 2015 election.

That recovery was never inevitable but we have seen the doubling of our party membership, growth in council elections, our first parliamentary by-election win for more than a decade, and most recently our growth at the 2017 general election.

Most importantly the Liberal Democrats have established ourselves with a significant and distinctive role - passionate about Europe, free trade, strong well-funded public services underpinned by a growing market economy.

No one else occupies that space. Against all the odds, the Liberal Democrats matter again.

We can be proud of the progress we have made together, although there is much more we need to do.

From the very first day of my leadership, I have faced questions about my Christian faith. I’ve tried to answer with grace and patience. Sometimes my answers could have been wiser.

At the start of this election, I found myself under scrutiny again - asked about matters to do with my faith. I felt guilty that this focus was distracting attention from our campaign, obscuring our message.

Journalists have every right to ask what they see fit. The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader.

A better, wiser person than me may have been able to deal with this more successfully, to have remained faithful to Christ while leading a political party in the current environment.

To be a political leader - especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 - and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me.

I’m a liberal to my finger tips, and that liberalism means that I am passionate about defending the rights and liberties of people who believe different things to me.

There are Christians in politics who take the view that they should impose the tenets of faith on society, but I have not taken that approach because I disagree with it - it’s not liberal and it is counterproductive when it comes to advancing the gospel.

Even so, I seem to be the subject of suspicion because of what I believe and who my faith is in.

In which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society.

That’s why I have chosen to step down as leader of the Liberal Democrats.

I intend to serve until the parliamentary recess begins next month, at which point there will be a leadership election according to the party’s rules.

This is a historic time in British politics. What happens in the next months and years will shape our country for generations.


My successor will inherit a party that is needed now more than ever before. Our future as an open, tolerant and united country is at stake.

The cause of British liberalism has never been needed more. People who will fight for a Britain that is confident, generous and compassionate are needed more than ever before.

That is the challenge our party and my successor faces and the opportunity I am certain that they will rise to.

I want to say one more thing: I joined our party when I was 16, it is in my blood, I love our history, our people, I thoroughly love my party.

Imagine how proud I am to lead this party. And then imagine what would lead me to voluntarily relinquish that honour.

In the words of Isaac Watts it would have to be something ‘so amazing, so divine, (it) demands my heart, my life, my all.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/blog/live/2017/jun/14/david-cameron-suggests-softer-brexit-as-may-weighs-options-politics-live?page=with:block-59417521e4b0240ef76147b0#block-59417521e4b0240ef76147b0

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 02:48 PM

2. His time in charge was pretty ineffectual

I see the Telegraph is suggesting the party would have forced him to go anyway: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/14/breaking-tim-farron-resigns-liberal-democrat-leader/

Channel 4 just suggested the 2 obvious candidates for leader are Vince Cable and Jo Swinson. The former has the national profile, but he'll get questions about his age, like Menzies Campbell did; Swinson could look like the long-term bet.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 03:39 PM

4. Swinson's not particularly well-loved in Scotland.

She was "lucky" to win back her seat (which is quite varied, from the douce, leafy suburbs of Bearsden, which I drove around just last week searching from the cattery where we got our latest lovely rescue cat - only saw one lamppost poster in the whole area - to darkest Clydebank, from the SNP's John Nicolson, who I doubt we've heard the last from). I don't think she did anything of note between losing her seat and regaining it, but she's certainly ambitious.

Her previous record includes voting against the moratorium on fracking, going to ground as UK Equalities Minister in the Coalition during a sex scandal, and along with hubby ex-Lib Dem MP Duncan Hames some petty finagling of expenses.

I'm sure she'll be an ornament to parliament and the Lib Dem front bench, if not leadership.

I'd like to see Cable get a prominent role. It's a shame he was scuppered in taking on Murdoch by Coalition politicking.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 03:54 PM

5. I'm not sold on Vince Cable

He's got more coalition baggage than any other current Lib Dem MP. He's struck me for some time as a politician who's very good at being wise after the event.

The best man to replace Farron would have been Greg Mulholland, but he's just lost his seat.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 18, 2017, 03:46 PM

7. Swinson is standing for Deputy Leader

She has ruled herself out of the leadership contest though, which is a shame as she would have won that one at a canter.

Looks like the Lib Dems will end up with an ex coalition minister, and having to defend all of that when we could be moving forward.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 18, 2017, 04:50 PM

8. Just curious since you're not a near neighbour of her constituency

and it appears she improves with distance.

What's so appealing from your perspective about Swinson? She was heavily involved in the coalition, and served as junior Equalities Minister. Apart from that baggage, her voting record's appalling.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #8)

Sun Jun 18, 2017, 05:13 PM

9. Best ask Lib Dem members!

She is very much the candidate they all wish were standing, and she doesn't appear at first glance to have as much coalition baggage as Cable, Davey or Lamb.

Personally I really hope that the Liberal Democrats don't soften their EU stance at all, or decide that they are "centrists, not Liberals" in true Orange book style. We really need a strong third party with a clear identity and purpose that stands up against a lot of the nonsense in British politics right now and going back the the Coalition years is not going to achieve that.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 18, 2017, 05:35 PM

10. I don't want to have a go in reponse to an honest answer to an honest question,

but I think those Lib Dem members need to take another glance or two, as she has Coalition baggage to excess, and would be hardly suited to leadership in the Corbyn Era on past form.

I'll be fair, and allow in her favour her opposition to Trident (not too hard a stance in sunny Bearsden compared to my own dependent constituency), her support for LGBT etc. issues and for investigations into the Iraq War, and her previous pro-EU stances (no idea whether they've changed since the referendum, but that was the Lib Dem line when she was in office anyway).

