Friday, July 18, 2014

What Tim Farron will tell the Social Liberal Forum conference

I am off to London for the Social Liberal Forum conference tomorrow. I hope to interview a couple of Leading Liberal Democrats for this blog.

Thanks to Huffington Post and the power of the press release, I can already tell you what one of them is going to say.

Step forward Tim Farron, who will say:
"There is no political market for a centre right laissez faire liberal party amongst the British electorate, or for a party that sets itself up as the permanent see-saw coalition partner. 
"To aim to be either would be to neuter our movement and invite electoral annihilation on the same scale of our friends in the German FDP who chose a similar path. To follow the FDP example would be to abdicate responsibility for our economy."
He will add:
Politics should be about positive plans for a better Britain, not fear and loathing for one tribe or another. We should want the British people to choose the Liberal Democrats for what we are for, more than who we are against,"
AndIn his speech, it seems, he will call for his party to :
"stake out the case for comprehensive liberalism based on a true understanding of what creates and what prevents freedom". 
"Laws that prevent you worshipping as you choose, living with whom you choose, reading what you choose curtail your liberties no more and no less than the poverty, the ill health and the inadequate education that robs you of your choices," he will say. 
"Never mind economic liberalism versus social liberalism," he will add. "I demand that Liberals should defend our citizens from all of those threats... our new consensus must be based on a belief in active, can do government whose focus is on tackling the biggest challenges we face in the confident belief that we can overcome them." 
Farron will also call for the government to set a target for "every breadwinner to be paid a living wage by 2020" to stop the "scourge of in work poverty" 
That makes a lot of sense to me, but do I detect an attempt to construct the sort of 'from log cabin to White House' narrative that might be appealing in a future party leader?

For the Huffington Post tell us that Tim will
tell delegates about his personal life story of growing up in a terraced house in Lancashire with "no heating, no holidays" and attack the "appalling rhetoric of Miliband and Osborne – setting the shirkers against the striver".
That sounds familiar, but did he receive free school dinners? You don't outprole me that easily.

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