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11 May 2015

Why I’m backing Tim Farron

We must no longer split the difference, or indeed ride of the coat tails of Labour or the Tories. It is a cliché that we must develop radical liberal identity, but it is true now more than ever.  Other parties can’t do this, we must.

By Andrew Emmerson

I’m an unabashed Cleggite, he is absolutely my political hero, but if the Lib Dems want to get back to power, then we must not do Clegg V.2.0 or any form of continuity candidate. It’s Time for Tim.

Tim Farron is a motivator, he served brilliantly as party president for many years, and proved himself there and he can prove himself as leader. To get back to any reasonable position of influencing government and the country we must rebuild from the ground up, we must busy ourselves in our communities, regain our local government seats, and start to redevelop a strong liberal identity. We must no longer split the difference, or indeed ride of the coat tails of Labour or the Tories. It is a cliché that we must develop radical liberal identity, but it is true now more than ever.  Other parties can’t do this, we must.

Tim’s honest and straight forward style will start to bring in people from the cold, the Labour and Green defectors and the Guardianista’s will be a tough bunch to crack, but Tim is not tainted with the coalition in the way others are. He has remained through his time a critical friend, supporting our record where it has been good, and speaking out where it has been bad.

The challenges for Tim will be huge, in the contest he will not be the establishment candidate. It has been made clear that it would work against him as senior Lib Dems lashed out against him.  Tim will also need to prove he can provide unity for the party and pull in other right wingers, and not alienate the new intake of members who joined because of the coalition.  

He will have to see off Norman Lamb, a decent man who has had a lot to do with the mental health revolution we’re seeing, but Lamb a technocrat. He has been an excellent minister, but it is beyond his skill set to rebuild the party, he is not a motivator, and he is not a great media performer. Nonetheless I hope he plays a big part of the future as either deputy, or President.  Carmichael looks likely he will challenge too, he is simply an unknown force at this point.

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I am confident he can overcome all the challenges, and rebuild the party in the wilderness ready to come forward once again to face the general public as a revitalised liberal force. I am confident that like a phoenix, the Lib Dems will rise from the ashes again proving to the political scene that we can be, and can remain relevant to the future of this nation.