Farron, religion and Liberalism

That a thoroughly decent man has been forced from public office is a given and I say that as an atheist.

Yes I was very uncomfortable watching Tim contort himself into knots when asked about his religious views and yes the media were out to do him harm over his religion. Just think about it, how many other leading politicians have strong religious views and how many of them have been hounded out of office for holding them? Blair got some stick because he was Roman Catholic but I struggle to think of many others in recent times.

Did Tim bring trouble upon himself? Well yes to some extent because of this contorted answers that had us all scratching our heads. And you know despite his odd answers he actually did a lot to back minority rights and the LGBT community have acknowledged that apart from what I will call their more militant fringe.

Can you be a Liberal hold religious views? Well you must be able to as there seem to be many people out there who do. Anyway one of the significant strands of liberalism comes from ‘Chapel Liberals’ and Methodism. I am sure my dear old Mum was a Chapel Liberal and I personally know many Lib Dem’s who hold strong religious views and I count them as my friends.

The crunch issue as I see it is this. As a Liberal your guiding light is the rights of others and your being willing to stand up for those rights even when you personally do not subscribe to them. That’s what Tim Farron tried to do, that’s why he stood up for LGBT rights even though his religion was seemingly telling him otherwise. His problem was being unable to publicly reconcile his liberalism and religion when the contradictions were put to him by the media. And once he had shown weakness the first time he was asked about the matter it was always going to be where the media homed in.

Were the media involved in bullying and intimidation? Yes of course they were, indeed they were acting as though they were from the 1950’s and steeped in intolerance with more than a hint of the Spanish Inquisition thrown in for good (or is that bad) measure. It’s as though Farron were being treated as a criminal for holding religious and political views, it’s a sad reflection on our reactionary media and the intolerant times we live in.

Yes of course opposition politicians also exploited Tim’s inability to answer straight forward questions on the potential conflict between his religion and his liberalism. I picked up what I viewed to be political trolling comments on this very matter.

Brexit has split us very deeply because it has brought back into focus views that people used to be ashamed of talking about – racism, intolerance, homophobia, etc. Farron in my view became a victim of that new intolerant culture and it shames our society greatly.

One last thing, the schism on the left of British politics is not actually so much about policy but about libertarian versus authoritarian approaches. In general terms socialism is more authoritarian and liberalism is obviously libertarian. Tell you what is good for you as opposed to giving you the facts to make your own mind up you could say. Quite obviously our society is by its nature these days far more authoritarian and less libertarian. I hope it goes without saying that Conservatism is also authoritarian.

Authoritarian societies don’t tolerate differences from the norm and the norm is usually set by the ruling classes. Farron is, like many Liberals before him and those who will follow him, too libertarian to be tolerated by a media and a political establishment that see most things very black and white, right and wrong.

Don’t look upon Farron as someone you liked or disliked in party political terms, look upon him as someone our society showed the door to because he was not conforming to the norms as interpreted by the media and the establishmnet. Then look at other minorities and think about them too, who will be next?

Oh yes and Farron stood in 2017 General Election on a policy of tolerance!

Tim Farron’s speech on the EU Referendum

www.libdems.org.uk/tim_farron_s_speech_on_the_european_union#

It’s available via the link above. Tim made this speech a couple of weeks ago but it is really quite good and worth reading in full even though it is quite long.

Having voted for Tim in the Lib Dem leadership election I must admit to being slow to warm to him because at times he comes over as too moderate and not radical enough. However, this speech is spot on so I am warming to him a little more.

Tim Farron’s Party Conference Speech

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34330676

The link above is the BBC’s take on Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron’s speech at his party conference today.

Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron

Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron

I voted for Tim in the leadership election and I am hoping that he will grow into a truly radical Liberal Leader because this country really needs one right now.

Tim Farron – Don’t bleed the poor

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This is powerful but very clear message. You will notice which Labour Party leadership contender is missing from their line up i.e Jeremy Corbyn as he voted, like our local MP’s John Pugh (Lib Dem) and Peter Dowd (Lab), against the Conservative’s Welfare Bill.

May I introduce you to our new Lib Dem Leader

Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron

Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron

Here is Tim’s first speech as the new Lib Dem Leader; I think we are going to hear a lot from this young man:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8w64z2zJtQ

I voted for him knowing that he has strong religious views, which I do not. I voted for him knowing that he has reservations about same sex marriage, which I do not. I voted for him because he is a Liberal to his core and he fights for the oppressed.

I have no doubt that he will take the fight to the Tories and the new Red Tories (previously known as the Labour Party) and in doing so he will fight for fairness, for those without a voice and decency.

Tim is our new Leader

Congratulations to Tim Farron following his election as the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

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I voted for Tim and consider him to be an excellent choice to lead the Lib Dems. The great thing is that had Norman Lamb won he too would have been a great Leader. We really did have two excellent candidates to chose from.

Well done Tim, you are now the voice of Liberalism and for the oppressed. Go and give those Tories and Red Tories hell!