Friday, July 14, 2017

Tim Farron says he planned to resign after the general election

In a BBC interview this morning Tim Farron told Emma Barnett that he decided to resign the leadership of the Liberal Democrats after the election a couple of weeks into the campaign.

But I share the confusion of two fellow Lib Dem bloggers - Andrew Page and Neil Monnery - about the muddled way Tim's resignation took place if that is the case.

Lord Bonkers has had his say and you can also download a pdf of an article by Liz Barker from the Liberator website.

Liz pours cold water on "Lib Dem Voice conspiracy theorists". She is critical of Tim's stance on gay rights and his handling of the issue once that stance became a problem for the party. But she is also clear that this failing must not be used to avoid debate on the wider problems with our general election campaign.

We always blame advisers - Parliament was doing so right up until it cut Charles I's head off - but it seems to me that the Lib Dem press operation could have done better on this.

Though Norman Lamb's camp attempted to exploit Tim's Evangelical Christian morality obliquely in the last Lib Dem leadership election, by putting 'the right to die' at the centre of his campaign, it was always clear this might be an area of vulnerability for him.

His advisers should have recognised that. If Tim was prepared to say he does not regard gay sex as a sin, he should have said so from the start.

Equally, while Tim's performance in his interview with Andrew Neil was poor, some of the questions Neil asked were eminently predictable to anyone who has watched The Daily Politics since the referendum.

Lord Bonkers was right on one thing at least:
We Liberal Democrats pride ourselves on electing our leaders by one member, one vote, but should we not pay some attention to the way they are removed from office?
But unless Radical Bulletin in the new Liberator has more on Tim's resignation than I expect, we rank-and-file members will continue to be left in the dark over the affair.

1 comment:

Phil Beesley said...

Liz Barker: "The Tories will learn the lessons of defeat quickly and come right back in the local elections. We need to reacquire the intelligence and judgement which won us elections pre-Clegg and modernise them with digital skills tailored to each seat we fight."

To me Ms Barker, this looks a load of cobblers: "modernise them with digital skills tailored to each seat we fight."