My Politician of the Year is…Tim Farron!
December 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s that time of year where, wherever you turn, there’s a newspaper, TV or radio station reflecting on the past twelve months.
And, what a twelve months it has been.
In terms of politics, it has arguably been the most difficult year in the short history of the modern Liberal Democrats.
I stick by my words that Nick Clegg is the bravest politician in Britain.
Even though I don’t agree with everything he’s said and done, he’s shown leadership, passion and a backbone…standing firm despite receiving a bucket-load of vitriol from his political opponents (on all sides of the House of Commons) and much of the media.
However, he’s not my Politician of the Year.
That accolade goes to my Party’s President Tim Farron.
The Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale has been the President of the Lib Dems for almost a year now and has been proved right on all the big issues.
As President, he’s been able to speak out on issues that our Ministers, constrained as they obviously are by collective responsibility, haven’t been able to.
He’s rightly attacked David Cameron for his attacks on multiculturalism and wanting to see private provision encroach even further into our National Health Service.
He’s also, equally rightly, attacked Labour for ‘thirteen years behaving like Tories and a year or so behaving like Trots and deserve to be derided and ridiculed for both.’
On the previous Government he’s said: ‘I was raised in Lancashire when unemployment was above four million, and much of that unemployment was utterly unavoidable and unnecessary. Margaret Thatcher pursued a deliberate policy, of increasing joblessness-in order to keep down inflation and to subdue the trade union movement. Avoidable human misery was created by a Government who didn’t understand the North and who cared about it even less.’
And, in my favourite line of any of his speeches this year, at Spring Conference, he said: “I joined the Liberals out of a desperate desire to see Britain run fairly, to see economic policies that served the interests of the people-especially the poorest. I joined a party that was unmistakably a radical, social liberal, progressive, internationalist green party…and that is the party I still belong to.”
Tim has rallied my party when it’s been all too tempting to hang our heads.
He’s principled, passionate for his party and cares deeply about the poorest and most vulnerable people in our land.
He believes in society and in our public services.
In my view, we need more like him.
I look forward to him continuing in this vain next year.
I predict a bright future for him.
It’s for all of these reasons-and more-that Tim Farron is my Politician of the Year.