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Lib Dem conference: Tim Farron on Labour

24 September 2012

7:55 PM

24 September 2012

7:55 PM

Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president, underlined his popularity with grassroots as he jogged up to the stage at the Independent’s fringe event to the fervent cheers of activists. They were eating out of his hand as he answered questions for an hour with Steve Richards.

Farron threw his weight behind Nick Clegg as leader, praising the Deputy Prime Minister’s ability to remain a warm and engaging man in spite of the trials of his job. But he blew pretty cold on his leader’s tuition fee apology, emphasising that it was a ‘totemic’ issue, and arguing that Lib Dems would be wrong to expect this to be a ‘turnaround’ for the party’s fortunes as reneging on the pledge had damaged their standing for a ‘generation’.

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What was really surprising was the way Farron, in spite of frequent provocation from Richards, swerved away from attacking the Conservatives in the way that he has previously done. He was honest that he found it ‘awkward’ to be in coalition with the Conservatives, but he later added that there were some good pro-coalition Tories in parliament too (a few delegates hissed theatrically at this point).

Instead, he took aim at the Labour party, in the same way he did in yesterday’s speech. ‘They are a hard bunch to deal with,’ he said, adding that he had seen the liberal elements stripped out of the party, leaving it with a distinctly authoritarian character. He also said he didn’t have the numbers of any senior Labour figure on his phone.

Yet much of what Farron said about the economy would have been music to Ed Balls’ ears. He repeated his support for Keynesian policies, and argued that if the books would balance, he would like to see a return to the government funding new social housebuilding. The audience loved his attacks on Labour: they fight the party every day on a local level. But his desire to avoid the vehement attacks on the Conservative party like the ones Farron has launched over the past two years is strange.


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Show comments
  • Noa

    ‘he took aim at the Labour party…’They are a hard bunch to deal with,’ he said

    So no end to Lib-Dem chicanery and duplicity, even whist breaking the terms of one coalition agreement he archly alludes to discussions about another.

  • http://twitter.com/LoganDon don logan

    The fact that this utter tool is popular with the grassroots tells you all you need to know.

    • trevor21

      After 2015 he will be the leader of a party with around seven seats(according to Yougov). Their transmogrification into the church of Scientology will then be complete. A weird bunch of no-hope tos*ers.

      • GreenSpaces Cumbria

        The people in South Lakes will be working hard to ensure he loses his seat at the next election. We are fed up with having to live in Farronland, where the local Lib Dem controlled district council ignores the concerns of voters, parish and town councils and are pushing through an ill-concieved land allocation plan which will destroy South Lakes.
        They say the best well to kill a circus is to go for the “Juggler”. In this case, the best way is to get rid of the “clown”.
        If you want to make Britain a better place, then join our campaign to remove Tim Farron and his cronies at South Lakeland District Council. Contact petition@green-spaces.org.uk

        • http://twitter.com/Tams80 Tams80

          And what’s the other choice? The Conservatives? Who will they send this time? The last candidate from them was very poor. “I will continue to live in Kendal” is not viable nor tolerable key election pledge.

          • GreenSpaces Cumbria

            I totally agree, the last Conservative Candidate was a poor choice. I would prefer a local independent who truly represents us instead of a career politician who is more concerned with getting multiple mentions in the Westmorland (Farron) Gazette each week. A well chosen Conservative candidate will do. If the Conservatives don’t provide one, then we will look elsewhere. But we won’t let things go unchanged. We need to get rid of the Lib Dems in the district council and the quicker we say goodbye to “Spin Farron” the better for all concerned.

      • GreenSpaces Cumbria

        The people in South Lakes will be working hard to ensure he loses his seat at the next election. We are fed up with having to live in Farronland, where the local Lib Dem controlled district council ignores the concerns of voters, parish and town councils and are pushing through an ill-concieved land allocation plan which will destroy South Lakes.
        They say the best well to kill a circus is to go for the “Juggler”. In this case, the best way is to get rid of the “clown”.
        If you want to make Britain a better place, then join our campaign to remove Tim Farron and his cronies at South Lakeland District Council. Contact petition@green-spaces.org.uk

    • http://twitter.com/Tams80 Tams80

      If you had him as a local MP, then you’d probably think differently.

  • anyfool

    He has stopped attacking the Tories because he thinks that unless they turn the country around the Lib Dem’s are dead.
    Where he is wrong is that it doesn’t matter.

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