If I'm being fair on that, I have to include her votes on social issues:

Almost always voted for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the "bedroom tax"
11 votes for, 1 vote against, 5 absences, between 2012–2014

Consistently voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
0 votes for, 5 votes against, in 2013

Consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
0 votes for, 7 votes against, between 2011–2012

Consistently voted for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support
4 votes for, 0 votes against, in 2012

Almost always voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
26 votes for, 0 votes against, 5 absences, between 2012–2015

Almost always voted against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed
0 votes for, 8 votes against, 1 absence, between 2011–2014

Consistently voted against increasing the tax rate applied to income over £150,000
0 votes for, 11 votes against, 1 absence, between 2012–2015

Generally voted against a banker’s bonus tax
1 vote for, 13 votes against, 4 absences, between 2011–2015

Almost always voted against an annual tax on the value of expensive homes (popularly known as a mansion tax)
0 votes for, 3 votes against, 1 absence, in 2013

Almost always voted against restricting the provision of services to private patients by the NHS
0 votes for, 6 votes against, 1 absence, between 2011–2012

Generally voted for reforming the NHS so GPs buy services on behalf of their patients
4 votes for, 0 votes against, 3 absences, between 2011–2012

Consistently voted for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
1 vote for, 0 votes against, in 2010

Consistently voted for ending financial support for some 16-19 year olds in training and further education
2 votes for, 0 votes against, in 2011

Consistently voted for university tuition fees
3 votes for, 0 votes against, between 2010–2012

Consistently voted against slowing the rise in rail fares
0 votes for, 5 votes against, in 2013

Almost always voted against Labour's anti-terrorism laws
1 vote for, 19 votes against, 4 absences, between 2005–2010

Generally voted for the privatisation of Royal Mail
4 votes for, 1 vote against, between 2009–2011

Generally voted for restricting the scope of legal aid
9 votes for, 1 vote against, 2 absences, between 2011–2014

Generally voted against restrictions on fees charged to tenants by letting agents
0 votes for, 1 vote against, 3 absences, between 2013–2014

Generally voted for the policies included in the 2010 Conservative - Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement
50 votes for, 10 votes against, 21 absences, between 2010–2015

And one that might be close to your heart:

Generally voted against requiring pub companies to offer pub landlords rent-only leases
0 votes for, 2 votes against, 1 absence, between 2013–2014

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/11971/jo_swinson/east_dunbartonshire/votes

For a glimpse of what she's like on camera under pressure, here she was, showing an impressive turn of speed when being asked awkward questions about the Lord Rennard sex abuse allegations: http://www.itv.com/news/update/2013-03-08/swinson-i-took-lord-rennard-allegations-seriously/

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #10)

Sun Jun 18, 2017, 07:41 PM

11. Not having a go at all really!

So much of this stuff comes from the coalition. The coalition was only 2 years ago and a lot of people don't have fond memories of it. That's the major problem holding the Liberal Democrats back.

The Liberal Democrats major challenge is to move on from the coalition, and getting rid of Farron makes this task a lot lot harder.

FWIW, I do think a limited defense of the Liberal Democrats record in the coalition can be made on the basis that for all of Theresa May's blather about being "strong and stable", the only time the Tories came close being strong or stable was when they had the Liberal Democrats to moderate them.

However, that still cannot excuse tuition fees or the bedroom tax. And what Clegg did over tuition fees has got serious long term repercussions for the party. It utterly destroyed trust, which is why the Liberal Democrats need to reinvent themselves post-coalition.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 03:29 PM

3. Really bad news

Even worse that it's over what should be a non-issue. Even if Farron didn't handle the subject well during the election.

The coalition was only 2 years ago, and that continues to hurt the Liberal Democrats far more than nonsense about whether or not gay sex is a sin. And the Liberal Democrats options to replace Farron have either been in parliament for about 5 seconds or carry baggage from the coalition that Tim Farron did not.

The Liberal Democrats platform this year was a colossal improvement from 2015. In a way it was quite disheartening to see people moving away from the Liberal Democrats and Greens towards inferior quality Labour candidates. Especially when Labour tended not to return the favours of tactical tactical voting, letting in Tories like Zac Goldsmith.

But more work needs to be done for the Liberal Democrats. Both in terms of rebuilding the party at grassroots level and fleshing out their platform with other positive policies besides opposition to the madness that is leaving the EU. The party is currently struggling to make it's voice heard against Corbyn's Labour, but sooner or later things will change. Farron stepping down will make that process much more difficult IMHO.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Thu Jun 15, 2017, 12:16 PM

6. I wonder...

How long will the new leader feel bound by Farron's "pledge" not to go into coalition with the Tories.

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Response to The King of Prussia (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 20, 2017, 01:52 PM

13. He lost his seat through doing so last time, so let's hope that the lesson is learned.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Thu Jul 20, 2017, 12:14 PM

12. Vince Cable named Lib Dem leader as no other candidate emerges

---snip---

Sir Vince Cable has promised to return the Liberal Democrats to “the centre of political life” after officially becoming the party’s new leader on Thursday.

The 74-year-old former business secretary took charge as he was the only candidate on the ballot paper when nominations closed at 4pm. He succeeds Tim Farron, who stood down after a disappointing general election campaign. At a launch event on Thursday, Farron said that his successor was “well and truly strong and Cable”.

In his first speech as leader, Cable said that British politics was “more polarised and divided than at any time any of us can remember”.

“My aim is that my party will occupy (the central) space in British politics,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/20/vince-cable-named-lib-dem-leader-as-no-other-candidate-emerges

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