Debate 7:
"Vote for active government…

…decades of 'can't do' politics has neutered British government"

Tim Farron.  2014 speech.  (Text at

Why him?  He's the MP who won with the highest turnout in the 2010 election in England (Westmorland & Londsdale: 76%, see p6 of Electoral Commission Report).

By inspiring a high turnout he took a safe Conservative seat with a lead of just 267 votes in 2005, then 12,264 in 2010.  He's now the LibDem leader.

By building such support, and being radical and tough on the establishment, he might be doing something right…


'It's not principally that those in politics are out of touch or don't get it.  It's that politics doesn't deliver.  It disappoints.  Maybe it always did, but not like this, nowhere near.  …'

'… globalisation has made many people feel powerless, insecure, uncertain.  And as the world changes, they don't see their politicians doing enough to protect them, provide for them, or liberate them. …'

'The problem is that globalisation has happened in this era of British politics when the consensus has been for passive "can't do" government.  Government that backs away, that keeps its hands off the economy, that leaves its citizens to the ravages of the unfair, unfree and unregulated market.  That post '79 consensus: set by Mrs Thatcher, turbo charged by New Labour and clung to by too many, has neutered British government. …'

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'...we must literally build a better country.  …  Thirty years of passive, inactive government has left us with a massive housing crisis.  "The right to buy" without a duty to build has devastated our communities.  We have ludicrous house prices and an overheated private rented sector.  That's why in the next decade we will need a national mission for three million new homes …'

'Thirty years of passive, inactive government means that our country is hopelessly and damagingly economically unbalanced.   While we pour opportunity upon opportunity on a minority of people who live in the right place, went to the right schools, have the right parents, and restrict opportunities to everyone elseā€¦.  We prevent Britain being all it could be. …'

'… liberalism has been ambitious before.  Liberalism in Britain gave us universal suffrage [votes for all], the abolition of the death penalty, freedom of religion, the old age pension, the welfare state, healthcare free at the point of use, LGBT equality.  All things we take for granted, all things won by liberals in this party and beyond.  We should be proud and encouraged by these victories. …'

'Let's say to Britain: there is a future that we can all get behind. …  We have to be the people calling for wisdom amidst the hysteria: calling for hope amidst the fear; calling for ambition amidst apathy.  We will not blame our plight on foreigners, people on benefits or 'green crap'.  We will offer our vision for a greener, fairer, better, dynamic and more liberal nation. …'

Why be silent?   Vote for a candidate who you trust to work hard for things you believe in, or vote NONE in protest.